The touchy-feely version of Christianity, with its nauseating church guitars and flags of many different hues, is at heart a buffet Christianity. You pick the bits that you like and ignore the icky parts that could be somewhat inconvenient to your upwardly mobile status. In this postmodern church of niceness, emoting is the highest virtue, while shame and judgment are frowned upon, (but not in a judgmental manner). Everyone is accepted and everyone is forgiven, just for turning up, and even then you can probably forego that onerous obligation if you like. Why not? It’s your own Christianity, your buffet Christianity. Your spirituality is all about you, how it makes you feel, how it makes you happy, how it makes you into a god in yourown eyes.
Io, io, io, io. The egoism knows no bounds.
The philosopher Edward Fraser has written an article on the out of fashion concept of suffering. The subject of suffering is one that dimwitted atheist types often return to for just one more gnaw of the bone that goes something along the lines of, if God were real then why would he allow all of this suffering?
Moreover, and as Remler discusses at length, we deserve to suffer for our sins. And this leads us to a further reason why there must be suffering in human life, which is that it serves as a punishment for sin. True, if we genuinely repent, God will preserve us from the eternal damnation we have merited. But we are not entirely “off the hook.” There is temporal punishment that must be paid for every single sin we commit, and our debt gets very high over the course of a lifetime.
I suffered a great deal when my wife divorced me. Yet when I examine my life and the often cavalier way in which I have used women for my own selfish purposes, then that suffering is justifiable punishment for my wrongdoing. And I am grateful for that suffering as it means that my burden of sin after I die will be lessened.
At the same time, “the advantages of present sufferings over future ones are great beyond measure,” for “in this life you can accomplish vastly more in a few hours than you could in Purgatory perhaps in ever so many years,” provided that you accept suffering in a penitential spirit, out of sorrow for sin and love of God, and in union with Christ’s suffering on the Cross.
Christ Himself, although he was spotless of sin, willingly suffered for our sins. His act saved us but it also set the expectation. This is real Christianity, the Christianity that preaches love and compassion but also judgment and suffering. As worthy Christians we must feel grateful for our suffering as it moves us closer to God.
But we do not only sin as individuals; we can also sin as communities, as cities and as nations. By remaining silent when evil is perpetrated in our lands we then condone such sinning by our failure to act. The lies that are being told now are but one example of this group sinning. A lie needs two players for it to work; the person who tells the lie and the person who believes it. You believe a lie by acting within the bounds of the lie. So for example, you may know that all of this Covid malarkey is utter nonsense, but when you go and get a PCR test so you can have that QR code on your phone which will let you go out to a nice restaurant, you are now a willing participant of the lie. You are the lie’s second half.
Which is a sin. The phrase ‘when good men remain silent’ is nonsensical. The act of remaining silent demonstrates that the man in question is not good. Imagine how long our current dire circumstances would last if every man today refused to participate further in the lies. They do it to us with our own acquiescence.
When contemplating how far our nations have fallen and how often we as individuals have been in lockstep with these fallen times so as not to upset our upwardly mobile status, then one can view our present circumstances under tyranny as justifiable punishment for our collective wrongdoing. We are being punished for the sinful ways of our societies, and as a result we must atone and suffer.
Yesterday I wrote a piece about not taking the black pill of despair. Readers left comments asking what could they do. There are many things that you not only can do but that you must do if our communities are going to emerge from these tumultuous times as God fearing nations once again. Remember, this is primarily a spiritual battle as opposed to a physical one. I have given you one example today, the example of not participating in the lies. That’s a big one. If you can all manage that then we will have come a long way.