The culture war is counterproductive


#1

I've been thinking about the whole issue of the culture war. In the West, Christianity has become irrelevant in the minds of many, almost a joke (if not there already). They see it as little more than a threat to their way of life, mostly in the "pelvic issues." Hence, though I have become very skilled at apologetics, it only serves to make people resort to emotional arguments and anger. Even if they see how much better a person I am as a result of my faith, they dismiss it as something the works for me, but not for others.

At work, everyone has said such hateful things about Christians that I have had to remain in the closet just to keep my job.

Even among the Catholics I meet, nearly everyone I have spoken with has openly admitted to being a cafeteria "Catholic" and is hostile to actual Church teaching. The one "Catholic" friend I had quit being my friend over it, and because I'm 29 and most people in the pews are over 60, he's not going to be easy to replace.

I have successfully evangelized to people, and i still make that effort, since Jesus commanded it. But even they still, after two years, refuse to believe all the Church teachings, preferring the liberal secular agenda and its moral relativism.

In short, the faith of our ancestors is just about dead in the West. The post-Christian pagans, who by definition have rejected God, have won the culture war. And that, believe it or not, is God's will; they would have no power over us if He had not given it to them.

A year ago, when I was really into fighting the culture war, I would have branded anyone who said this as a traitor. But secularism is effectively the law of the land, and we're supposed to obey our superiors when such does not require sin. The early Christians didn't try to change laws or get the pagans to stop their sinful things. They worked mainly on their own holiness and evangelizing.

We have no business complaining about the culture when 1) God has allowed it to happen and we can't change it, 2) we're still sinners and therefore have no business telling others what to do, and 3) wanting anything to be different from what it is is no more than rebellion against God, who decided that things should be the way they are.

And, frankly, that's part of why I don't post as much as I used to. Nearly everything on these forums is culture war, culture war, culture war. The pagans have won. Deal with it. That's what I'm doing.


#2

I'm sorry that you are fatigued. I am tired too. And I also don't like hearing/reading "culture war, culture war, culture war" all the time either. I read a new term the other day, "Cultural Vandalism".

I like the term "Cultural Vandalism". I much prefer it to "Culture War." Vandalism is more like what the "other side" has done to our culture. We already had a culture, and underneath it all, what drives most people in our culture is the desire for good. Most people still love freedom and good and family. Instead of "fighting" those who have different views social matters, we need to help them wash off the graffiti and pick trash that surrounds them because someone vandalized our culture. We need to replace a few broken window and repair other things that are broken. Sometimes people living in a mess can't see the mess that's in front of them.

I get that you are tired of fighting. Rest for a while. And while you're resting from battle, consider doing just a little clean up of the graffiti and trash that Vandals left in your neighborhood on our culture.


#3

"However when the son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Luke 18:8

"For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
Luke 23:31


#4

It's a fight we need keep fighting and are held accountable for our actions, and omissions. We have a duty towards sharing the truth, no matter how unpopular it is. No side has "won" and there is no need or reason to be pessimistic to that extent. Public discourse is productive and important, and we certainly can still reach other people and reason with them with what we all have in common, even in this secular day and age.

I understand and can relate to your fatigue, but I also remember just teaching my 7th graders last week about the Spiritual Works of Mercy and how we must persist. Sure, we have to bear wrongs patiently, and forgive offenses willing, but we also have to counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, and instruct the ignorant, we have certain obligations and duties as well as opportunities that we should not pass up. This is what our Pope Emeritus Benedict meant when he proclaimed this year as the Year of the New Evangelization.

It is really important to keep going, because people need to hear the truth, and hearts and minds are changed, we can reach people and with the help of God's grace, it happens all the time. Young people are becoming more pro-life but still need to figure out what that means in regards to other issues such as family and respect for human dignity in all its dimensions, and work out a consistent ethic to belief and struggle to live by. I'm constantly encouraged by the people in my generation and younger ones who are fighting the good fight, and changing our culture and the world for the better, a bit at a time. There is still a lot of good in this world! God's plan is greater than what we can imagine.

Courage and prayers!


#5

I agree. There is too much anger, bitterness and hatred coming from both sides of the political spectrum.

I believe people of different political, cultural and religious views should discuss their views and differences like responsible adults, and not sink to the level of character assassination and personal attacks. You don't help your cause-no matter how noble and right it is-by screaming abuse and insults ad acting like a deranged chimpanzee towards your perceived "enemies".


#6

And, frankly, that's part of why I don't post as much as I used to. Nearly everything on these forums is culture war, culture war, culture war. The pagans have won. Deal with it. That's what I'm doing.

Never, never, never give up - Winston Churchill, October 29, 1941.

[LEFT]WHEN THE ENEMY HAS YOU BEATEN TO RIGHTS, AND HAS OFFERED YOU ACCEPTABLE TERMS FOR SURRENDER, YOU HAVE NO OTHER OPTION THEN TO. . .
MAKE THEM THE SAME OFFER.[/LEFT]

When you talk about "the West" you are not referring to far enough West (maybe you mean the East or West Coasts?) here in fly-over country it is VERY COOL to believe in JESUS, *.

From here it looks like many have moved off-base, and it is both funny and sad. Those in the liberal pocketed enclaves in America aught to get out more often, then they would see how jacked-up they've become (like I've said, they've moved off-base, we've been relatively stationary).

For example, you could pack the rest of the population (numbers-wise) of the World within the borders of NY and still not represent one more square inch of "America." You could argue that you'd represent more "Americans" but that would not be the case either because the population of NY represents less and less of what America is (they've moved off).

Defend your faith with a fair amount of indifference. Let those people who oppose know that they are the ones 'broken' (call them out on it), if it causes a skirmish, so be it, we will all come to it in a more littered eventuality anyway.*


#7

[quote="mathematoons, post:1, topic:324394"]
I've been thinking about the whole issue of the culture war. In the West, Christianity has become irrelevant in the minds of many, almost a joke (if not there already). They see it as little more than a threat to their way of life, mostly in the "pelvic issues." Hence, though I have become very skilled at apologetics, it only serves to make people resort to emotional arguments and anger. Even if they see how much better a person I am as a result of my faith, they dismiss it as something the works for me, but not for others.

At work, everyone has said such hateful things about Christians that I have had to remain in the closet just to keep my job.

Even among the Catholics I meet, nearly everyone I have spoken with has openly admitted to being a cafeteria "Catholic" and is hostile to actual Church teaching. The one "Catholic" friend I had quit being my friend over it, and because I'm 29 and most people in the pews are over 60, he's not going to be easy to replace.

I have successfully evangelized to people, and i still make that effort, since Jesus commanded it. But even they still, after two years, refuse to believe all the Church teachings, preferring the liberal secular agenda and its moral relativism.

In short, the faith of our ancestors is just about dead in the West. The post-Christian pagans, who by definition have rejected God, have won the culture war. And that, believe it or not, is God's will; they would have no power over us if He had not given it to them.

[/quote]

Be careful with this. That God allowed it to happen doesn't mean He approves, as with much of other history.

A year ago, when I was really into fighting the culture war, I would have branded anyone who said this as a traitor. But secularism is effectively the law of the land, and we're supposed to obey our superiors when such does not require sin. The early Christians didn't try to change laws or get the pagans to stop their sinful things. They worked mainly on their own holiness and evangelizing.

Except this is demonstrably false, because eventually laws did change to favor Christian values, and it was Christians that did it. They didn't do it immediately because they were too busy avoiding being fed to lions, but they certainly did try to spread the truth.

Now, it is true that not all immoral activity should be outlawed, but with the exception of abortion which is murder, that is not exactly what the "culture wars" are about anyway.

We have no business complaining about the culture when 1) God has allowed it to happen and we can't change it, 2) we're still sinners and therefore have no business telling others what to do, and 3) wanting anything to be different from what it is is no more than rebellion against God, who decided that things should be the way they are.

And, frankly, that's part of why I don't post as much as I used to. Nearly everything on these forums is culture war, culture war, culture war. The pagans have won. Deal with it. That's what I'm doing.

1) God allowed the holocaust. If that were happening, we would have business complaining about it. Saying that we can't complain about what is happening because it is happening is a non-starter.

2) Completely not true (partially because it's not our rules we're trying to uphold, but God's), and contradicts what you earlier said. We're all sinners. They're all sinners. Someone has to tell someone what to do if we don't want anarchy. But again, aside from stopping abortion which is murder, it's not really about telling (via laws) people what to do.

3) This point is similar to your point 1 and has the same issues, but additionally it is worth noting that you could try to use this argument for anything at all. X is fighting the culture war. Ergo, fighting the culture war is happening. Therefore, it is God's will that we be fighting, or we wouldn't be fighting. In such and such country full of starving people, the government steals all foreign aid and keeps it for itself. Therefore, feeding the hungry isn't working, so it must not be God's will that we do so, so we shouldn't. This whole approach is dangerous, because it's essentially us trying to put God's stamp of approval on whatever we feel like doing or not doing when it seems easy or hard. We should stay away from this type of reasoning altogether.

The pagans may be winning for now, but I'm pretty sure I don't remember Jesus saying "go out and tell all people that they're living contrary to My Word, and that's ok." Rather, we are to spread the truth as it is, and that truth contains the fact that our culture is pretty terrible. Now, this obviously doesn't need to be done at all times in all ways, but we can't just give in entirely. I for one don't want to stand in front of the judgement seat of God and tell Him I gave up on His fight because it didn't seem to be going well and I figured if He really cared that much He'd do it Himself.

Again, for emphasis, really be careful with the whole "it's going on so it must be ok" thing. That really is not true.

It totally makes sense to be tired from the culture wars. But we are the Church Militant, we're supposed to be fighting to change the world. If we get tired, then we should recuperate, but we shouldn't just give up.


#8

I know it isn't easy, but I'd also say to "vote with your feet" as they say in political circles. Basically that means to move where your views (political or religious) are better represented. That's one reason I moved back to the South. Is that giving in? Perhaps, but I also think I have to choose in what kind of environment do I feel comfortable raising children, growing old and generally having a life. It certainly isn't in an area that is openly antagonistic to my beliefs.

Statistically I'm not alone. So-called progressive states are losing a steady stream of their population to more conservative states. For a whole host of reasons, like politics, economics and religious.

But don't give up hope. There is an ebb and flow to a lot of cultural mores. It may not be in our lifetimes, but I do feel that the ultra progressive ideology will reach a tipping point for a variety of reasons and once that comes (and sadly, it'll be ugly) the tide will shift back. Moral relativism and cultural arson only goes so far.


#9

One of the things I have found is that I am much more likely to burn out when I am relying on myself and not taking enough time to pray. A really firm foundation within my faith is essential--and I must say that God is very consistent in reminding me about that ;).

Yes, all this stuff is going on... things look *really bad. *But when I consider Christ's crucifixion, I see that things looked really bad then, too. And when I read about the history of the Church, that wasn't the only time things looked really bad.

So... there is a season for fighting and a season for prayer. Backing off and concentrating on one's own spiritual life is an absolute necessity.


#10

God is not man. And I lived through the entire build-up to the current version the culture war. Believers have always faced periods where they were under the gun, persecuted, told to just shut up or that there are no absolutes. Do we tell our police force to go home since there will always be lawbreakers?

Since man's tendency is to do the wrong thing, we should listen to our Church leadership: conversion begins with each of us. We are all part of the same body.

Yes, my good friends living in more rural areas tell me their Churches are packed. However, it appears that barbarians who speak as intellectuals have infiltrated universities. The media is a great bad example of the wrong way to live.

No shame.
No guilt.
But...
Few good examples.
And sex. Boy oh boy. You're not really living unless you're having lots of it with anybody.

It's easy to just throw up your hands and say "I'm done." But live the way you should, imperfect as we all are.

Have hope.

God bless,
Ed


#11

Your culture is dead.

Yes, it’s still kicking, but it’s dead. The gays did not kill it, the left did not kill it, it was dead when they got here. It was the hormonal contraceptive which killed it. No, scratch that: the hormonal contraceptive did not kill it either, it just accelerated its demise.

Consider a seemingly unrelated question: Why do Muslim women cover their hair? The Islamic scholars will quote God’s commandments and modesty; but the actual reason is very simple. Islam originated in the desert. Desert means sand, and long hair and sand don’t mix well. A hygienic rule intended for those living in the desert got enshrined in culture; a Muslim woman in NYC will still cover her hair even if she never sees desert in her lifetime. Once, however, it dawns on her that the rule makes no sense, she’ll be quick to abandon the whole cultural system.

The Christian culture originated in medieval Europe. Medieval Europe had several characteristics, including: an economy based on agriculture, feudalism as a political system and a low level of hygiene, resulting in high infant mortality.

The climate in Europe is characterized by a distinctive annual cycle; as the air cools in autumn, a massive die-off of vegetation starts. The days become shorter and darker, until the winter solstice, after which light returns to the world. No wonder it’s winter solstice when Christians celebrate Christmas, and Christmas liturgy starts in a dark church, into which a priest walks bearing a candle; and the prayers reference “a light coming into the world”. As the winter ends and turns into spring, and the plants become green again, the Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, while the nature itself raises from the dead after the long winter. The old tradition says that Easter marks the start of agricultural work; and so, medieval Christians would jump to work, trying to grow food before the next autumn brings the deadly cold; they knew that not all of them will live through the next winter; memento mori, remember about death. Now, try explaining all that to someone living in the southern hemisphere! Yes, he’ll get the theological details just fine, but the correspondence to the natural world will be lost for him, after all, his natural cycle is flipped.

As the common folk struggled growing food, their masters had their own problems. Wealth was equal to land, as land (and its peasants) meant food. Yet, that wealth was never safe; burn your neighbor’s crops and kill his peasants, he will not live through the winter. So everyone would turn for protection to someone more powerful then him, with a king on top. You had to have a master, and he had his master; but your master’s master was not your master. The noble masters needed someone to keep the paperwork for them, and it happened that the only the Catholic clergy could read and write. And so, as the nobility formed their own social pyramid, the Church has mirrored it. The Pope on top, the bishops under him, the priests under the bishops; each of them responsible for a designated geographical area. And, of course, my master’s master is not my master, which is now called subsidiarity. This crept into theology as well; the God on top, the angels and patron saints below, each with a designated area of responsibility. The medieval heaven even has an army, which is fighting a constant war against the army of Hell. And Hell has a very similar organization… Is hierarchic church God’s will, or just an outdated organizational model?

Not only do Catholic bishops follow medieval organization structure, they also follow medieval fashion. Their coat-of-arms (another medieval invention…) always feature wide brimmed hats (although said hats seem to have now fallen into disuse). Now, back in medieval Europe, a wide brimmed hat was not mere fashion, it was a necessity of city life, as the city dwellers would notoriously throw waste water out of the window. Such poor hygienic practices resulted in many medical problems, the biggest of which was high infant mortality. High infant mortality necessitated a certain family model, in which a woman was expected to produce many children. But, as child bearing and work do not mix well, this model has made women completely dependent on their husbands; and in order to protect women’s interests, marriage has been made unbreakable. Fast forward to modern times. Infant mortality is low, so there’s no need to have a lot of children. No (or less) childbearing, so no problem in finding a job. Whoa, economic independence! But, if you don’t need a man to provide for you, then why enter a lifetime commitment? Makes no sense. The institution of marriage has been rendered obsolete, and redefinition of family follows.

So, there. The factors which the Christian culture has been built upon are no longer there, why would the culture itself still persist? Everything has its end, and so, the era of Christian culture will become another layer in the archaeological record.

The Christianity itself though… It will survive. The idea is too powerful. It’s flexible. It adapts. And it has already survived a collapse of one culture.


#12

[quote="aux1, post:11, topic:324394"]
Your culture is dead.

Yes, it's still kicking, but it's dead. The gays did not kill it, the left did not kill it, it was dead when they got here. It was the hormonal contraceptive which killed it. No, scratch that: the hormonal contraceptive did not kill it either, it just accelerated its demise. ...High infant mortality necessitated a certain family model, in which a woman was expected to produce many children. But, as child bearing and work do not mix well, this model has made women completely dependent on their husbands; and in order to protect women's interests, marriage has been made unbreakable. Fast forward to modern times**. **Infant mortality is low, so there's no need to have a lot of children.No (or less) childbearing, so no problem in finding a job. Whoa, economic independence! But, if you don't need a man to provide for you, then why enter a lifetime commitment? Makes no sense. The institution of marriage has been rendered obsolete, and redefinition of family follows.

So, there. The factors which the Christian culture has been built upon are no longer there, why would the culture itself still persist? Everything has its end, and so, the era of Christian culture will become another layer in the archaeological record.

The Christianity itself though... It will survive. The idea is too powerful. It's flexible. It adapts. And it has already survived a collapse of one culture.

[/quote]

:wave: <--- That's me, waving to you as I attempt to wash your graffiti off my culture. :D

Actually, I agree with much of what you wrote. I especially agree with you about contraception contributing to the demise of our culture. However, I disagree with what you wrote about marriage being obsolete and especially your point that about my culture being dead, (which wasn't very respectful of "multi-culturalism" of you, now was it? ;))

Life is far more fragile than we modern people in the age of modern medicine generally like to admit. You seem to be a student of European history, so you might want to refresh your memory on Black Death. Various plagues and flus can wipe out large percentages of the population. Go back and read your history books. If, as you wrote, everything has its end, what makes you so sure that modern medicine will be able to handle every potential super-bacteria and virus that may strike us in the future? Society trusts in modern medicine, but may not last forever, and once antibiotics lose their power, society will change once again. Death sometimes has a way of reminding the survivors of the value and fragility of life.

I also agree with you that marriage protects women's interests. I fear for women and children when men no longer embrace Christian values and morality! But if we do continue down this path, as we see the turmoil that results, people who may have only held onto Christianity in the way you mentioned, will eventually re-discover the role that Christianity really plays in protecting women and children. And they will return to it. Then, they will positively influence whatever culture surrounds them and we will see Christianity influence society for the better once again.

Authentic Christianity produces saints. And sanctity is infectious. It's like the counter-plague or an antidote for cultural illness.

My culture is not dead, but it is ill. It could use a few good saints to bring us back to health. Often, the ones who survive through an illness are in better positions to help the sick, because the survivors have greater immunity.

I'm mixing metaphores now, but when you're feeling better, you're welcome to join us in our clean up efforts. :wave:


#13

[quote="aux1, post:11, topic:324394"]

The Christian culture originated in medieval Europe. Medieval Europe had several characteristics, including: an economy based on agriculture, feudalism as a political system and a low level of hygiene, resulting in high infant mortality.

[/quote]

  1. Unless you are claiming the Middle Ages started prior to the fall of Rome, your claim that Christian culture originated in the Middle Ages is incorrect. Depending on the date you use, Christian culture had existed for 400-500 years prior to the start of the Early Middle Ages. 1a. Given the central role of faith during that time period, a more logical argument would be that the culture of the Middle Ages originated/was primarily shaped by the Christian faith. 1b. You also seem to be ignoring the non-European Christian culture that existed prior to, during, after, and completely independent of the Middle Ages European Christian culture.
  2. Feudalism didn't really become a pillar of Middle Age Europe until late in the time period. Additionally, it took on vastly different forms between regions and time within a region with vastly different demands/expectations on the various social classes involved (once again changing based on region and time).
  3. The economy of the Middle Ages wasn't based on agriculture. Agriculture as a profitable economic field didn't actually develop until late in the period. The "king" of the Middle Age economy was textiles.
  4. Please provide support for your linkage of low personal hygiene and high infant mortality. 4a. Please show the change in infant mortality prior to, during, and after the Middle Ages as support for your argument it was a major factor.

The remainder of your comment is as full of errors and/or false assumptions as the excerpt I quoted.


#14

:wave: Hi Aux1 and Old Catholic Guy, (wow, it feels disrespectful to call you that!)

Good catch, OCG. Yes, Aux got it backwards. Christian culture didn’t originate in Medievil Europe–Medieval Europe flowed out of Christian culture. But in anycase…may I suggest that we take our conversation to a different thread? After all, the op did say he was tired of the culture wars and we seem to be de-railing his thread by engaging in debate.

To the op, sorry. :o Get some rest.


#15

I guess it’s a good idea to get some rest. I may need a few months or even a few years before I can fight secularism effectively.


#16

[quote="oldcatholicguy, post:13, topic:324394"]
1. Unless you are claiming the Middle Ages started prior to the fall of Rome, your claim that Christian culture originated in the Middle Ages is incorrect. Depending on the date you use, Christian culture had existed for 400-500 years prior to the start of the Early Middle Ages.

[/quote]

Yes, but early Christianity was very different from medieval Christianity. Modern Christianity is not descended directly from Jesus, it's descended from medieval European Christianity, which is is descended from early Christianity, which originated from the followers of Jesus.

Which is why from time to time a reformer shows up and announces that we should throw out all the junk accumulated over two millenia and go back to the source texts.

[quote="oldcatholicguy, post:13, topic:324394"]

1a. Given the central role of faith during that time period, a more logical argument would be that the culture of the Middle Ages originated/was primarily shaped by the Christian faith.

[/quote]

This is true to an extent. However, one must keep in mind that culture and religion are closely intertwined; it is sometimes difficult to tell which custom is cultural, and which is religious. So yes, while the medieval society was shaped by faith, it has also shaped faith. It works both ways.

Let me give you an example. Jesus said Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. This is nothing else than the endorsement of the Church and state separation. There is also nothing strange about it; Christianity has evolved in conditions where the state was at best indifferent (and often hostile) to it.

Fast forward. In medieval times, there is no such thing as church and state separation. The medieval theology says that political power comes from God, and all European kings are crowned by the bishops -- until Bonaparte, who crowned himself. More than that, the Church held an ultimate power over the nobility: excommunication. The vassals would take oath to obey their master, but if the master was excommunicated, their oath was void. So the will of the Church shaped the law of land.

Fast forward. As enlightenment reinvented separation of the Church and state and reinvented a democratic republic, the Church readjusted. It would still write the laws of land, but indirectly, by exerting pressures on consituents and their representatives. This strategy is currently in use (excommunicate those voting for abortion!), but it is no longer effective.

The culture war you're seeing right now is nothing else than the Church being suddenly confronted with the realization that it no longer writes the law of land. Not only that, it has to obey the laws of the land written by someone else. As the pedophilia scandal demonstrated, the realization that the Church is now under the state jurisdiction was a true shock to many bishops. This war cannot be won; the Church has slept through the major demographic change, which revoked its ability to write laws. It's not coming back. That war was lost before it started.

So in essence, it's all about going back from the medieval model of the church to an ancient model of the church.

[quote="oldcatholicguy, post:13, topic:324394"]

1b. You also seem to be ignoring the non-European Christian culture that existed prior to, during, after, and completely independent of the Middle Ages European Christian culture.

[/quote]

Yes, because these groups have been marginalized and played no role in shaping the Western civilization, as opposed to the Roman branch (Roman Catholics), and its offshot, the Anglo-Saxon branch (protestants). The subject is the decline and fall of the Western civilization, remember :)

It's actually interesting how much these groups have diverged from the European branches of Christianity. There's a fascinating story of Portugese missionaries finding Christians in India (a group which split off very early): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Thomas_Christians

[quote="oldcatholicguy, post:13, topic:324394"]

  1. Feudalism didn't really become a pillar of Middle Age Europe until late in the time period. Additionally, it took on vastly different forms between regions and time within a region with vastly different demands/expectations on the various social classes involved (once again changing based on region and time).
  2. The economy of the Middle Ages wasn't based on agriculture. Agriculture as a profitable economic field didn't actually develop until late in the period. The "king" of the Middle Age economy was textiles.

[/quote]

There is a fundamental difference between medieval economy and the Roman economy. The medieval economy was primarily based on local production, while the Roman economy was based on a global trade. That means a completely different social model.

[quote="oldcatholicguy, post:13, topic:324394"]

  1. Please provide support for your linkage of low personal hygiene and high infant mortality.

[/quote]

You've gotta be kidding me.


#17

[quote="mathematoons, post:1, topic:324394"]
I've been thinking about the whole issue of the culture war. In the West, Christianity has become irrelevant in the minds of many, almost a joke (if not there already). They see it as little more than a threat to their way of life, mostly in the "pelvic issues." Hence, though I have become very skilled at apologetics, it only serves to make people resort to emotional arguments and anger. Even if they see how much better a person I am as a result of my faith, they dismiss it as something the works for me, but not for others.

At work, everyone has said such hateful things about Christians that I have had to remain in the closet just to keep my job.

Even among the Catholics I meet, nearly everyone I have spoken with has openly admitted to being a cafeteria "Catholic" and is hostile to actual Church teaching. The one "Catholic" friend I had quit being my friend over it, and because I'm 29 and most people in the pews are over 60, he's not going to be easy to replace.

I have successfully evangelized to people, and i still make that effort, since Jesus commanded it. But even they still, after two years, refuse to believe all the Church teachings, preferring the liberal secular agenda and its moral relativism.

In short, the faith of our ancestors is just about dead in the West. The post-Christian pagans, who by definition have rejected God, have won the culture war. And that, believe it or not, is God's will; they would have no power over us if He had not given it to them.

A year ago, when I was really into fighting the culture war, I would have branded anyone who said this as a traitor. But secularism is effectively the law of the land, and we're supposed to obey our superiors when such does not require sin. The early Christians didn't try to change laws or get the pagans to stop their sinful things. They worked mainly on their own holiness and evangelizing.

We have no business complaining about the culture when 1) God has allowed it to happen and we can't change it, 2) we're still sinners and therefore have no business telling others what to do, and 3) wanting anything to be different from what it is is no more than rebellion against God, who decided that things should be the way they are.

And, frankly, that's part of why I don't post as much as I used to. Nearly everything on these forums is culture war, culture war, culture war. The pagans have won. Deal with it. That's what I'm doing.

[/quote]

Good post, solid reflections.

A few thoughts:

  1. Go little.
  2. Live charity nearby
  3. Smile, especially when you are alone with Our Lord, our Father

Don't worry about the big culture war. As you say God, for whatever reason, trusts us to operate and thrive in it. Live the life of daring that is so apparent in the Acts of the Apostles. The Devil wants us to focus on the big...to think the task is too tall. He wants to make it abstract,and big and distant, not particular. He does this always. It's a tactic. Reject it with God, and a sacrificial smile.

  1. Live charity nearby. Practice noticing how many opportunities God gives you in the first half of each day to offer Him some act of love and sacrifice. A held door, a moment to be thankful, good work to do, a non friend (yet) who reacts to a sincere smile. Use the next period of the culture war to tool up, to build heroic virtue, quietly. God may have us in training camp.

  2. Smile...make it your secret gestural prayer to Our Father. Just you and He. Tell Him....from now on Lord, everytime I smile...especially when I see evidence of the culture war...I am secretly telling you that "I trust in You". Tell Him "I don't know why you trust me so much! But that trust of Yours makes me smile."

Make your smile a short prayer..of adoration, filiation, thanksgiving, love, faith, a supplication asking for grace to get through the next hour.


#18

Lots of words and many half thought through assertions about the basis of Christian culture.

The Christian culture was built on costly love. And that kind of love…a smiling, daring, self donating, self emptying love will once more as it did in the Roman Empire turn the culture into a thing of beauty instead of the ugliness we see in many places today.


#19

We're still living in feudal times. No, most don't call themselves kings or queens anymore but the wealthy still control most of the wealth while the peasants have enough to get by, or not, and die.

In the United States, the current king is under the sway of the wealthy who put him in power.

The noblemen who surround him are under similar control.

And the large landowners send their emissaries (lobbyists) to get the king's ear and grant them special privileges.

Drive down Jefferson Avenue in Detroit. It looks like it was carpet bombed. But just 100 feet from the border with Grosse Pointe, there are flowers, large homes, people walking their pets and street signs made of wood. You are in another world straight out of a Charles Dickens story.

Peace,
Ed


#20

[quote="mathematoons, post:15, topic:324394"]
I guess it's a good idea to get some rest. I may need a few months or even a few years before I can fight secularism effectively.

[/quote]

Yes, rest is good. There's a reason they call them "retreats"!

I noticed your sig line where you mention Lee Strobel. I always have an urge to contact him to do an analysis on Catholicism...


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