Beware of the leaven. Beware of those who add to the gospel, who seek extra things, who move to bring secular philosophy into the church and call it Christian. Far better these things remain secular. Including our poets. This is Oliver describing Baxter at the end of his life.
The secular poet can take Esau and move him to the ferryman: the believer can not this do: but the critic and poet can.
Man (you’re coming across!) I see you
Shamble at a tangent, an ill-dressed shade
Heading down to the river, a hairy Esau,
Where Charon is waiting to have you weighed
To dump your pack, chuck costume aside –
The loosely tied dogma, the pet philosophies
And all the gear made for the mind to tease….
There is much beauty and truth and honour in the secular world. There is also much evil and pride and greed and pandering to our base desires. That which is good and true and of good repute we should think on: but the life of those who go too far into that world we need not follow.
Within the past 200 years, the Word of God has come under assault by those who would “improve” upon it with secular wisdom (ha!) or other sources of “authority”: Rastafarianism, Americanism, Anglo-Israelism, Community of the Lady of All Nations, Feeneysim , Modernism, The Downgrade Controversy, Positive Christianity, Reincarnationism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Word Faith Movement, Dominionism, The Prosperity Gospel, Jesus is a Communist, Jesus is a Republican, Personal McBadboy-Biker Jesus, Jesus-is-my-pal-and-he-loves-me-like-a-biscuit and so on and so forth.
Isn’t this just a little too perfect to have this hidden knowledge (Gnosticism) to come about at the time when Christian men are crying out to God for relief from the biblical flood of sluts their sinful fathers and grandfathers gave them? I’ve been convinced GBFM is right about Game and Christianity. It’s yet another temptation of Christian men to churchianize and incorporate secular wisdom (read: half-truths) into our lives that we men on these forums loathe to see in our Churches when those very lies crush us.
The secular has its place. Most of us work in the world: we are part of the marketplace. The Salt is no good in the salt-cellar: the light is no good shut up. We are supposed to influence the world around us. The theologians talk about general grace, that which is good and true that all can see, and should lead one to worship that which makes it all, and not that which we can see, and touch, and is beautiful, if only for a fleeting time.
We are mortal, as Roger Devlin reminds us. We cannot undo the choices we make: and every choice we make limits the degrees of freedom we have. To not choose is in its way a form of acedia, and that was considered a deadly sin. He expands from the obvious statement that one cannot both be an elite athlete and have a professional career, for one precludes the other.
The reason for this, of course, is that important enterprises demand large amounts of time and dedication, but the men who undertake them are mortal. For every possibility we realize, there will be a hundred we must leave forever unrealized; for every path we choose to take, there will be a hundred we must forever renounce. The need for choice in this sense is what gives human life much of its seriousness. Those who drift from one thing to another, unable to make up their minds or finish anything they have begun, reveal thereby that they do not grasp an essential truth about the human condition. They are like children who do not wish to grow up.
Now, sexual choices, especially for women, are analogous to a man’s in regard to his calling. Inherently, they cannot be made as easy and reversible as choosing flavors of ice cream. But this is what sexual liberation attempts to do. The underlying motive seems to be precisely a fear of difficult choices and a desire to eliminate the need for them. For example, a woman does not have to think about a man’s qualifications to be a father to her children if a pill or a routine medical procedure can remove that possibility. There is no reason to consider carefully the alternative between career and marriage if motherhood can be safely postponed until the age of forty (as large numbers of women now apparently believe). What we have here is not a clear gain in the amount of choice, but a shift from one sense of the word to another—from serious, reflective commitment to merely doing as one desires at any given time. Like the dilettante who dabbles in five professions without finally pursuing any, the liberated woman and the playboy want to keep all their options open forever: they want eternal youth.
The attempt to realize a utopia of limitless choice in the real world has certain predictable consequences: notably, it makes the experience of love one of repeated failure. Those who reject both committed marriage and committed celibacy drift into and out of a series of what are called “relationships,” either abandoning or being abandoned. The lesson inevitably taught by such experiences is that love does not last, that people are not reliable, that in the end one has only oneself to fall back on, that prudence dictates always looking out for number one. And this in turn destroys the generosity, loyalty, and trust which are indispensable for family life and the perpetuation of our kind.
Devlin argues that marriage should never dissolve: it should be a one way door. To do this, you have to accept the fact that some marriages will indeed be a struggle: some people are difficult and, since we assortively mate, the difficult tend to marry the difficult. At times there will be a separation.
The reformed do not go as far as Devlin. The Pagan, the secular, is allowed to divorce and to what they will. But they are not to be seen as an example: that would be letting the secular in.
This leads on to what we need to do. Let us accept that Devlin’s description of the current situation is accurate: there is a lack of restraint and thus women seek to upgrade to the best person they can find. If Angelina Jolie can trade up to Brad Pitt, so can they (and the pain of Jolie’s previous husband or the previous Mrs Pitt is conveniently forgotten).
To teach men to imitate the cads and narcissists: those who damage, whom we would not want our sisters and daughters to marry, should not be internalized within the church. It is a perversion of male leadership.
In sum, my concern is that the manosphere teaches young men to emulate anti-social and pathological traits. Women then reinforce these traits with one of the most powerful inducements of all: sex. And, over time, otherwise good men become the kind of men they would never allow around their own sisters and daughters. This is moral corruption. Namely, moral corruption by teaching men to conform to emancipated female desire rather than to correct it.
The manosphere provides the New Right with all the theoretical premises necessary for a patriarchal sexual counter-revolution that reinstitutes traditional and — it turns out — biologically sound norms and institutions to govern sexuality, thereby promoting the individual happiness of men and women and the common good of society and the race in general.
But in practical terms, the manosphere does not promote such a restoration, but instead urges an ethic of “riding the tiger” (or perhaps the cougar), i.e., to personally wallow in — and thus to amplify and advance — the decadence that we are supposed to combat.
I have been broken by divorce: for the last few years I have concentrated on raising sons. And I have learned not to look for sex. This has led to three things: the first is a sense of peace in my relationships with the woman I love, because I have less guilt about the cad part of my nature I can hold frame and be a rock when she needs that. The second is that, by living apart and raising our children, I am avoiding the legal ramifications that come with cohabitation — particularly relating to providing stability to our children. The final thing is that cohabitation and fornication means one cannot approach the word of God or pray: your sins are unconfessed.
I have enough to repent of.
On a more general note, this secular age will end. The idea that the sexual revolution will not lead to repression is false: we are seeing the parallel to the Jacobite Terror among the SJW where all relations and conversations — from the most innocent to the most sexual — must follow a code more rigid than the most obsessive Pharisaical laws.
Let the secular try to adapt to the world. They will fail. We have a better goal and a longer view: we need to seek God. Looking there, instead for infinite choice (sexual or otherwise) will lead to us doing our duty.
And duty has always been a better guide than emotion.