Short Critique On Eastern Orthodox’s Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option”

Rod Dreher with his call for cultural withdrawal via his “Benedict Option,” keeps saying “politics will not save us,” and as such Christians should give up on Washingtonian politics.

A few points,

1.) Whoever suggested that politics will save us?

2.) It is true that politics will not save us but it is also true that not doing politics will not save us either. So, what’s the point Rod?

3.) Where in Scripture do we find the authority to give up the antithesis in any area of life?

4.) Whatever happened to “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ” Rod?

5.) The answer to lousy saltiness is to become exceptionally lousy in our saltiness?

6.) One can not isolate and cordon off areas of life like this. Life is lived as an integrated whole. Because that is so if Christians were to retreat from Politics the consequence would be that pagan politics would go on the attack seeking to increasingly circumscribe the Christian witness in every other area of life.

We have to find a name to live by besides “Christian” because the way the “Christian” is used now is something God certainly abominates.

A Few Observations — Matthew 28:18-20

In the Great Commission, we see that the Christian, per marching orders from the Lord Christ, is required to be future oriented, message-oriented, and nation oriented.

Future-oriented because we have been given a teleology that requires us to be constantly looking to the future extension of the Kingdom. Message-oriented because we have been given a set core of truth that is required to be transmitted. Nation oriented because we are tasked with discipling nations as nations.

In the Great Commission Christ created in His people a future orientation. He left them a task that gave them a teleology … a goal. With that goal of seeing the present Kingdom ever expanded they were oriented towards the future. They were not to be past- oriented nor present-oriented. They were to be future-oriented

As Harvard Scholar Banfield put it, “[T]he individual’s orientation toward the future will be regarded as a function of two factors: (1) ability to imagine a future, and (2) ability to discipline oneself to sacrifice present for future satisfaction.”

The Great Commission fulfills these two requirements. In assigning the Great Commission there is an imagined future when the Nations bow to Christ and secondly God’s people have decidedly modeled an ability to discipline oneself to sacrifice for the future.

A future orientation can manifest itself in many ways.

1.) Entrepreneurs forgo short term pleasure spending so they can plow their profits back into the business.

2.) Students being trained in highly skilled abilities will eat Macaroni and cheese or live in less than ideal housing so they can reap the larger benefits down the road.

3.)  Trustee families forgo present splurging looking to benefit future generations.

4.) In this text, the future orientation implied is connected with the Missionary endeavor to see Christ’s Kingdom expand. What we see in Scripture is the enduring of hardships so the future would be characterized as the Nations bowing to Christ. The willingness to undergo present hardship so that the future would look increasingly Christian.

I.) With the great Commission, Christ ensures that His people will be a future-oriented people.

This past week I’ve been working through a book that deals with the history of Communist Revolution. One thing that is clearly seen starting with Robespierre and Babeuf and working through Chernyshevsky, Tkachev, and Lenin is that though they were loathsome people they were future oriented. They gave up everything in the present in order to work towards a utopian future in which they believed.

This future orientation used to be characteristic of Christians. They envisioned the swelling of Christ’s future Kingdom and sacrificed in the short term to see that future become the present.

Of course future orientation, that identification marker once characteristic of Christians is no longer seen.  The modernists, not being able to ever have enough golden eggs, finally kills the golden goose in hopes of getting more. The instant gratification of materialism and of sexual license that bespeaks a presentism, ever beckons us to be unfaithful to our wives, unfaithful to our children and unfaithful to God.

Christians are to be future oriented and the future orientation is tied to leaving a godly inheritance to subsequent generations. That godly inheritance includes discipling our children so that they can be future oriented so that they will disciple their children.

Without Christ man is characterized by a sin and guilt that works in him a presentism that says, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow ye die.” In Christ death which paid for our sin and guilt we’ve been released from our inherent presentism to be future oriented and so to work for the extension of the Kingdom in being hearlders of the Great Commission, first to our covenant children, then to our extended Kin and then to our nation and then to the Nations. Our own Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the Earth.

II.) Message Oriented

“teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;”

And what had Jesus commanded them? Well, only what the Father had ever commanded His people and that is to walk in terms of God’s gracious Covenant Law Word.

Jesus Himself had said,

17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not [h]the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches [i]others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever [j]keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

So, when Jesus gives the Great Commission here he is reaffirming the standard and normalcy of God’s law. The Nations would not be regenerated or Justified by observing God’s law but upon being regenerated and Justified …. having been made right before God they would now be a people who would love God’s law and delight in it both day and night.

Jesus did not come and give a new law as if He were a new God. When Jesus tells those disciples to teach the Nations to observe all that He commanded them He was authorizing them to be Champions of God’s law.

There would yet remain many Nations but each of those nations were to be ruled by God’s One Mediator and God’s One Law. Here we see, in microcosm, the idea of unity in diversity.

III.) Nation Oriented

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them

If all the Church had was this one passage it would be enough to suggest that Christianity is a religion that affirms nations and so a biblical Nationalism. Of course, this idea of Nations coming into the Church as Nations has lost its luster and has been replaced by a kind of Christian Cosmopolitan Internationalism where the first requirement for being Christian is that we forgo our National identity. We seem to be agreeing with enemies of the Church like Adam Weishaupt who could say,

“Princes and nations will disappear without violence from the earth, the human race will become one family and the world the abode of reasonable men.”

-Adam Weishaupt, quoted in Paul Johnson, Intellectuals (London: Orion Books Limited, 1993), p. 32

Contrary to Weishaupt, and all New World Order types, Rev. Hugh M’Neile could properly offer,

“We cannot agree in that cosmopolitan view of Christianity which undermines the particularities of our National Establishment, any more than we could agree in such a cosmopolitan view of philanthropy as would extinguish domestic affections, in all their vivid and constraining peculiarity of influence.”

Rev. Hugh M’Neile, M.A.
Sermon — Nationalism in Religion
Delivered — 08 May, 1839

Christ here affirms Nations. It is the Nations as nations to which we are to Teach, Baptize and convert and as we learn in the book of Revelation it is Nations as Nations which are found in the New Jerusalem.

“Nationalism, within proper limits, has the divine sanction; an imperialism that would, in the interest of one people, obliterate all lines of distinction is everywhere condemned as contrary to the divine will. Later prophecy raises its voice against the attempt at world-power, and that not only, as is sometimes assumed, because it threatens Israel, but for the far more principal reason, that the whole idea is pagan and immoral.

Now it is through maintaining the national diversities, as these express themselves in the difference of language, and are in turn upheld by this difference, that God prevents realization of the attempted scheme… [In this] was a positive intent that concerned the natural life of humanity. Under the providence of God each race or nation has a positive purpose to serve, fulfillment of which depends on relative seclusion from others.”

-Geerhardus Vos,
Biblical Theology

The way the Nations are gathered is by Baptism,

Marxism as a Christian Heresy

Demonstrating that Communism is a Christian heresy.

“Tkachev zeroed in on a mushy contradiction in the Marxian construct: the contradiction between the Marx’s doctrine of the inevitability of the revolutionary cataclysm and proletarian triumph through economic determinism and the need of young revolutionaries to organize and act and play a meaningful role rather than simply to ride passively on ‘the wave of the future.'”

Eugene Methvin
The Rise of Radicalism — pg. 221

Note what is going on here. Marx posited a humanist predestinary note by insisting upon the “inevitability of the revolutionary cataclysm and proletarian triumph through economic determinism,” and yet if all this is predestined then there is nothing that humans need to do to aid what is inevitable. With Marx’s humanist predestination men had become stocks and blocks. Tkachev provides an answer by injecting consciousness into the masses. It is unsatisfactory but it is an answer,

“The very difference between a violent revolution and a so-called ‘gradual-revolution’ lies precisely in the fact that the revolutionary minority is no longer willing to wait, but takes upon itself the task of forcing consciousness upon the people.”

Tkachev’s answer here to Marx’s contradiction is that while revolution is indeed inevitable, it can be speeded along by injected consciousness upon the people so that violent revolution speeds along the inevitability of it all. So, Tkachev would help along the Marxian Predestination but of course wouldn’t even the time of predestination be likewise predestined so that Tkachev isn’t really helping speed along the Marxian revolution?

Marx’ works themselves also likewise support the idea that his theory was merely Christian heresy. Marx’s Communist Manifesto capsulized the fundamental concepts of Marxist ideology as,

1.) Marx — The in group-out group identification of the class struggle.

Marxism — Proletariat as in-group. Bourgeoise as out-group.

This parallels the Christian idea of in group-out group identification of the struggle to advance God’s Kingdom

Christianity — Christian as in-group. Non-Christian as out-group.

2.) Marx — The idea of a chosen class

Marxism — Proletariat as the chosen class.
Christianity — The Elect as the chosen class.

3.) Marx — Economic determinism

Marxism — Historical of dialectical materialism
Christianity — Predestination via God’s Ordination

4.) Marxism — Inevitability of Proletarian triumph

Christianity — Inevitability of the triumph of God’s people in the context of God’s Kingdom

5.) Marxism –Obsessive future orientation (fixation on a seductive future that devalues the present)

Christianity — The postmillennial future orientation that avoids a devaluing of the present by understanding that the future is the trajectory of a well lived present.

6.) Marxism — The commitment to violence

Christianity — When the Kingdom of God breaks into this present age it is breaking into the domain of Satan and sin (see Ephesians 2:2) and does so unto overthrowing Satan’s present evil age as by conflict.

In the end, Marxism is merely a Materialistic heresy that owes its origins to Christianity as bastardized by the Serpent.

Von Stein on Difference Between Socialism and Communism

“Socialism is essentially different from Communism, which has a purely negative character vis-a-vis the present state of things, or which aspires in a confused and unconscious manner to realize the idea of a new social order which it conceives of vaguely. The difference is essential; socialism is positive, whereas communism is negative, socialism wishes to create a new society, whereas communism wishes to destroy the present society … Socialism wishes to realize its ends by the power of truth, whereas communism wished to do it by the violence of the crowd, by revolution and crime.”

Lorenz Von Stein
Socialism and Communism in Today’s France — A Contributed to Contemporary History — pg. 28

Newly Discovered Letter From Uncle Screwtape to Wormwood …”Destroy Distinctions”

Yesterday I was doing some research in the libray and I came across an old book titled, “From the Cutting Floor.” It contained passages from classics that ended up, for one reason or another, being edited out of the final published work.

The following passage did not make it into C. K. Lewis’ “Screwtap Letters.”

My Dear Wormwood,

Word us gone out from our Father below that an all-out assault on that which went by the detestable name of “Christendom” must be pursued. Even old Slubgob is going to be forced from behind his desk and be sent to the new front. Doubtless, once the fighting gets hot all resources will be poured in there.

Until the day arrives we are to prepare the ground by continuing our work in and among our assigned deep state human minions.  Remember, our motto here continues to be, “By way of deception, thou shalt do war.”

Our goal here remains the pulling down of the Enemy and his influence. The task that we’ve been assigned for the softening up phase of the recently announced assault is to make the minds of our oblivious humans no longer capable of making any distinctions at all. It really doesn’t matter what those distinctions are, our goal is to make damn sure that humans continue to embrace the facile idea that distinctions are evil and that noticing the differences that proper distinctions bring forth is a blasphemy worthy of being criminalized over. The fact that we are at this stage means our work thus far has been a success. Even the bureaucrats at HQ, Bleedbeard and Remphan have admitted as much.

However, we must not rest on our previous successes. We must continue to push our advantage against the Enemy. We must continue to resist, for now, the direct assault, and instead, do our sidewinder work.  As I’ve taught you since you took this assignment, frontal assaults are not the work of Junior or even Senior Tempters. Our goal is to destroy people and peoples without them even knowing they’ve been destroyed.

As this remain true, in preparation for the grand assault planned, we are to continue to loosen people from those loyalties that the cursed Enemy has always used as his means of determining the ground where the fighting would be done. We have forever been fighting on his terrain. Our job is make him fight on our terrain.  The way we go about that is to detach the verminseed (humans) from their natural loyalties. We are to detach them from their natural attachments of family, place, people, and faith. In doing so we isolate them from any context and support nexus that they might rely upon in order to withstand our coming direct assault.

Concretely this means we must continue to champion Internationalism in our politics pressing for a Globalist order which will eliminate the cursed idea of Nations. We must be careful here. We thought we had this battle won long ago at a place called Babel, but the Enemy decided to Nuke our work there and we’ve been in repair mode ever since.

This work of eliminating nations is part and parcel of the work of destroying distinctions. We do want our verminseed thinking in terms of borders or people groups. The presence of these kinds of macro distinctions in the verminseed’s heads makes it easier for them to continue to see the macro distinction that is the goal of all our destructive work; to wit, the Creator – Creature distinction. And so my dear Wormwood, your goal is to continue to sell Globalism. If you’re doing your job well you will make Globalism so attractive that it will be seen as the Christian (cursed be that word) position.  Our highly placed “Christian” (cursed be that word) Clergy will teach this is the only position for those who believe in the Fatherhood of the Enemy and the Brotherhood of all men. Always keep before you that the goal here isn’t really Internationalism or Globalism. These are just means by which the real goal is arrived at and that is the destruction of that vile, maggot infested, bloody thing called the Christian (cursed be that word) faith.

The work of eliminating ethnic, family, and gender, distinctions follows from this Wormy.  We will obliterate that bent and twisted faith called Christianity (cursed be that word), not by direct assault on the King of the Enemy above but rather as by sideways in pulling down all the Enemy’s infrastructure and institutions. We will eliminate the sense of belonging to ethnic and family structures. In doing so we will strip from people any idea that worthwhile distinctions exist in their identity. By belonging to everyone they will belong to no one and by belonging to no one they will then be ripe fruit falling into the hands of those who teach that there is nothing to live and die for and no religion too. If we can convince the verminseed that they have no identity then we can convince them easily that distinct identity itself is wicked. If they belong to no people, if they are neither masculine nor feminine, if family has no connection to blood so that any combination can be arrived at as “family,” if we can so reinterpret their faith as that which teaches and supports a distinctionless world then we have finally achieved our precious tabula rasa and we ourselves can start writing our full story upon them via the work of our social engineers Fathers Grimgrit and Glewglaub.

Keep in mind that in all this one of our oldest tools remains our best tool. From the beginning, we have used the tool of Gnosticism to leverage them away from their corporeality. This is what we are still doing here in the modern world. We want them to disassociate themselves from their humanness. Get them so focused on being “Spiritual beings” that they conclude that acknowledging their corporeal identity as given to them by the Enemy is immature and even sinful. Sell hard the idea that our Father below himself came up with; “As Christians (cursed be that word) all are spiritually one, therefore, race, or ethnicity, or gender, or place does not matter because all are one in the Enemy’s King.” Tease out the implications for them and do so my using our Clergy henchman. Have our Clergy minions teach from their romper room pulpits that The Enemy above is pleased with all colors bleeding into one. Remember, Distinctions are the enemy and if we can so maul and bloody the reputation of distinctions then the Christian (cursed be that word) will forever be defeated. The defeat of Christianity and Christendom (cursed be those words) is the ultimate goal here. Everything else is subservient to that end.

Of course, it’s been policy since the spread of Christianity (cursed be that word) to Europe to especially seek to destroy the White European Civilization. They have been public Enemy #1 on our hit list in order to pull down that pretender who sits in Heaven above. It’s not that we think that the White European is special. Indeed, in and of himself he most certainly is not. But for whatever reason, that Old Fool in Heaven above has decided to set the White European people apart to be the carriers of his damnable religion. As such, if we destroy the Nations of the White European people we destroy the White European Civilization and if we destroy White European Civilization then we destroy the Christian (cursed be that word) faith as it has uniquely existed as a Civilizational creating reality. Sure, even once this is accomplished there will remain flotsam and jetsam non-European micro Christian civilizations that will have to be mopped up but if we bring down the White-European beast all others will soon follow. Cut off the head and the rest of the body will die. This is why your attack on the evil white man must continue Wormwood. Never let up on your rending and tearing of the Christian (cursed be that word) White-European’s wicked history of oppression and victimizing. Keep telling our hackneyed story of Colonialism and Conquering. Keep impressing upon their children how the world would have been a better place had it not been for Christian (cursed be that word) White culture. The critical theory of our foot soldiers, the Cultural Marxists, is our friend here.

I’ve spent time here encouraging you to do your work Wormwood but now I must give the other side of the coin. If you fail, if the ideas of Christian Nationalism and Patriotism and Patriarchy are allowed to return as ascendant, if White European Christian Civilization makes a comeback, if the recognition of ethnicity, family, gender, and place waxes strong again, if Distinctions are once again recognized as Enemy above honoring  you and everyone else responsible will be reduced to ash. There will be no leniency. We have not done all this work to turn a blind eye to an incompetence that makes us lose all. Losses like those suffered at Babel, and Golgotha, and Tours, and Vienna, and Lepanto will not go unpunished and you know how our Father below excels in punishing those who have disappointed him.

So, your first assignment is to bring the heretofore “conservative” Church into the fold of our war outlined above. Your task is to weaponize the Church against the ideas of nation, ethnicity, family, gender, and place. I don’t care if your clergy clients weaponize the new Christianity (cursed be that word) as willing tools or as duped fools, but weaponize it against distinctions they must. Put the language of our brethren, the Cultural Marxists, on the lips of the Clergy. Make the clergy turn the politics of the Cultural Marxist into the politics of the Enemy above. That shouldn’t be hard. We’ve been doing that for over 100 years now.

You’re safe as long as you do your job. Fail to do your job Wormwood and I will be your first and worst enemy.

Uncle Screwtape