Yesterday evening my son decided I needed a good discussion. Or he did. But the topic was why do some nations continue throughout history and others do not. He has two hypotheses: one is that the West promoted individual responsibility — the tribe may have converted to Christendom, but you went to the priest and confessed as individuals, got baptized as individuals, and received the sacraments as individuals.
The second is that the West is evangelical in its Zeal to do right and correct the injustices in the world. From destroying slavery and piracy (which, together with an Islamic purge of the libraries, most famously the great library of Alexandria, destroyed the ancient civilization of the Greeks and Romans, by then well Christianized).
Playing Crusader Kings has made him learn some history. But that very evangelicalism, I pointed, relied on Faith. I was alluding to a passage for today. And, no, I don’t read ahead: this was memorized years ago.
16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
It is the duty of Christians to preach the gospel where they live. Which means, folks, that you will be hated. You will be hated because if you love and care for each other and for your spouse and children you will not hate, or despise, or make other’s lives miserable: and those whose lives are miserable will be jealous. This should affect how we live: we both reflected that we do this imperfectly
We then went for a walk through a hundred year old garden: the leaves are changing.
The second reason people will hate us is because we need to teach truth. The gospel is truth: as the disciples were imperfect, so are we, and as they doubt and question, so will we. But the truth needs no defence. Instead it is powerful and convicting. And the world does not want to be convicted. It wants to be comfortable, even as the policies and practices lead to destruction, it wants to hear nothing but pretty lies.
I think the first question we should ask the people who want to redefine marriage is this: “which parent to do you think that a child can do without? the mother or the father?”. We must do everything we can as a society to keep both of a child’s natural parents in the home while the child grows up. If we really care about children, then we should prefer to meet their needs, even if the grown-ups have to be a bit more responsible in their decision making. if the conflict is between innocent children and selfish grown-ups, then the children should win.
We need laws and policies that promote traditional marriage, not laws and policies that break it down and destroy it. Repealing no-fault divorce, lowering subsidies for single motherhood, and making shared parenting the default position, would all help solve the problem. Policies like school choice and lower corporate tax rates helps men to be able to perform in their role as provider. We have to be practical and ask: “what makes men capable of marriage and parenting?” If we want strong fathers, then it makes sense to ask how to make fatherhood more reasonable: what do men need in order to do what we want them to do?
Christians should be especially concerned about the presence of fathers, given the evidence I blogged about before showing how the presence of quality fathers is essential for passing Christian beliefs on to children. Churches need to ask themselves tough questions: Are we teaching women how to choose men based on practical concerns and proven abilities in our churches? And are we doing a good job of attracting men to churches by promoting the masculine, practical aspects of Christianity that men like – like science, apologetics debates, economics and foreign policy?
We live in a male only (and this is not good) geek household, where we alternate between discussions that get fairly long and involved and sitting around doing various tasks from studying, blogging to our hobbies. In this, one of my jobs is to be the sounding board that the boys use to work out ideas with. For outside the home, one has to deal with emotions, with the exquisite developed sensitivities of a society that is now blinded by those very sensitivities, and a general hatred of truth, honour and justice.
Our society has banned salt and regulates light. But truth subverts all regulation. Which brings us to the third reason we are hated: we are told to proclaim truth to all nations. Neither to be tribal and keep the truth to but one group, who we claim is favoured by God (British Isrealitism is a heresy, and similar heresies exist in most countries). And by preaching, we remove any excuse from our leaders. They have been told the truth. They can choose life or death, light or darkness. Choose life.