Monday, August 28, 2006

Who Really Does Run the Asylum?

I’ve believed this about the current struggles in the Church for a long time, but Mark Shea says it a bit more eloquently than I ever have. (BTW - I frequently disagree with the good Mr. Shea on matters political, lest this be considered a matter of blind agreement.)

I should know this from my catechism and from Scripture, but I still find myself amazed by it. What I mean is this: analysIs of the behavior of theological liberals such as the TEC never quite goes where you think it will. You get all the normal hand-wringing from them about the Perils of Christianist Theocracy and all, the pro-abort claptrap, the gay brownshirts on the march, the Babel-like attempts to create a kingdom of the Imperial Autonomous Self and call it the will of God (or the Goddess, or Whoever). But then, repeatedly, you get this bizarre and fashionable tendency to bow, scrape and crawl before Foaming Bronze Age Islamic Thugs as though there is no contradiction at all.

What can possibly account for this? An organization that routinely produces battalions of fainting, Victorian Lady Novelists that cannot even breathe in the presence of a couple of Piskies who don't share their enthusiasm for gay marriage will suddenly fall all over itself to have wine and cheese celebrations for guys who want to hang homosexuals and impose the chador on every woman in the world.

Looked at from the perspective of politics, money, culture, feminism and all the other earthly perspectives, I can make no sense of it. But looked at from the perspective of revelation, I begin to wonder again if the old saint didn't know what he was talking about when he said, "For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens" (Ephesians 6:12). Viewed from that perspective, the common cause is clear: so long as you are an enemy of Christ, we can deal.

I have a notion that as history progresses toward the Parousia, we shall see more such strange bedfellows […]

[…] The Devil is the Ape of God. And so we see scenes like this repeatedly as mortal foes drop all their quarrels in their lust to kill Him:

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here." 4 And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Hero'di-ans against him, how to destroy him. (Mark 3)

And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then, arraying him in gorgeous apparel, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other. (Luke 23)

Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" 15 They cried out, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."
(John 19)

In every case, you find people doing things that are utterly inexplicable via normal human "follow the money" analyses. But when you look at it from the perspective of Paul, things fall into place. It would appear that the real war taking place is not a culture war, but a spiritual war. I am inclined to think that what took place during the first coming will take place again as we approach the Second. Weird and unexpected alliances that make no sense except that irreconcilable parties put aside their differences in order to attack Christ and his Church…

The Reds used to refer to the “inherent contradictions” of capitalist society, which they thought would lead to its inevitable demise. The real inherent contradictions are intrinsic to the Evil One and to those who make him their captain, who subordinate everything to their rebellion against God. I wonder if that is what hell is like – the total breakdown of the grace-rejecting individual into competing, self-contradictory hatreds that tear each other to bloody shreds, endless day after endless day, forever and ever and ever. I wonder, but I’d really rather not find out.