Taken from the sight “The Way of the Fathers” , on emperor Julian.
The Emperor Julian (“the Apostate”), in his drive to re-paganize the empire, tried to weaken Christian opposition by dividing it, setting one faction against another. He restored heretical bishops who had been deposed, so that major cities would have two competing bishops. He offered prominent Catholics high positions, so that he could neutralize them while claiming their support. Meanwhile, he made the requirements for schoolteachers so stringently pagan that no Christian could fulfill them. Banished from the public square, Christianity could be minimized as a cultural force. According to a recent biographer, Julian “marginalised Christianity to the point where it could potentially have vanished within a generation or two, and without the need for physical coercion.” Said Julian: “If they want to learn literature, they have Luke and Mark: Let them go back to their churches and expound on them.” Julian wished to remove Christians from public discourse – drive them into a cultural ghetto.
We have all heard the expression “Know history or be doomed to repeat it” , or some variation of the saying. How often have we learned that lesson though? I came accross the above excerpt by chance today, and it rang eirely true.
Case in point – Regardless of how much you like the current president, or for that much the last several presidents, which ever side of the issue you were on, one thing has seemed to ring true with them, they at one odd or another, would “Side” with certain religious leaders. President Bush was keen to Pope John Paul II, until his war on terror, which the church had odds with – I think President Clinton seemed to like the Dhali Llama (and who even knows why) , And obviously president Obama, has his own preferences, not mentioning his rather angry pastor (who…isnt his pastor? So confused…), but also including in his mix, very high profile Catholics (Biden, Pelosi, SotoMayor,Sebilious and the Ambassador to Malta, who’s name escapes me) – All of whom are at odds with what the church teaches (like it or not..they are…sorry…no fight on that one..and I am speaking Big C church)
But what is smart (of him here) here is, they are legitimized in the public mind, because they have high ranking posts – So we catholics, literally, have taken to fighting amongst ourselves, since you have again, high ranking Catholics… who are at odds with the church. Who do we go to except for our elders? In this day, age, and society, our “elders” in the sense of the word, those who point us in direction, tend to be our elected officials. We take queues from them on a great many things
Still further, we have Very prominent Pro Choice, and (sorry to my gay friends), Pro Gay Rights Pastors, further separating the flock in allegience, and who they follow . You might say “Sure the church, and bible teaches this… but that was old news..and Pastor so and so is a good guy who has helped people in africa, etc etc etc… so he CANT be the bad person you make him out to be”
And you know what? You are probably right – In those cases, I feel more pity for the Man of God, whether he be priest, protestant minister, or whatever, for being played a puppet in a much larger show – This again though, places Christians at odds
Even simpler, is the overwhelming approach to so called “Social Justice” issues – from teh perspective of cowpenning Christians into going against their conscience , things like
“If you really cared for the poor, as Jesus said to, you would have no problem helping the poor via the government”
Or “Jesus Preached love, not hate…so why do you discriminate homosexuals (which we dont… but we do point out the scriptural error that is there… IE… dont do it, in so many words)
Or my favorite ” No where in the scripture does it say you cant have abortions/contraceptive, so you are making things up, better the child doesnt starve to death or the mother go broke trying to take care of the child.. it will just never get ahead (and YES people think this..and say it I dont make it up)“ (Though I would argue…’Thou shalt not Kill” and “Before you were in your Mother’s womb I knew you” to be strong indictators of that…alas I digress)
There are good, kind hearted people who are called to lead..who have fallen into these traps, and , again…I pity them more then I am angry for them – They really in their mind have little choice, else there be a credibility issue, or they seem to compromise their own principles, so at the risk of that, approach the scriptures as a sort of cafeteria.. “Well this really means this” or” This applied 2000 years ago…not today…people are intelligent now!”
We really as a people, as a Christian people need to realize what is going on here , and The Current president…and past Presidents are not the culprit. They are mearly being played the pawn as well – If you Minimize the Christian voice, you neutralize the Christian Message, which at its core is something like this, God loves you, you have a purpose, and you can become something with his Grace alone (feel free to quoate..I just made it up about 10 minutes ago, Cathechism in a glance:) ) Once Christians start arguing amongst ourselves, society doesnt see it so much as Doctrinal Disagreements…as much as “Oh Those cooks cant get along… religions wage wars… I dont believe in anything” -
Pause on that end result for a moment…. “I dont beleive in anything… I choose reason” – One might say, reason is a good thing, and it can be. But just like fundamentalist religion is bad…so is fundamentalist reasoning. The core of science is being prepared to accept other outcomes, reality, etc. So to fall into that rutt, is a very dangerous place to be, because you become victim to the concretes you have established, alas I digress yet again, but, this is a dangerous thought and place of mind to be in one that says ” I am here once… and I dont need help from anyone else” (BTW,,,that is classic narcisism… go look it up if you dont beleive me)
I guess what I am getting at is we all need each other more then ever now adays… and especially the Christian Community – we have to hold fast to what was taught by the Man himself..not cherry pick it.. Just simply present it as is – We need to be the Lamp that is on a pedestal…not one that is in the corner (or ghetto culturally) – Ever been in a room that has something in the middle? Its damned inconvenient
WE need to be inconvenient again.. Too long have we allowed ourselves to be put in the corner, or to be labeled as one light in a room of lights, but What happens with many small lights? Shadow… shadow exists between the lights,
The president…I repeat..the president… is not the culprit here… but the Prince of Shadows. Its high time we as Christians…realized this, quit fighting amongst ourselves.. and be a Unified light to conquer the darkness again. Only then will we quit repeating history.