“The real way to leverage your time and make a lasting difference is exponential and generational: get married, have children, practice your faith, raise liberty-minded children, be active in the community, serve your family, homeschool your children, give them a real education, and teach them to be self-sufficient, well-read, healthy, and wise.“
The quote above is an excerpt (I’d say, the key excerpt) from a friend and fellow Christian clergyman’s Facebook post this morning. Here’s the whole thing:
“What’s the best way for young people to fight for human liberty in the west? A podcast? A blog? Go on a speaking tour? Run for office?
“But the real way to leverage your time and make a lasting difference is exponential and generational: get married, have children, practice your faith, raise liberty-minded children, be active in the community, serve your family, homeschool your children, give them a real education, and teach them to be self-sufficient, well-read, healthy, and wise.
“And raise each of your children to do the same thing and create strong families of their own.
“Living the swinging single libertarian life and/or having a biologically unfruitful relationship simply neutralizes and nullifies any long-term influence you might have had, and surrenders the field to others who are doing the hard, generational work of raising their own children to promulgate their values. The cultures that reproduce will push all the others out. And if that culture is oppressive and tyrannical, you don’t want them in the majority.
“This is akin to Aesop’s Fable of the tortoise and the hare – only in this version, the rabbit is sterile while the turtle is prolific.
“The west is dying because most young people don’t have the long view in mind, and also because young women do not understand the old adage about ‘the hand that rocks the cradle [rules the world]’ and are thus clueless about what it means to be truly empowered and strong.”
As our Eastern Orthodox brethren would say,
Now, if I could just find someone to raise a family with…! *wry smile*
“Maleness, brothers, is a matter of biology. It just happens. Manhood must be learned and earned and taught. That’s our task. So my prayer for all of us today is that God will plant the seed of a new knighthood in our hearts — and make us the kind of ‘new men’ our families, our Church, our nation, and our world need.”
— Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
“And why? their communing is not for peace : but they imagine deceitful words against them that are quiet in the land” – Ps.35:20.
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
But what is the significance of this day? As “Historic UK” puts it, “A group of Roman Catholic nobles and gentlemen led by Robert Catesby conspired to essentially end Protestant rule with perhaps the biggest ‘bang’ in history. Their plan was to blow up the King, Queen, church leaders, assorted nobles and both Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder strategically placed in the cellars beneath the Palace of Westminster.”
One of the conspirators, Guy (“Guido”) Fawkes, “was arrested in the early hours of the morning of November 5th 1605, in a cellar under the House of Lords, next to the 36 kegs of gunpowder, with a box of matches in his pocket and a guilty expression on his face!” Ever since, “the burning of the Guy” – an effigy of Fawkes (even though the conspirators were actually hanged, drawn, and quartered) – and celebratory fireworks have been a feature of the day in Merrie Olde England!
But the significance goes deeper:
“‘Mellow light.’ It is the phrase Eamon Duffy uses to describes ‘the church of George Herbert.’ Herbert was ordained in 1629, early in the reign of Charles I. He was, in other words, ordained into a Church profoundly shaped by James VI/I, in which the influence of Jacobean Anglicanism was pronounced. The ‘mellow light,’ then, of Herbert’s Church was Jacobean light.
‘It was in the Jacobean Church that, in the words of Diarmaid MacCulloch, ‘the obscure and slightly controversial figure of Hooker was being transformed into an iconic … authority.’ It was in the Jacobean Church that the sermons of Lancelot Andrewes were heard. And so, as T.S. Eliot put it:
“‘The intellectual achievement and the prose style of Hooker and Andrewes came to complete the structure of the English Church … the achievement of Hooker and Andrewes was to make the English Church more worthy of intellectual assent.’
“The Jacobean Church was also the arena for the sermons of John Donne, demonstrating a native piety at once rational and deeply heart-felt, learned and popular, catholic and reformed, by which – as Donne stated in one of his sermons – ‘papistry was driven out, and puritanism kept out’…
“It was this ‘mellow light’ which the Gunpowder conspirators sought to extinguish.”
God be thanked, they were not successful!
“LGBTQ activists are using every weapon in their arsenal to punish, humiliate, and destroy Christians.”
At the risk of being accused of virtue-signalling, I want to state clearly that this is not intended as an attack on individuals involved in serious, committed same-sex relationships.
I have friends in that category, and while I may not agree with their choices (attractions and desires may not be a choice – are not, in fact; we all have attractions and desires, some of which may be more healthy, and some less – but how we respond to them most emphatically is), they are still friends, and “there is none who is without sin, no, not one.”
Furthermore, what individuals do in the privacy of their own homes is not my business, unless they make it my business: either by asking me for spiritual counsel, or by insisting that I not only tolerate it as a private matter between consenting individuals (which is part of living together in a civil society), but “affirm” and even “celebrate” it as a public matter. That is where I draw the line.
And that is where LGBTQ+ activists – as distinct from people quietly and discretely living their lives, which is where people of any sexual orientation should be (with the possible exceptions of discussing the falling birthrate, or the fact that children do best when they have both a mother and a father [see also this, inter alia], there are few reasons to make one’s sexuality the centerpiece of one’s identity) – err most grievously, imho: they insist that their sexuality is core to their identity, in fact it’s their primary identity, and d__n it, the rest of us had better celebrate it!
Leaving aside the fact that making sex the center of one’s life points to issues far beyond merely who one chooses to engage in it with, this kind of attitude has serious – and negative – implications for Christians, or anyone else who disagrees with it, to the extent that these beliefs become or even influence public policy.
For example, this essay cites
“California’s pro-LGBTQ Assembly Bill 2943 [which] threatens free speech and freedom of religion for Christians. It uses the state’s consumer fraud statute to make it illegal to ‘distribute resources, sell books, offer counseling services, or direct someone to a biblically based model for getting help with gender confusion and homosexuality.'”
As noted in the above quote, this has serious First Amendment implications for Christians, on both freedom of speech and free exercise of religion grounds.
But, either failing to understand this or willfully ignoring it, “Christians believe the LGBTQ movement’s lie that they seek only Christian love and acceptance.” Well, some may. Perhaps many may, as individuals. But clearly the LGBTQ+ activist squad – a highly active division in the cultural Marxist “fifth column” that has infiltrated American public discourse – has motives that are both broader and darker than that.
In any case, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!
“The saints declared the glory of a beard. St Augustine wrote, ‘The beard signifies the courageous; the beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigorous. So that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man.'”
As the glory of a woman is her hair, so the glory of a man is his beard. Being bearded is in the tradition of the patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and doctors of the Church.
This is not to say that one cannot be a good and proper Christian gentleman without one! Indeed there are many who are, sad to say, clean-shaven, who are nonetheless, good, orthodox, and devoted Christians.
But a beard does, in my opinion, add a certain something extra to a man, and to a Christian man in particular. Even the arch-preacher in the Reformed tradition, Charles H. Spurgeon, agrees:
And as Catholic Beard Balm‘s “Daily Blessing of the Beard” puts it,
Lord above, bless this beard as it grows from my face.
Let it serve as a reminder that I am yours.
Let is serve as a symbol of my role in your kingdom.
Let it serve as a sign of your blessing in my life.
As I was anointed and claimed for you at my baptism, I anoint this beard as a reminder of love. Amen.
In order to discern the truth about an event as complex as the Protestant Reformation, one needs to be able to look at it objectively.
Today is celebrated by some Protestant Christians as “Reformation Day,” in memory of the fact that Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the church door at Wittenberg on 31 October 1517, sparking the Protestant Reformation. But what of that Reformation? While the title of this essay is rather click-bait-y, it raises some excellent points:
“Whether someone sides with Catholic or Protestant theology, the Reformation is not something that ought to be celebrated, but much rather commemorated… I may not be an expert historian, but my learnings have led me to believe that neither Catholics nor Protestants have the higher moral ground in the outcome of such a travesty. I believe all Christians can benefit from refraining from boasting in a movement that was motivated by the thoughts and actions of mere men.”
And which has led to untold death, destruction, division, and polarization in the centuries since. I tend to view the Reformation as a (possibly, on the assumption that Rome was incapable of reforming itself, apart from the resulting revolution – an assumption which is neither provable nor disprovable at this juncture) necessary evil, in light of some very real late-medieval errors and abuses on the part of the Roman Church. That said, the idea that it was a triumph of faith, reason, and theological precision in direct contradistinction to “Popish superstition” and apostasy is a lot harder to defend, if one looks at the matter in more detail.
Particularly onerous to me is the implication – and, at times, outright assertion – on the part of some Protestants that the Holy Spirit had in effect abandoned the Church for a period of a thousand years, from the end of the 5th century to the beginning of the 16th. And of course, the Reformation enshrined the principle of individual interpretation, the dismantling of tradition, and the devaluation of the authority found in the consensus fidelium, which led – via a trajectory clearly traceable from the Reformation through the “Enlightenment” – to the contemporary marginalization of the Church(es) and the Christian faith itself, in our present era.
So, no, I do not “celebrate” the Reformation. I tip my hat to it; I recognize the value in some of its accomplishments, and in what some of its leaders said and did. But I don’t deify it, I don’t idolize it, and I don’t let myself be blinded to its shadow side.