The temple will not save you [Jer 7]
The decline of the West did not begin this century. Or the last. The seeds were set during the Victorian era, when the enlightenment led to science deciding that anything that smacked of the divine was cheating. And if God did not create, we better find explanations. From this came the first modern myth: we have solved physis (due to Newton’s mechanics) and the differentiation of species (not due to Gregor Mendel, but Charles Darwin).
The second was that we can control history, and build a utopia. Bacon was wiser… the word means not of this world. Marx was not.
By 1904 this had led to a “scientific” theology that rejected the incarnation, miracles, and espoused doing good and being happy as the chief aims of man. It was not this way in older times. The older theologians said the chief aim of man was to know God and enjoy him forever, and in this world to love your neighbour, who most challenging was your grumpy and frail parents.
In speaking of Tradition, I could elaborate on how indispensable is the shared communal worship that all may engage in, rituals and common beliefs concerning the great life events of births, marriages, and deaths. Religion is naturally one of the mighty roots of Tradition that keep the Tree of Humanity firmly implanted in good soil. However, a twin root I’m focusing on is the necessity for deep and lasting bonds between people, which manifest themselves most clearly in familial relations. Every civilization subsists on these strong family ties.
Old-style family values are out of vogue in the West. Remnants still live on in first generation immigrants as on occasion we hear of the Pakistani man, a former doctor in his homeland, living in America as a humble janitor in a two bedroom apartment, skimping on necessities to send money home to his destitute relatives. Most have heard a rendition of this tale concerning our grandparents or at least a great grandparent in the annals of ancestry. Yet, the idea of sacrificing for one’s family is naturally repugnant to our generation. While the twenty-two-year-old Italian immigrant in 1910 was sending back half of his earnings to his parents living in rural poverty, the millennial of today has his college tuition, and room-and-board paid for by his parents. To be beholden to another in such a way is akin to being laden with a heavy burden, and America is about throwing off the shackles of any ‘burden.’ Dare I say; the traditionalist placed the ‘burden’ before the self.
Filial piety taught a son or daughter to set the family in a place of utmost importance. Parents were a respected authority for they gave life and innumerable sacrifices to a child. In a land that has forgotten honor, Christians are commanded to honor their father and their mother in return. This honoring entails engaging in proper conduct towards parents and neighbors in order not only to provide immediate assistance but also to maintain a good reputation for one’s own family name. We have this vague sense that historically a man’s prosperity was interwoven with his family’s; that to flourish and live well on the farm, all hands were indispensable. Indeed, not only general
You can see modernity in the comments below: the person who said that his former Polish lover was the most beautiful of women. In older times he would have husbanded her, or she would have wifed him up. The confidence of the Victorians should have been shattered by the new physics of Einstein or he rediscovery of the irrational within us, and our natal sin, by Freud. (Freud, of course, saw this as a neurosis to be cured by copious copulation).
The elite was now constructing a narrative of unbelief. And God is not to be mocked. That elite died in the charnel house that was the first world war, and three empires with them. The first war was the beginning of a long war that lasted until the war came down. By then, there were no aristocrats. The party men and the civil servants ran a secularized state.
And we now wonder why we are being invaded. God is never to be mocked. If he did not spare the Jews with the temple and Muses, he will not spare the West.
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah, you that enter these gates to worship the LORD. 3Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place. 4Do not trust in these deceptive words: “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.”
5For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, 6if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, 7then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever.
8Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail. 9Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are safe!” — only to go on doing all these abominations? 11Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the LORD. 12Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13And now, because you have done all these things, says the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently, you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your ancestors, just what I did to Shiloh. 15And I will cast you out of my sight, just as I cast out all your kinsfolk, all the offspring of Ephraim.
Jeremiah says many things here. It matters not that our public heritage is Christian. What matters is what we do in this gneration and in our circumstances. It matters that we are human, that we have empathy to those around us, and do not disavow the bonds of family and nation. That we care for our parents — it is as strong a command as not killing — and that we do good and see justice happen.
That the poor are not held in that state.
What the elite do is leave the temple alone, thinking that it is unneeded, and go to the meeting house of Ba’al, where they do not have those pesky prophets and they can signal they are virtuous, to the praise of many.
Regardless of what this does to the culture. Regardless of what it does to the people. You can tell by the consequences of actions and ideologies if they were good. For without vision, the people will perish, and without the Spirit of God being upon us we will descend into violent barbarism.
Or tin eared, arrogant stupidity.
I saw elsewhere that Watson picked inventor for Belle because, otherwise, “What did she do with her time?”
Again, that shows such an egregious lack of understanding of life in the past as to be truly alarming. There was a reason every man used to need a wife. Taking care of daily needs was a full-time job. Either you had servants to do it for you, like the Beast, or you had a wife—or in this case, daughter—who saw to the daily needs while you worked, or you did it yourself, and probably could not make a good living, as these things took so much time.
Even in the movie, we see Belle go shopping—a daily task, as there is no refrigerator, feed the chickens, and perform other daily tasks. Believe me, if Belle found time to read in among the responsibilities of daily life, that was quite amazing.
Also, Watson so misunderstands the bookloving mind that she decided that the only reason Belle is not traveling to go on adventures like that herself is: because her father is too overprotective and won’t let her go.
Never mind them being too poor to travel widely. Everyone knows the only reason Medieval young women were not jetsetting around the Continent was—overprotective parents.
This modern narrative is … provincial. It is blind. it does not see that there are greater and more terrible things afoot. It has desided there is no evil, and now finds that it can do nothing good.
It is not post Christian. It is pagan: and facing a tribe of invaders, sponsored by that historic enemy of the West, the Turk, it has nothing to say.
To which I say we have a witness against us, hated by the Narrative, and it is Russia. Who, for all its faults, has again become faithful, is shinning the rainbow coloured poison that the narrative preaches, and again is gaining confidence. May such a revival happen to us all.
For the Soviets who rejected the Temple are now a footnote in history. So will be those of this narrative. Do not be aligned with them in their failure.