What do we have in common with God? Like God, we have the capacity to love. We can fill our hearts to the brim with love . We are born in the image and likeness of God . The greater the love that we hold in our hearts, the greater is our resemblance to God. We recognize God by the love in his heart and God recognizes us in the same way . "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another".
The Credentials of Divinity
A person who claims to be God or to stand in persona Christi is an impostor unless he can show you his credentials. Demand a demonstration from any claimant to divinity of his credentials . Expose the frauds. The only valid credential is sacrificial love - love that survives the application of evil - love that does not fade as we torture him nor die when we kill him. Remember that the serpent had no credentials. Jesus, on the other hand, flashed his credentials to us in his passion, death and resurrection.
Asymmetry in Response to Evil is the Mark of a Christian
Jesus called for asymmetry in our response to evil . Why? The gospel of irrationality has no appeal to rational creatures. Surely, it is not reasonable to expect rational creatures to swallow this irrational recomendation uncritically hook, line and sinker. Is there some explanation for this seemingly irrational recommendation to bestow a boon on evildoers who try to nail us to a cross? Asymmetry in response to evil does not just benefit our enemies who try to nail us to a cross. Asymmetry in response to evil benefits us as well.
Shakespeare hit the nail on the head in The Merchant Of Venice Act 4, Scene 1 when Portia said, "The quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes." For your own sake, love your enemies. Do it for yourself not for them. Asymmetry in response to evil is the mark of a Christian.
God elevated us to a level above the beasts . Evil attempts to knock us off the exalted level onto which God elevated us. It tries to reduce us from the level of God to the level of the beast - into the most hideous and miserable of loveless beast. Resist. Defy your natural, animalistic tendency to let love slip through your fingers in moments of adversity. Cling to love, hold tight and refuse to let go. By loving our enemies despite the evil they do to us, we maintain the resemblance that we bear to God . When we refuse to let evil poke a hole in our hearts and drain them of love, we distinguish ourselves as godlike instead of beastlike. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another". The only thing that keeps us elevated above the beasts is love. Love is the source of our bouyancy. Without love, we descend, like a deflating balloon, from the level of God to the level of the beasts.
How safe are we in a land where mothers murder their babies? If the natural bond of love between a mother and her baby does not prevent mothers from murdering their babies, what chance do we have when no similar natural bond of affection exists between us and them? Only our culture led by our Churches, not our government, can vivify the natural bond of love and turn it into a guardian of the lives of our babies and ourselves.
God wants us to travel through the Valley of Tears on the fairway. The serpent, however, wants us trapped in the rough.
God put the sacrament of Confession in place on earth for the occasions when we hit our ball into the rough. Confession helps us to get back onto the fairway. The fairway is the best path through the Valley of Tears. Lord, please keep me on the fairway and out of the rough.
The Church is fishing for the Children of Adam and Eve with the wrong bait yet It is Surprised that it has stopped Catching Fish
Jesus impaled on the Cross like a worm on a hook is the bait that the most Holy Trinity cast into the Valley of Tears to fish for the children of Adam and Eve . The modern Church, however, no longer baits the hook with the Cross of Christ. Yet, it is surprised that it is no longer catching fish. In fact, it makes a virtue out of a necessity. It calls its failure a success . It compliments itself by claiming its smaller Church is purer. However, its self-compliment is undeserved. The decline of the Church is not due to a healthy process of purification. The decline is the result of clerical incompetence. By fishing with the wrong bait,the Church is committing suicide.
The Cross of Christ is the Throne of God
The Cross of Christ is the throne of God . From the throne of God, the good news of great joy is preached.
The throne of God is foundation on which the Church is built. But the Church has neglected its foundation. It has deferred maintenance and care of its foundation while it pursues other projects. Compared to the importance of the foundation of the Church, the other projects are frivolous - all of the other projects are frivolous - no exceptions - when compared to the Cross of Christ.
God is not dead. Indeed, God is very much alive. However, the conversation about God is dead. Killing the conversation about God is tantamount to killing God. The enemies of the Church know this. The Church does not.
The Church labors under the assumption that we already have an understanding of God - that we have completed Christianity 101 - that the foundation of Christianity has already been laid. The assumption, however, is incorrect. The Church has jumped the gun. Our understanding of God is superficial. God is a stranger to us and nobody follows a stranger . As a direct and proximate result of God being elbowed out of the conversation, the escape of the new exodus from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh, through the Valley of Tears, to freedom with God and his holy family in the promised land is sputtering and stalling. Fewer and fewer are going to Mass. None are going to Confession. Marriages are falling apart. Mothers are murdering their babies. The priesthood is going extinct
The trend is downward and accelerating. The only sacrament holding its own is the sacrament of extreme unction and this is so only because the dying have little choice. The thermometer that gauges the temperature of the body of Christ is the practice of Christianity. By this measure, the patient is dying.
Therefore, it is time to stop squandering the conversation. It is time to change the ratio of the content of the conversation to more God less Church. More revelation; less regulation. More foundation and less roof. More pizzazz; less nitty-gritty. More Mary; less Martha. No change in doctrine; just a change in emphasis - a tweak, nothing more.
Can we stop excluding God from the conversation? Can we devote at least 25% of the conversation to God? Is 25% too much to ask?
The New York City Police Department runs a program of self-criticism called CompStat by which it uses crime statistics to evaluate the job performance of its bosses. Given the deplorable Catholic statistics, if such a program were applied to the bosses of the Catholic Church, how many heads would roll? Shall we wait until the number for Mass attendance falls into the single digits before the bosses of the Catholic Church are fired for incompetency?
King Versus Prophet
God did not crown the Church as king to rule us. Indeed, God gave the Church a job. Indeed, the Church's job is important. The job of the Church, however, is not the job of a king but the job of a prophet. God annointed the Church as prophet to reveal the truth to us. A king tells us how to behave. A prophet tells us about God. Revelation, not regulation, is the primary mission and first priority of the Church. The two jobs are as different as night and day. A soothsayer is not a king; a king, not a soothsayer.
Furthermore, God did not put into the hands of the Church the royal scepter of sin to whack our souls over the head in a wicked frenzy of holy spiritual punishment until they are black, blue, battered, bruised and bleeding.
The instrument that God put into the hands of the Church to do its job as prophet was the sledgehammer of truth.
The sledgehammer of truth shatters the illusions conjured up by the serpent as the blow of the hammer shatters glass.
The serpent conjured up two illusions 1) the serpent sugarcoated the sourness of godlessness with false testimony that we would become gods without God in the Valley of Tears and 2) camouflaged the sweetness of paradise by planting a forest of crosses in the Valley of Tears whose sharp tongues taunt us by asking us "Where is your savior now?" as their sharp teeth chew us up into bits and pieces. This is powerful anti-God propaganda that causes us to doubt that our God is our almighty lover. It drives us to wonder, "Why isn't our rescue immediate?" "Why the delay?" "Perhaps God isn't as almighty or as head over heals in love with us as we are told?" "Perhaps our priesthood has lied to us about God?"
Our crosses play dual roles. They shatter the illusion that sugarcoats the sourness of godlessness. But, unfortunately, they conjure up the illusion that hides the sweetness of paradise.
Thus, each illusion requires its own sledgehammer of truth to shatter it.
The Valley of Tears is autodidactic. The sledgehammer of truth that shatters the sugarcoating that the serpent poured over the Valley of Tears are the many and merciless crosses that besiege us as we pass through it. The sour truth of the Valley of Tears teaches us that we do not become gods without God .
The camouflage that hides the sweetness of paradise, however, is not self-destructive as the sugarcoating. It is shattered only by revelation. In this case, the sledgehammer of truth is the Cross of Christ. Jesus commandeered a cross, reconfigured its message and used it to guarantee the genuineness of the love note that God composed for us in heaven and delivered to us at Bethlehem. In generating the guarantee, Jesus revealed to us both the magnitude and duration of his love for us. By letting us impale him on the Cross as a fisherman insouciantly impales a worm on a hook, Jesus became the bait that the most Holy Trinity cast into the Valley of Tears to fish for the children of Adam and Eve . From the platform of the Cross, Jesus was able to show us - not merely tell us - the nature of God. The veil of the temple was was rent in twain from the top to the bottom and Jesus stepped through the rent in the veil to reveal the nature of God to us .
A Church that considers itself a king instead of a prophet goes off the rails. A king tries to rule us without first shattering the illusions that foul our understanding of reality.A prophet shatters illusions so, in possession of the truth, we can rule ourselves. When the Church goes off the rails, the people of God suffer. For the Church to succeed, it must wield the right instrument. The greatest failure of Christianity happens whenever the kings usurp the prophets. If you want to win, bench the kings and put the prophets back onto the field and into the "game". If you want to lose, maintain the status quo. It is time for a revolution in Christianity. It is time to depose the kings and restore the prophets.
God Put the Church in Charge of Participation in the Escape Not Transformation
We do not transform ourselves. The Church does not transform us. Only God transforms us and he does so at the holy places where the love of God spills over the brim of his most Sacred Heart and onto us, like the dewfall. At the holy places, God's cup runneth over The job of the Church is to get us to participate in the new exodus. The job of God is to transform us. Participation, not transformation, is the job of the Church. Getting the children of Adam and Eve to participate in the escape is the responsibility of the Church. Blame the Church when rates of participation decline .
The Church in Crisis
"... the failure of episcopal leadership."
"...many faithful priests ... are tainted by this failure."
"...trust in the bishops has been damaged ..."
Excerpts from the August 16, 2018 statement of Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Why am I a Christian?
The current crisis in the Catholic Church is the opportunity that God has given us to take a fresh look at the question, 'Why am I a Christian?". Now that the rain is descending, and the floods are here, and the winds are blowing, the foundation on which we have built our Christianity becomes the focus of our attention . We wonder, 'Is the foundation strong enough to survive the storm?'. From time to time, it is a good thing to re-evaluate the substrate into which we have sunk the roots of our Christianity? Is it bedrock or is it sand ?
The current crisis in the Catholic Church demonstrates that Christians who have built the foundation of their Christianity on the clergy have built their Christianity on sand not bedrock. Sand is a very weak foundation on which to build one's Christianity.
Why am I a Christian? I am a Christian because my options are limited. I have no other choice . I am a rational creature and my rationality tells me that being a Christian advances my self-interest. Christianity puts me ahead in the "game". Christianity gives me a leg up - an advantage.
What advantage do I derive from being a Christian? To answer the question, we must first, as realists, acknowledge our circumstances. We must not be ostriches who bury their heads in the sand in fear of their hostile reality. We must lift up our heads to perceive the world in which we live.
What are the circumstances in which we live?
Relentlessly pursuing the sheep from behind through the hostile truth of the Valley of Tears is the new Pharaoh, the serpent, and his minions, the army of the new Egyptians, a pack of angry wolves hell-bent on devouring us. They are the hammer. The hammer is driving us toward the anvil. The anvil in front of us is the Red Sea of death. Without a miracle that parts the Red Sea of death for us, our destiny in the Valley of Tears is to be crushed between the hammer and the anvil. To make matters worse, many and merciless are the crosses that nail themselves to us as we pass through the Valley of Tears . The Valley of Tears is the vessel that holds the hostile truth in which we are baptized. In it, we stew for a lifetime like pickles in a barrel of toxic brine. In the Valley of Tears, God lets us stick our fingers into the flames to learn for ourselves that the fire is hot. God's supreme confidence in the liberating power of the truth - both the hostile truth and the hospitable truth - enabled him to say to us: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" . The Valley of Tears is a classroom in which the pedagogy is cruel - brutally cruel but effective.
The rod is not spared on the children of Adam and Eve in the Valley of Tears. Spare the rod and spoil the children .
As we pass through the Valley of Tears, we eat the bread of adversity and drink the water of affliction. The Valley of Tears is hostile territory. In the Valley of Tears, we find ourselves behind enemy lines. We are in danger. Our predicament in the Valley of Tears is dire.
Escape follows recognition.
After we recognize the direness of our predicament, it is only natural for us to look for the escape route out of the Valley of Tears. Rational creatures ask themselves, "What is the way out?"
Many potential escape routes, however, are dead ends. We cannot drink our way out of our dire predicament in the Valley of Tears although many attempts at doing so have been made. We cannot fuck our way out of it or drug our way out of it or spend our way out of it or even think our way out of it. We ourselves are helpless to escape it by dint of our own efforts or resources. There is only one way out of it. "I am the way." He said .
"No man cometh unto the Father, but by me" .
The best escape route through the hostile truth of the Valley of Tears to the promised land is Christianity.
Christianity offers the best solutions to our problems in the Valley of Tears. Christianity offers the best answers to life's most important and pressing questions.
What are life's most pressing questions?
There are three:
1) Regardless of our ages, we stand at the threshold of the Red Sea of death. Who will part the Red Sea of death for us?
2) The army of the new Egyptians is relentlessly pursuing the new Exodus through the Valley of Tears in an effort to return us to slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh. Who will keep us out of its clutches?
3) Many and merciless crosses are crushing us under their unbearable weight as we pass through the Valley of Tears. Who will teach us how to pick them up and carry them so we can continue to make progress to the promised land?
These are the three most pressing questions in life.
I am participating in the new Exodus that is making its escape through the Valley of Tears because I want my God to save me from being crushed between the hammer and the anvil. I am participating in the new Exodus because I need the miracle of salvation. By having close encounters with the living God at the holy places that define the escape route, God strengthens my faith
The promise of the miracle of salvation is why I am a Christian. Moreover, I am confident that my God will save me. I have faith.
What is the basis for my confidence that God will save me? Why am I so sure. What is the source of my faith?
I am privy to the conversation between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. In the conversation between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, the Son of God revealed the identity of God to us. In the Crucifixion we shouted our sharp question at him with lash, nails, thorns and spear. '"Who are you, Jesus? Identify yourself! Friend or foe?" Thankfully, He did not answer us in kind. He changed the tone of the conversation. He whispered his gentle answer back to us in the Resurrection. His asymmetric reaction to the evil we did to him was the answer to our question.
"I am your friend not your foe. I want to help you, not hurt you, as you pass through the hostile truth of the Valley of Tears.
I am the love note that our Father composed for you in heaven and sent to you at Bethlehem to console you in your misery here in the Valley of Tears.
Who is God? Jesus himself answered the question in his response to the evil we did to him. We tortured and killed him. He suffered and died. Yet, he did not stay dead and he did not stop loving us. He emerged from the dead still alive and still in love with us. That he emerged from the dead still alive revealed to us the power of Jesus. Nobody emerges from the dead. He did. That he emerged from the dead still in love with us, however, revealed to us something more significant about divinity than power. Our conception of divinity as power is incomplete. Divinity is also love. God is still head over heels in love with us despite the evil we did to him. God's power built paradise for us. God's love for us, however, makes paradise sweet. Power begets respect; but, love begets love.
The conversation between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection is the proof handed to us by God himself that God is a philanthropist not a misanthrope. My confidence that God will save the participants of the new Exodus is based on the incandescent truths that God revealed to us in the conversation between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. The conversation gives me great confidence in my Savior, Jesus the Christ, and in my salvation. The conversation between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection is the rock on which I rest my confidence that God will save me.
Besides, the script has already been written. Have you not read the script? Our immutable God will not rewrite the script. God rescued the Jews in the first Exodus. He will rescue those who participate in the new Exodus. He will not let us down. He will not disappoint.
Furthermore, as a bonus above and beyond rescue from being crushed between the hammer and anvil, Jesus bestowed upon us a gift that mitigates the damage done by the teeth and tongues of our crosses in the Valley of Tears. Jesus shared with us the "secret" to picking up and carrying my crosses. Jesus hung from his Cross to teach us how to hang from our crosses. When you hang as Jesus hung, cling as Jesus clung, love as Jesus loved. Hold tight and refuse to let go of love, sufferings invincible foe. Love kicks suffering's ass. Jesus transported from heaven to earth the technology of filling our hearts to the brim with love to enable us to pick up and carry our crosses. Furthermore, the Son of God demonstrated for us that the technology works by using it himself. He donned the jet pack and flew to show us that we, too, can fly. What a crazy daredevil this Jesus was.
I am a Christian because of Jesus not his clergy. The roots of my Christianity are planted in Jesus not his clergy. I and mine are participating in the new Exodus through the Valley of Tears because participating in it is the smart thing to do. The new Exodus is marching through the Valley of Tears hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm together as one family to the rhythmic beat of the loving heart of our living God!
The debauched clerical fraternity is held in opprobrium because, while they did evil, they flamboyantly wrapped themselves in the symbolism of Christianity as a patriot wraps himself in the flag .
The product and its sales force are inextricably intertwined. When the sales force is rotten, it is not unreasonable for existing and potential customers to conclude that the product being offered for sale is rotten as well. This is so regardless of the unassailable virtue of the manufacturer of the product and especially when the competition has cleaner hands.
Their collar and cassock, their very ordination itself, turns out to be nothing more than lipstick on a pig . Ontological change, my ass .
Bring forth fruits of your ontological change .
Our shepherds bind us with heavy burdens yet they behave as though the same laws have no applicability to them . Celibacy is for others not for them and their vows of celibacy they despise .
They have shown their true nature to us. They are untrustworthy hirelings - unreliable - not to be trusted.
The current crisis with the Catholic clergy has reduced the importance of their role in Christianity. Is the time ripe to discuss the proposition that a clergyless Christianity works better than a Christianity with clergy? Is such a situation possible? Is such a situation desirable?
The Star of the Show
The clergy are the ushers who shows us to our seats. God, however, is the star of the show. The Church goes off the rails when the clergy start to think that they are the stars of the show.
The testimony of the debauched clerical fraternity no longer has any credibility. It is defunct. Their treachery proves them dangerous and unreliable - not to be trusted. We suspect that all of them are fifth columnists. We have lost confidence in them. By consorting with wolves - by betraying the sheep -, our shepherds have squandered their trustworthiness. They have shredded their own reputations. Their value as witnesses to the truth has disintegrated. Their testimony is worth nothing.
The job of the clergy is to facilitate our escape from our dire predicament in the Valley of Tears not to frustrate it, filter it or foul it up . The job of the clergy is supposed to be that of servant of the escape not its saboteurs. Their sabotage makes my escape more difficult.
Yet, the fact of the matter is that I still need to make my escape so I shall continue to do so despite them. I have lost confidence in my treacherous shepherds but I have not lost confidence in Jesus.
My allegiance is not to the clergy. My allegiance is to Christ Jesus. I can separate the clergy from Christianity. Like Solomon, I can divide the baby in half .
Our alleged shepherds reek of wolf stink and the sheep are repelled by the smell of the reek.
The sheep are no longer sure whether their clergy are 1) shepherds , 2) hirelings or 3) wolves . Ambiguity now muddies the status of the clergy. Their claim to the title of shepherd is no longer accepted by the sheep at face value.
There is a strong likelihood that the claim may be spurious. Now such a claim must be accompanied by proof. If the clam is made, it now must be verified - no exceptions.
The relationship between shepherd and sheep was blown up as a bridge is blown up by sappers in war. Puff, it's gone. The shepherds themselves did the demolition . They shattered their own reputations.
Our shepherds did not just betray the sheep to the wolves . Oh, no. It is much worse than betrayal.
Our shepherds became the wolves. They stripped themselves of their sheep's clothing to reveal the orgiastic wolf inside .
Many rotten apples have spoiled the whole barrel - and all it takes is just one .
A bad sales force ruins a good product. A bad sales force destroys a brand. The Catholic brand is in tatters due to a bad sales force.
The meaning of the collar and cassock have changed for the worse. They have become a warning label, like the warning label on cigarettes, that the symbolism of Catholicism may be nothing more than lipstick on a pig .
A well founded skepticism has arisen in the sheep vis-a-vis their alleged shepherds together with the presumption that all members of the clerical fraternity are guilty until proven innocent. The membership of the clerical fraternity is presumed to know about the debauchery that is happening within their own wildly obscene frat house - all protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. We put the sheep in danger if we presume the innocence of their shepherds.
The reek of wolf stink is upon our alleged shepherds. The sheep are repelled by the smell of the reek.
First rectify this ambiguity before doing business as usual . Business as usual cannot proceed until the ambiguity is rectified. Words of apology do not rid the shepherds of the reek of wolf stink - unless the words are a guilty plea, if not for individual guilt, then for corporate guilt.
To rid our shepherds of the reek of wolf stink, - to renew the Catholic brand -, we need saints who use fewer words and show us more sacrificial love. We need silent saints who do not tell us about Christianity but show us Christianity - who put on a demonstration of sacrificial love as Jesus did from the platform of the cross.
The only way to distinguish amongst the shepherds , the hirelings and the wolves is by sacrificial love . Nothing else. The shepherd lays down his life for his sheep . Only sacrificial love will wash our clerics of their wolf stink.
The proof that must accompany a claim to the title of shepherd is for the claimant to lay down his life for his sheep - nothing less.
Words only beget words. Only love begets love.
The edifice of Christianity was hijacked from its foundation on the LOVE NOTE and transplanted onto a sterile spreadsheet where the bureaucrats of the Church keep track of the debits of sin and credits of grace. Without its roots sunk into the LOVE NOTE, the edifice of Christianity withers and die. To rescue the edifice of Christianity, we must replant it on its true foundation.
What is religion?
Religion is the search for the best answers to the fundamental questions of life. We are rational creatures. Questions and answers dance in the ballroom of our rationality as couples dance together on a dance floor. They give our world meaning. They either paint a true or a false picture of the world. Therefore, it is important to get them right.
Are you asking the right questions? How good are your answers? Have you figured out which questions are important and which are not?
More importantly, what is the source of your answers? From where do you derive them? Are you looking for the answers in the right places? Are your answers based on the truth or upon a weaker, more fragile foundation? Answers to the fundamental questions of life are not found by diving into the dumpsters of sin. Only God supplies the answers to the fundamental questions of life. Therefore, put yourself in the presence of God and listen. Put yourself into the presence of God at the holy places that define the escape route through the Valley of Tears from slavery under the yoke of Pharoah to freedom with God and his Holy Family in the promised land. The answers to the fundamental questions of life are found at the Holy Places of God.
God built an escape route through the Valley of Tears , defined the escape route with holy places, made a map of them, established a Church, entrusted the map to the Church and gave the Church the job of serving the new exodus as the new Moses.The Church has the map and knows the way .
The job of the Church is to facilitate the escape not to frustrate it, filter it or foul it up .
Participation is the job of the Church not transformation. Indeed, participation leads to transformation. But, transformation is the job of God not the Church. Getting the children of Adam and Eve to participate in the escape is the responsibility of the Church. Blame the Church when rates of participation decline .
"Nobody left behind" is the motto of the escape. "Neither saint nor sinner ." The life boats are not reserved just for saints . If they were, they would be empty because, by and large, saints are mythical creatures, like Nephilim or centaurs or unicorns or chimera . Everyone is invited to enter the life boats to make their escape. Admission is free. The ticket to the escape is purchased by repentance . But, only God checks your ticket . The Church does not. The Church is not a ticket booth to whom you must show your ticket in order to join the escape. Furthermore, the Church is not a conductor who checks your ticket at some point during the course of the escape. Your ticket is checked only after you have arrived at your destination.
The escape from godlessness to paradise is primary. Nothing else matters. Everything else is secondary. Anything that interferes is suspect .
The holy places that define the escape route are oasis of paradise that decorate the hostile desert of godlessness like the jewels of a beautiful necklace. At the holy places, close encounters with our living and loving God take place. During a close encounter, God transforms us. We do not transform ourselves. The Church does not transform us. Only God transforms us and he does so at the holy places that define the escape route. The medicine of transformation is found at the holy places and is administered by none other than God himself.
The holy places form the needle of a compass that always points in the direction of God. Only by moving from holy place to holy place can we be sure that we are heading in the right direction. Therefore, make haste to the holy places. Make haste! Sit at his feet. Rest your head on his bosom . Keep God company. Put yourselves in His presence .
The peasantry of Christianity has lost its respect for the aristocracy of Christianity. The aristocracy has squandered its claim to superiority by swimming in the cesspool of sin. The aristocracy is scrambling to regain the respect of the peasantry. However, they are not succeeding. The jig is up. They have knocked themselves off their high horse. They have hoisted themselves on their own petard. The medieval relationship between the peasantry and their so-called betters is irrevocably altered. Medievalism is no more. Without the respect of the peasantry, the aristocracy of Christianity has no authority. Ding-dong, the witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked witch.
Ding-dong, the wicked witch of authority is dead.
Perhaps, however, the demise of the pampered, self-indulgent aristocracy of Christianity is not such a bad thing. Perhaps it will catalyze the transformation of an authority driven Church into a truth driven Church.
Instead of making our escape though the Valley of Tears, across the Red Sea of Death, and into the Kingdom of God in two separate camps, peasantry and aristocracy, perhaps, we can merge together as equals in the hunt for God. Now, perhaps, we can become brothers and sisters of the escape, companions in the new Exodus instead of peasants whose role according to the aristocracy it to pray, pay and obey. Perhaps, without the difference in class,
we can now march through the Valley of Tears hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm together as one family, in one enterprise, to the rhythmic beat of the loving heart of our living God! Perhaps the aristocracy of Christianty will finally exchange superiority for humility and become, like us, peasants in the new Exodus - servants of the escape.
The modus operandi of the aristocracy of Christianity has been to try to jam doctrine down our throats by dint of omnipotence. This is a medieval not a modern tactic and it arose from a time when authority and hierarchy were rigid. Before we learned to read, write and think for ourselves, we docilely swallowed whatever the aristocracy jammed down our throats. Times have changed. We have changed. In modernity, we have learned to read, write and think for ourselves. Now, the aristocracy's tactic triggers our gag reflex. We regurgitate doctrine the aristocracy tries to jam down out throats against our wills. The command - obedience paradigm no longer works. A new approach, therefore, is needed. The appeal must be to our rationality. We must be persuaded. This dismays the medievalists. It discombobulates them. It makes them apoplectic. The modernists, however, are up for the challenge. In fact, they think an appeal to our rationality is the best way to go. In the new evangelization, the appeal is to our rationality. Aristorcrats who try to rule us by authority have no place in the new evangelization. There is no room for them. They haven't a place.