2012/07/31

Is Christian renewal even possible?

Until the churches admit to their role as brutal oppressors they will never regain its moral power, let alone the respect of free-thinking people. But this would demand more than just a superhuman institutional backflip – it would demand that believers take on board the Jungian perspective that the Christian trinity is actually a quaternity – and that the concept of a devil is an integral part of the Christian world-view. It is, I believe, only when humans take responsibility for their own evil that things can change.

So long as institutional Christianity remains in denial about this, &/or the sexual abuse it has fostered – & it has such a colossal investment in its world-view & heritage it’s hard to see how this could ever occur – I don’t see how any renewal is possible. And that entirely leaves aside post-Darwinian issues! The outworking of this perspective is visible in the devastation the Jud├Žo-Xtian civilisation has wrought on the entire planet. (Whether that accounts for the China’s effects is another question.)

It may be integral to human nature that we are all conditioned to see only the conscious /willed aspects of our thought-forms not the unconscious or involuntary results? Yet it remains a paradox that the spirit of Christ, not institutional Christianity, has inspired some of the noblest philanthropy and art, not to mention the evolution of science & healing, so both are part of the whole picture.

To me, individuals like Giles Foster represents the best hope that the lumpen dough of the church/es can be leavened by the spirit of free thought, and recaptured from the timidity of placeholders like Rowan Williams & the rampant bigots who seek to perpetuate their predecessors oppression by the nauseating focus on gender issues.

This of course leads to the question: what does it mean to call oneself a Christian at all? I don’t think it req uires one to say that one is not a Buddhist or adherent of any another faith tradition. They are all metaphors for expressing the human condition & embodying a wisdom tradition, which has to be learnt & then discarded in order to discover the mystical core of existence. To me, it matters not a whit what label people apply to themselves (or others) the real issue is: are they true to the highest ethical & spiritual perceptions of which humans are capable. I am conscious that my introduction to these issues came throu the Christian tradition, within which I have met some of the finest people I know, and thus it’s convenient to wear that badge, but ultimately it is just a badge. The issue of who anyone is independent of the words they use to delineate themselves.

To the degree that I am an heir to the Christian tradition I too acknowledge my own complicity in the brutality of my tradition’s history: however expressing coherently that, let alone seeing such thoughts infiltrate the mainstream, is altogether another matter. My perception is that unless institutional Xty can come to own this process collectively - which it can only do throu the advocacy of committed visionaries like Fraser or Huddleston or Teilhard de Chardin - it is destined to an ossified irrelevance. But then I do not see the church as custodian of the spirit of Christ.

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