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Registered User
(7/2/01 3:07 pm)
Contemporary Religious Movements
In the 20th century, we have seen the rise of many religious and quasi-religious movements which are hostile to Christianity. We have also seen movements that have sprung out of Christianity that seem to be leading out of the Christian worldview or socio-cultural religious concerns. My point to all of this is: Can any these movements or combination thereof totally displace true religion? Will true religion return or has the required cultural milieu been too thoroughly destroyed? Will the Church cease to be competitive and be relegated to a precarious existence on the fringes of society? What do these things indicate if a culturally based true religion is a necessary component of the Restoration?

Examples of what I'm talking about:

Hostile religious movements:
New Age, goddess & nature worship, Wicca, astrology, Scientology, semi-deism, paganism etc.

Quasi-religious movements: UFO belief, extreme environmentalism, feminism, atheism, agnosticism

Movements leading out: Universal-Unitarianism (already out), Liberal Christianity, Seventh-day Adventism and allies (Jehovah's Witness), Mormonism and other bizarre Protestant sects.

Movements which show little concern for cultural aspects of Christianity: Pentecostalism (total emphasis on personal experience and anti-liturgy), Baptistism (total emphasis on individual rights related to doctrine), Evangelicalism (total emphasis on personal conversion and experience)

(7/3/01 9:51 am)
Re: Contemporary Religious Movements
Most of the movements you mention lack serious intellectual substance. Mindlessness may be with us always, but it doesn't achieve anything comprehensive or enduring. Many of them are simply orthodox Christianity minus something. The things missing - doctrine, hierarchy, a social dimension - are things needed for Christianity to hold together as a system. Leaving them out is not a recipe for success.

Even considered simply as a human system it seems to me that orthodox Christianity has an ability to handle challenges from a variety of directions that its recent competitors do not. Fads have come and gone, it has stayed. I suppose that's a generic conservative argument - if something's been around a very long time, and has shown that it has the stuff to make it through all kinds of situations, it will probably make it through the present one as well.

There is I agree a tendency to marginalize orthodox Christianity. If that continues I think what we will end up with is a society in which the center vanishes for lack of the common moral substance needed to motivate loyalty and cooperation. The things that are marginalizing Christianity are not things that can substitute for it. If that happens talk about "center" and "margins" won't have anything to refer to. Society as a whole won't exist, there'll just be a variety of inward-turning groups separately carrying on their own life.

Jim Kalb and

BK Glyndwr
Registered User
(8/10/01 7:47 pm)
Re: Contemporary Religious Movements
Why are you people always so hung up on Christianity? It's a dying religion and one which was always in any case obviously alien and totally antithetical to classically-derived European thought and tradition. Adoption of your religion and the weaknesses it engenders was the single most important factor in the downfall of the greatest civilisation the world has ever seen and now it's happening again for all too similar reasons. The Renaissance and our subsequent but apparently temporary greatness only became possible when Christianity finally began to eat itself during the Reformation, and before you decide to come back with some weak excuse about preserving classical learning during the Dark Ages, please pause to reflect that said Dark Ages just couldn't have happened without you.
As long as you insist on sticking with this dumb and depressing Levantine cult, all hopes of a restoration of true civilised values in the world will come to nought, as you simply cannot make people believe in something that has been proved to be both irrelevant and a fabrication.....if, however, as I suspect, many Reactionaries (a word which I hasten to add I regard as having only positive connotations) only support Christianity for sociopolitical and historical reasons, then please try to be a little more inventive. How about the state cult of the Emperor, for instance - you weren't even SUPPOSED to believe in that, but it still held the Empire together for 300 years!

Registered User
(8/12/01 3:02 am)
Response to Psuedo-Gibbon
The Western Roman Empire was going to die with or without Christianity. In fact, it was well in decline before Christianity became common place. Think Nero and Caligula. It at simply expanded beyond the resources available for it's defense. You seem to be stuck on tired old atheist dogma about Christianity causing the "Dark Ages" instead of citing more proximate causes: barbarian invasion, hedonism, lead pipes, or what have you. In any case, the "Dark Ages" weren't very dark in Constantinople. Ever hear of the Hagia Sophia, greek fire, Justinian, Nikephoria or Belisarius? Only the Franco-Germanic states were affected by the Dark Ages and only those areas were affected by barbarian invasion.

The Renaissance and its offspring "The Enlightenment", the Industrial Revolution, Socialism and Communism are more of a threat to humanity than the "Dark Ages." In any event, I've yet to see someone demonstrate how the Chuch caused the "Dark Ages." If you want a truly dark age examine the *cough* atheist *cough* Soviet Union.

The cult of the Emperor didn't work as well as the Church which held the Empire together for 1130 years (323-1453). Moreover, the cult of the Emperor hasn't exactly transformed the earth into a 20th century utopia either when the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Dong and Pol Pot tried their hand at it.

SPQR, eh? Here's a better motto.

B | B
B | B

Basileus Basileon Basileuon Basileusin

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