Wednesday, March 26, 2014
I think the central pathology of that strand of Evangelical Protestantism that arose in the Great Awakenings in this country is that it is attempting to save this false self rather than putting it to death in baptism then resurrecting and nourishing the True Self which is being made over daily in the image of Christ in God. Now, I realize that is a big loud statement from The King Of Sinners, the Emperor of the Passions,....That is potent stuff. We are saving the wrong self and isolating him/her. Christianity is about re-creation and community and we have turned into the exact opposite.
Now, I’m not really making a plea to allow Orthodoxy to save the West. I want to see if it will save me first. But I am frightened, terrified, that the legal-economic golem the West has unleashed upon the world and which appears to proceed from strength to strength will eventually succeed in devouring every possible wellspring of our personhood and leave us in sterile anonymous isolation, crying out for each other through official descriptions and caressing each other only through the mediation of counsel.
I truly wonder what God is thinking? This must all be part of his plan, and yet we seem to be wandering so far from it?
The answer, I think, lies in simply reaching out and being intimate with someone. That directly addresses the second concern and intimacy cannot help but expose the false self as false, thus indirectly addressing the first. This in the end is what I think small groups are supposed to do, but in this therapeutic age, they generally retreat into self-expression, not intimacy.
How can the church promote intimacy?