Modernity came and many of us said: “Good. We like some of that, but don’t like other bits.”
We rejected the idea that natural science (“Science!”) was the only means to know, though we appreciated the help it gave us in forming questions.
We thought the idea that man was fundamentally economic was wrongheaded.
We were unpersuaded that the new morality wasn’t just the old decadence.
And we refused to get along with the Soviet Union . . . insisting it was an Evil Empire.
Post-modernity came and, when we could get people to tell us what it was, we were also unpersuaded.
We were told it had new insights, but could not find much we could not gain from other forms of philosophy.
We agreed with the critique of modernity, but pointed out that we had never embraced modernity wholesale.
We were told to be multicultural, but then informed our morals should be those of people overwhelming educated in post-modern Western values.
And we have been told the “kids” would leave us so many times (“Christianity must change or die!” he shrieked in four hundred AD) in the Enlightenment, the Revolutionary Age, Modernity, and Post-Modernity, that we have stopped worrying too much about it. Nothing is so dated as the up to date. My great-grand if she is Orthodox is bound to read: “The findings of our time doom traditional Christianity. We must give up on . . . or die!”
She will be doomed! Unless of course she listens, thinks, learns what is good, and then ignores the rest.
So millions of Americans continue to believe the Christian message as it has been believed in most places by most people at most times. Just as we refused to condemn interracial marriage, never illegal in many states of the Union, to follow a parochial (and wicked) trend of racism, so we refuse to expand marriage to include those living in sin.
We do not think “love” or “desire” or “not hurting anyone” is the best means for deciding morality. We continue to believe that divine Revelation, as understood by the universal church, is the best standard.
For some reason, this leads Christians who reject the “old ways” (as some have done in every generation) to try to understand us. We must be afraid of change. We must be reacting to an uncertain world. We must hate someone or dislike difference.
This makes us chuckle, because this is so wrong. We don’t fear post-modernism, we disagree with some of its ideas. We don’t shudder to think old ideas might be wrong, we just don’t assume new ideas are right. No Christian should hate anybody and we don’t dislike difference: we dislike sin. When young adults tell us that no saint of any Church, East or West, has ever had a right view on some moral issue, we don’t know they are wrong for sure, but we suspect they are.
When it comes to politics, most of us in America prefer limited government, but know we can live under any government that will leave us alone, let us educate our children, and run our lives as we see fit. We have endured six hundred years in Syria as a minority and know what to do.
When we examine the arguments of the new and more trendy Christians, we are not persuaded. Of course, Christians, traditional Christians, might lose this culture and the majority of people now alive in North America and Western Europe, but that does not concern us too much. We will count on our African and Asian brothers and sisters, where most of the Christian Church is, to help.
I look forward to the missionaries. They will have sanctuary in my home.
As for the future, we are confident that a nation that can tolerate the Amish will put up with us. And in one hundred years, I predict that traditional Christian morals will still have adherents, but the particular deviations from orthodoxy will be gone. Why? It is always so. This present crop of revisions are as certain of their rectitude as the lost crop and I predict any Evangelical school, denomination, or program they take will be as thriving as the groups the revisionists took in the Nineteenth century.
The “growth” of the Episcopal Church USA does not bode well for their experiment!
Meanwhile, we can consider where we might be wrong and learn even from those we think wicked, live good lives, and love our neighbors, even the wrongheaded ones, as we would be loved.