Christianity for Atheists

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Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts explains why Liberal Christianity is the perfect religion for Christians who hate Christianity:

First, a clarification of terms.  To me, the term ‘Leftist Christianity’, or ‘Christian Leftists’, denotes those who are within the Faith, who hold to various orthodox doctrines (bodily Resurrection, Virgin Birth, Jesus actually existed), and yet filter these through slavish devotion to the Marxist Left.  Like old conservative Evangelicals were accused of doing with Republican politics, so these allow for no spiritual affirmation or growth unless it is done before the altar of the political Left.
‘Liberal Christianity’, however, is what I use to reference that branch of Christianity that can scarcely be called Christianity.  Baptized in the name of Rudolf Bultmann and devoted to the last couple centuries of critical scholarship, there is often little remaining of the Faith other than a name.  An excellent example of this comes from an interview with the Reverend Serene Jones, who heads the uber-liberal Union Theological Seminary, whose religious musings are as bona fide heretical as you can get.  You can read the whole thing here. 
Key excerpts that leap out at me are these:

“I find the virgin birth a bizarre claim. It has nothing to do with Jesus’ message. The virgin birth only becomes important if you have a theology in which sexuality is considered sinful. It also promotes this notion that the pure, untouched female body is the best body, and that idea has led to centuries of oppressing women.”

Of course it’s a vast, male conspiracy.  Or this little Q&A:

“What happens when we die? 

I don’t know! There may be something, there may be nothing. My faith is not tied to some divine promise about the afterlife. …” 

The hope of the agnostic.  Or this:

“For me, the message of Easter is that love is stronger than life or death. That’s a much more awesome claim than that they put Jesus in the tomb and three days later he wasn’t there. For Christians for whom the physical resurrection becomes a sort of obsession, that seems to me to be a pretty wobbly faith.”

For most of liberal Christianity, about 90%-95% of the Bible is false, wrong, lies, or fairy tales.  That includes, by the way, Jesus’ own message.  As much as they cling to ‘if Jesus didn’t say it, it isn’t important’, the fact is they’re just as willing to cast aside what Jesus is reported to have said when needed.  I saw that happen in debates about homosexuality back in the day.  Something Jesus said about God making man and woman to be joined together?  Bah.  Just discard that as a later interpolation (with no evidence needed of course).  
Calling this Christianity is like calling the New England Patriots a baseball team.  It means nothing.  It is a form of Gnosticism; a sort of ‘I’m just spiritual enough to know everyone else got it wrong, and since my faith is based on my faith, nothing can happen to change it.’  
The good news is that, like most heresies, those who embrace this tend to dwindle away.  The denominations following this line of denial are dying.  It’s not really a question of if, it’s merely a question of when they will cease to exist. The sad part is that it affirms the non-belief of the world at large.  Many souls reject the Gospel with the firm stamp of ‘Liberal Christians approve this message.’

I thought this was appropriate to blog about on what is Orthodoxy’s Spy Wednesday, the hour of shadows, when Satan enters Judas, and a disciple sells the Son of God for thirty pieces of silver. 

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.  1 John 2:22-23

Go here to comment.  When it comes to Liberal Christianity, understand that the second part of that formulation is rendered a complete nullity by the first part.

 

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24 Comments

  1. Liberal Christians like using the name Christian as giving them integrity when speaking about social justice but without believing in all that spiritual baggage that Orthodox Christianity demands of our faith. It’s the same thing about Gay activists. They hate the Church, believes her to be non-relevant in today’s world and despise what she teaches about homosexuality yet they try and try to get her to change her teachings about sexuality. Why? Why care what she teaches if they don’t give a rat’s arse about her? Because they know If they can get the Church behind them it affords them the integrity and recognition they believe they deserve.

  2. Daniel J. Mahoney in Idol of Our Age names what Dave calls “liberal Christianity” “humanitarianism” and deems it a secular religion which, as the subtitle says, “[s]ubverts Christianity.” Not sure yet if he’s picking up where Belloc of left off in The Great Heresies yet , but it seems so.

  3. Only sins against the Holy Spirit are unforgiven. Mary’s overshadowing by the Holy Spirit denied. The Blessed Trinity denied. The Sacraments denied. The work of the Holy Spirit denied.

  4. Liberals had better hope and pray that Mary DeVoe is wrong. But they are liberals, so they won’t. That makes Mary right. And that’s why it’s hopeless to dialogue with liberals. If course there are always exceptions, but those are far and few between.

  5. “And that’s why it’s hopeless to dialogue with liberals. If course there are always exceptions, but those are far and few between.”

    I too feel that way at times but I have to keep reminding myself that in Christ there is always hope. Outwardly we may not see the conversion in someone but God does. It is not our job to count numbers as to how many exceptions there may be but to continue to educate and let God convert the heart. Some may have said I was hopelessly lost at one time but fortunately they did not stop praying for me. This is what we need to constantly do for those who do not believe.

  6. These types of responses from the clergy just drives me bonkers! He knows what the CCC says but cannot bring himself to say it…As they say this would have been a very teachable moment for the secular press and he just totally took a pass on it. I’m sorry…I am just so sorry for this coming from a Catholic shepherd.

  7. I don’t know. Is there Church of Niceity a schism, a heresy, or a pagan imitation of Christ’s Church?

  8. NBC: “But how can you welcome people that you call ‘intrinsically disordered?’”
    The inclination, the attraction to persons of the same sex is intrinsically disordered as is all concupiscence in every human being. The free will act of sodomy and the consent to sodomy is “intrinsically disordered”. Man must avoid the near occasion of sin to be forgiven.
    “I AM WHO I AM” “I AM” the Father, “I AM” the Son, I AM “WHO” the Holy Spirit.
    NBC: “But how can you welcome people that you call ‘intrinsically disordered?’”
    Calling people “that” is hardly welcoming them with love into the Holy Spirit. It is an insult to be conflated with a dresser drawer “that” might be opened. It is a perfectly insidious violation of the sovereign personhood of the person to be denied his accord with the Holy Spirit “WHO”.
    Respect for the human being, body and soul, begins with acknowledgement of his creation by “their Creator” in sovereign personhood endowed with unalienable and innate human rights.
    The blind leading the blind, both have fallen into the pit.

  9. NBC: “But how can you welcome people that you call ‘intrinsically disordered?’”
    The inclination, the attraction to persons of the same sex is intrinsically disordered as is all concupiscence in every human being. The free will act of sodomy and the consent to sodomy is “intrinsically disordered”. Man must avoid the near occasion of sin to be forgiven.

    “I AM WHO I AM” “I AM” the Father, “I AM” the Son, I AM “WHO” the Holy Spirit.
    NBC: “But how can you welcome people that you call ‘intrinsically disordered?’”
    Calling people “that” is hardly welcoming them with love into the Holy Spirit. It is an insult to be conflated with a dresser drawer “that” might be opened. It is a perfectly insidious violation of the sovereign personhood of the person to be denied his accord with the Holy Spirit “WHO”.
    Respect for the human being, body and soul, begins with acknowledgement of his creation by “their Creator” in sovereign personhood endowed with unalienable and innate human rights.
    The blind leading the blind, both have fallen into the pit.

  10. I often recall with pleasure the trenchant words of Mgr Ronald Knox on Liberal Christianity and its underpinning by the Higher Criticism:

    “And here steps in a very pestilent psychological influence. The lecturer who combats Kirchhoff, or exposes Ferrcro, can do so without any imputation of narrow-mindedness. He has, in this instance, clearly no axe to grind. But if he be a Christian, and a fortiori if he be a clergyman, he is afraid of the imputation of narrow-mindedness if he takes up the same attitude towards Harnack or Spitta. When Mr. Cornford writes about Thucydides, Oxford historians cheerfully dispose of him in half a lecture, but when he writes about Christianity, Oxford theologians see cause for much searching of hearts and wagging of heads. But is there any reason for this difference, except that we are all in such craven fear of being thought illiberal?”

  11. “Craven” certainly describes Cardinal Tobin’s response to the reporters “why do you hate gays?” (implied) framing of the question.

  12. “Why do you hate gays?”

    It’s a trap like, “When did you stop beating your wife?”

    We ought not peacefully co-exist such dishonest, hateful people. You know. The ones that tried to character assassinate Brett Kavanaugh. However, we must not hate them. Pray for those that curse you. Love those that hate you. And, buy another box of bullets.

  13. “We ought not peacefully co-exist such dishonest, hateful people.”

    No, we shouldn’t. That time has passed. It’s clear they have no desire to peacefully coexist. Continuing to reach out a compromising hand and attempt to meet them halfway would be like Chamberlain flying back to Munich five years later to try it again.

  14. Why do I think that if Foley were Muslim, nobody would have anything to say about his comments on homosexuals?

  15. Ernst- they wouldn’t dare criticise a Muslim.

    Folau was simply quoting the bible on his personal Instagram account. He mentioned adultery amongst other sins including homosexuality, but somehow they zoned in on the homosexual part and this now probably ruin his career and set a new precedent to free speech by high profile personalities.

    By the way, Muslims voted FOR same-sex marriage in our national Referendum last year, because they want to push for polygamy to be legalised, eventually.

    You criticise a Muslim and straight away you are branded Islamophobic. They have all their bases covered- attack in the name of Allah; but when criticised, play the victim card.

    There is a whole new level of hypocrisy going on at the moment on every level and the Catholics Church is as weak as water.

  16. You criticise a Muslim and straight away you are branded Islamophobic. They have all their bases covered- attack in the name of Allah; but when criticised, play the victim card.

    What Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Start there.

    Your first-order problem is likely what it is here, what Glenn Reynolds calls ‘the administrative class’. These are the people who see to it that you’re fired from your job for having views outside the ken of what’s fashionable among a certain sort of professional-managerial type. If your politicians are public servants and not servants of the administrative class, the private-sector wing of the administrative class won’t have the excuse that the law requires they injure others and the public-sector wing will get a beatdown from an ombudsman if they try abusing civil servants. (I know of no occidental country where the legislature – much less the judiciary – favors the broad public over the administrative class, alas).

    Your second-order problem are the various and sundry problems Muslim populations generate in public life and everyday life. They’ll generate fewer problems if your natives stick up for themselves. Which in turn means the capacity of the administrative class to punish natives for sticking up for themselves has to be radically reduced. It’s a reasonable wager that resentful and obstreperous foreigners will learn to live with Kiwi culture and society if they have to navigate ordinary Kiwis exercising the discretion of free men over with whom they associate with and with whom they transact business.

    You might also institute a sane immigration policy. New Zealand doesn’t have severe fertility problems. You could set the issuance of settler’s visas at 0.125% of the extant population per year (about 6,000 at this time) and require before they’re able to take a spot in the queue that they pass an English proficiency test, an insurance physical, and a background check. If they’re from one of a set of 25 problem countries, you limit applications to families with children, to older married couples, and to singles who can demonstrate they’re from a cultural minority (e.g. Egyptian Copts).

  17. “They’ll generate fewer problems if your natives stick up for themselves. Which in turn means the capacity of the administrative class to punish natives for sticking up for themselves has to be radically reduced.”

    Art Deco- I think you’ve summed it up well. Unfortunately nobody has the gall anymore. Herein lies the issue I think: The general population has one view but the media presents a false image to the general population that the majority of the population supports the opposite view. If this is repeated time and again, the general population, overtime, cant be bothered expressing their view because in their minds, they are alone in their views- the media tells them this. The problem is the media wields the power for the administrative class. And on this case, SSM which has freshly been brought in as law in Australia as of 2018, homosexuals are on their smug high horses with revenge in their blood ready to pounce at anyone who puts an eyelash out of place. And the new way to silence a conservative view is to brand it “right wing extremism”.

    Yes, Australia’s immigration is way too high and most of the times immigrants are dumped in the overcrowded big cities. Immigrants breed too. Locals have 2 children, maximum, by choice.

    Comvine all of the above and pin it against a weak Church in Australia, riddled with a reputation of decades of clergy abuse and cover ups, and the odds are against you as a Catholic living out your Faith. But we continue to raise our kids with the Faith and pray for Gods help and protection. I think this is what every good Catholic around the world tries to do.

    Re: strong clergy as per your article, what a crying shame. I can think of one local Parish which my mother goes to where the Priest is strong, vocal and orthodox. Mum and Dads neighbour who is a “catholic” remarried divorcee doesn’t like him ofcourse. She pulled her children out of the parish school and dumped them into a public school. But the numbers in that parish are strong. The Parish Priest, God Bless him, tackles heads with the local Catholic administration over various matters and is vocal to his flock about this and asks them to support him. The catholic administration don’t dare silence him because the numbers in that Parish are very high (most of the parishioners are culturally Maltese, Italian, Lebanese and Filipino, which probably says a lot about which demographics support orthodox Catholicism).

    In terms of Muslims, they are pain in the backside whichever country they immigrate to. I dont know what the solution is there as they are always strong in numbers. We have 225 million Muslim neighbours. Indonesia. *sigh*

  18. We have 225 million Muslim neighbours. Indonesia.

    Neighbours?

    This Google Maps thingy tells me the non-stop flight from Darwin to Denpasar is about 2 1/2 hours. That’s about the distance from London to Budapest by air, or Chicago to Houston. That’s the least time consuming flight there is between Indonesia and Australia. (btw, Denpasar is on Bali, whose population is predominantly Hindu).

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