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Domain Query: The Sacrament of Sin

by | Jan 12, 2020 | Christianity, Uncategorized | 3 comments

Longtime reader and friend of the blog Kapios stopped by with some harsh commentary about the current state of the Catholic Church when he saw my reading recommendations from last year:

I don’t know why, but Milo’s book about the Pope caught my eye and once I clicked the link I noticed a bunch of other authors writing about the evils of Francis and the Vatican in general. I’ve also heard stories about greed and degeneracy growing rampant in other Christian denominations. Mount Athos, supposedly one of the holiest places in Europe is run purely like a business. Archbishops in different countries also run churches more like corporations and they not only seem to be exempt from taxes, they can bypass government laws like it’s nothing.



As a Greek I am particularly disappointed about the situation in mount Athos. It used to be that the leader (its founder at least) led by example and people practiced asceticism. Even though I am a man, I have no desire to step into that place ever (women are prohibited from entering), because they no longer practice asceticism. They are subtly torturing people. I would imagine the Vatican started off with noble intentions and it just baffles me how all these places have evolved so backwards.



It’s not just religious institutions. It’s corporations with good foundations, turning into greed machines or governments with sound laws turning into tyrannies. Are we doomed to keep destroying what was once beautiful and empowering into a symbol of degeneracy? Do you think we will ever stop that cycle? Especially for religion in this case.



I’m agnostic at this point in my life, but I practice asceticism because It’s a fantastic remedy for the way I abused my body and mind with bad habits. I don’t think anyone has managed to formalize and promote asceticism as much as the Christians did in the past, so it breaks my heart to see such things being forgotten and swept away like it’s nothing.




There is a lot to unpack here, so let’s start with the first point that he raises.

He is correct that greed and rampancy are really getting much worse across all Christian denominations, pretty much. The Catholic Church is not exceptional in this regard. This is a global phenomenon and is not restricted to any one particular denomination.

In the USA, the United Methodist Church – the third largest Christian denomination in the country – is set to break apart over the issue of gay “marriage”, wherein the traditionalists and conservatives on one side want to stick to the Biblical (therefore correct) understanding of marriage, and the “progressives” want to “move with the times” and accept sodomites and eventually even catamites into the church when they get “married”.

The Southern Baptists have been in decline for decades, and are desperately trying to regain their numbers by accepting gay members into their churches. They are sacking and defrocking priests who argue that God can redeem and cure gays of their degeneracy.

The Anglicans have long since cucked out; the Church of England is one of the squishiest, wooliest, waffliest, and most lukewarm of all of the Protestant denominations when it comes to Scripture and the path of God.

The Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches have their own problems too. They represent a much more traditionalist, masculine, hard-line form of Christianity, and I really like that about them; but their leaders seem to be a little too keen on enriching themselves, and I’ve heard plenty of awful stories from my Russian contacts and friends who say that their Orthodox priests have no time or patience for the poor and hungry.

And let’s not even start with Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Calvinists.

It is indeed profoundly sad to watch as Christian denominations and sects all around the world cuck out and embrace the world instead of embracing God. This is in direct violation of the very essence of the Scriptures, which tell us that as Christians we are in the world, but not of it.

But the temptations of the world are strong – extremely so.

I realise why this looks so depressing to an agnostic or a non-Christian. From your perspective, you see Christians like me telling people to live righteously and be kind to one another and give generously of our time and money to those less fortunate than ourselves. You hear us preach piously about morality and walking the hard, narrow path of Christ, of avoiding fornication and adultery and sin – and then you see many of us doing exactly the same things that we preach so hard against.

And you rail, rightly, against our hypocrisy and weakness, and turn away in disgust at what you see.

You are right to blame us for our failings as Christians. I once thought as you did and was filled with loathing and hatred for what I thought Christianity represented.

That, by the way, was a great sin on my part. I will have to answer it to the Maker one day, along with all of the rest of my errors. I am not looking forward to it.

However, Christians have a rather different view of this problem, informed and shaped by the Holy Spirit.

Our view of this world is simultaneously both extremely black-pilled – far more so than any atheist or agnostic can imagine – and yet extraordinarily hopeful.

We know that what you see is a direct result of the endlessly malefic will of the Prince of this world – an immortal, prideful, psychopathic liar, killer, mass murderer, rapist, paedophile, spirit of evil incarnate. We see his dark hand behind all of this, and we know that he works through all of us to corrupt us, because we are only human.

We know his power. We see it. We understand that it corrupts the hearts of men as easily and casually as you and I might make ourselves a cup of coffee in the morning. We know that, compared to the power of men, this evil is limitless. It is nearly impossible to fight that evil.

But – and this is what separates Christians from everyone else – we also know that this evil can be defeated. In fact, it has been defeated. It was defeated so badly, so completely and totally, that it has never recovered since that day. And what we see around us is that same evil desperately trying to destroy and damage as many souls as it can, because that evil knows perfectly well that its time is limited.

Now, this is probably cold comfort to any agnostic who looks at the corruption of the churches around the world and asks why this is happening. There are two points here to consider carefully.

First, never forget that the evil that corrupts the hearts of men, especially loves to corrupt the greatest and seemingly most pious among us. This was noted explicitly in the New Testament:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.



— 1 Peter 5:6-10, English Standard Version





Second, the Book of Revelation explicitly states that of the greatest churches in the world, all but one will be found wanting. You can read Revelation literally or metaphorically – I care not and will not tell you how to read it, mostly because, out of all of the books of the New Testament, it is by far the most difficult to figure out. But it has been clear for well over 15 centuries that churches WILL become corrupted and flawed over time.

Why is this?

Because the temptations of the world are all around us and will always be there. It is not possible to get away from them. We simply have to find a way to live with them and try to avoid sinning.

But one reality of big bureaucratic organisations is that the bigger they get, the easier it is for them to be infiltrated by evil. That is as true of religious institutions as it is for companies. It is simply impossible to keep the watch of Argus over everyone to ensure that he or she is in line with the organisation’s core principles.

How therefore does one avoid the destruction of such an institution?

By making it as difficult as possible for the evil and the sinful to stay within them.

And this is where almost every single Christian denomination has made huge mistakes.

Let’s take just the Catholics as an example. The Catholic Church made significant changes after the Second Vatican Conclave to make the doctrine of the Church more appealing to lay-people, by switching the language of daily mass from Latin to vulgate and by paring back a lot of the old rituals and traditions. The Vatican also made it much more easy for homosexuals to join the Church. They did so out of a misguided and wholly misplaced sense of compassion; male homosexuals, vilified and hated and persecuted by the wider society, often had nowhere else to go, and as such were able to join the Church and find a home and a profession.

But the Vatican never compromised on its core requirement of celibacy for the priesthood – nor, in my view, should it have done so. Christians understand, perhaps better than anyone else, that celibacy is a gift and a calling, and that almost no man is able to adhere to it without suffering terribly.

Bringing in male homosexuals into an environment where celibacy is a job requirement was, in all honesty, simply asking for trouble. One aspect of male homosexuality that has become undeniably clear and obvious is that gay men are randier than rutting goats, as a general rule (there are always exceptions), and even harder to corral.

The result has been what Milo described in Diabolical, which is what got Kapios started down this road in the first place. The Vatican is INFESTED top-to-bottom (as Sterling Archer would say – “Phrasing – BOOM!”) with butt-buggery of the worst kind. And that is before we get to the Church’s extremely heavily publicised, and extremely damaging, problems with paedophiles in the clergy.

The Catholic Church deliberately and intentionally weakened its own defences against evil. And let me be very clear here – I am NOT calling sodomites “evil” in and of themselves. They are merely human, like the rest of us. They do, however, indulge in a genuine sin that is deeply unnatural – and they then turn around and demand to be recognised as anything but sinners.

As a result, the Catholic Church has weakened itself spiritually and morally from within. And as any student of history can tell you, very few great fortresses were ever conquered through force of arms alone; they were always conquered after being rotted out from within through weakness and treachery.

Robert Conquest’s Second Law of Politics applies equally well to both religious and temporal organisations: “any organisation not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing”. Similarly, any church organisation that does not make it explicitly clear that it stands with God against the world, will end up standing with the world against God – and will be destroyed.

Kapios points out that one way to combat this degeneracy is through asceticism, and that pretty much nobody practiced this quite as well as the early Christians. Here I must issue some corrections, because this is not quite true.

Asceticism is unquestionably a good way to deal with the evil of this world. This is the same philosophy practiced by the Cynics, the Stoics, the Buddhists, and others. It essentially comes down to denying oneself worldly pleasures and essentially “grinning and bearing it” when it comes to dealing with the problem of evil.

As solutions go, it is not a bad one, not at all. The Stoic “noble pagans” that the early Church fathers spoke and wrote of were objects of admiration and approval, for they lived much as St. Paul and the other Apostles did.

But they could not, and can never, solve the problem of the existence of evil.

No one has ever yet asked me why I am a Christian. But if anyone does, my answer will be simple: “I am a Christian because I believe that evil exists in a material, tangible, measurable form, and I believe that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the solution to that evil”.

It is precisely because they cannot solve the problem of the existence of evil that you see at times such despair in the words of agnostics and ascetics. To repeat, their philosophy is not a bad one. There are many good things to be said about foregoing worldly pleasures and concentrating on purity of body, mind, and spirit.

But ultimately, such purity is pointless if it is not used to some end.

And now we come to Kapios’s last point, about the heartbreak that accompanies such a sight.

He is right. It is heartrending to see the great religious and cultural touchstones of our past subverted and torn down the way they have been. For a secular equivalent, just look at how STAR WARS fans have reacted to the Devil Mouse Wars trilogy that so many of us hate with such fiery passion. We hate it because Disney destroyed something wonderful, beautiful, and uplifting, flawed and silly though it might have been.

The human heart weeps and bleeds when that which is beautiful is torn down and replaced with that which is ugly.

So what do we do about it?

Well, again, here the Christian has a distinctly different mindset – because we know that this evil has already been defeated.

Agnostics can take no such comfort, and it is for this reason that I have great compassion for them. They see the bleakness and ugliness that is rampaging through this world and they think that this is all that there is. They have immense difficulty in retaining hope for the future.

The Christian does not have this problem.

Think about the history of the Church, in a general sense, and you will see why this is so. The whole history of Christianity hinged upon twelve frightened, weak, cowardly men – who witnessed something impossible.

And look at what they turned into.

Look at the world around you. For all of its ugliness and despair, for all of its sin and wickedness, for all that is disgusting and perverted about it, there is also great beauty and wonder, magnificent architecture and soaring music and delightful art, and beautiful happy people who live every day to love and worship and venerate God to the best of their abilities.

The hope that we have comes from the sure knowledge of our faith, that evil has already suffered a catastrophic defeat from which it has never recovered. All that this evil can do now is to try to inflict maximum collateral damage before it is destroyed forever.

You and I will not know the exact hour when this final triumph will come. But it will come – of this, I no longer have any doubt.

For that is the power of faith. And with faith – with that ephemeral yet tangible link between a man and his God – comes hope.

So do not despair, my friend. Do not fear. That which is good, beautiful, and true will win out against that which is evil, ugly, and false. It will take time. It will be a hard road. But it will happen nonetheless.

Already there are signs all around us that the world is changing for the better. Nations are rediscovering themselves and their faith. The banner of the Holy Cross flies high in places where godless atheism held sway for 70 years and the veneration of God and Jesus Christ was punishable by imprisonment and death. Christians gather in secret in China to pray to the Lord, risking arrest and torture for their faith. Christians gather to greet each other with the sign of peace in the deepest, darkest hellholes of the Dirt World, knowing that they could be massacred by adherents of the false “prophet” of Islam simply for refusing to bend the knee to the evil prince of this world.

If you take nothing else from all of this, then remember these numbers: 12, 2, 3, and 1.

The very same churches that have cucked out and betrayed the faith and fallen prey to the siren song of the world, were descended from the one church that twelve terrified and scattered men came together to create after they witnessed something incredible.

All we ever needed was twelve, and look at what we achieved in the two thousand years since.

Those same twelve men had only the Word of one man, who was God, to guide them. And that same man told us that wherever there are two or three of us together who believe, there He will be also.

And never forget that as long as you and your woman have faith, hope, and love, these three things will combine together so that from the two of you will come one new soul, born into the love and grace of the Lord.

That is all that we need to defeat evil.

What power, then, does despair have, if it can be defeated so easily by 12, 2, 3, and 1?

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3 Comments

  1. Eduardo the Magnificent

    I was raised a Catholic, but am currently attending a Presbyterian church because although I disagree much with some of the theology, it has a top-notch community that earnestly strives after Christ. I've been rummaging over the different denominations and why they exist. Much work needs to be done to unify the Church, but I think I've identified some basic steps. Humility will be required, if course.

    Catholics: purge your ranks. You would have many more allies in the other denominations if you admitted your error in dealing with the pedos and cleaned house. The cover-up is always worse than the crime. Getting rid of Vatican II would be nice, but that would be useless if the wicked are still in control (insert chicken or egg argument here).

    Protestants: study church history. Christianity did not begin when Luther nailed his Thesis to the door. Catholic and Orthodox history IS your history. Great as CS Lewis was, Justin Martyr and John Chrysotom were better. I know you think your personal relationship with Jesus is all you need, but you hypocrite yourself whenever you do good works, so throw that idea out the window and really try to connect with Christ. You're leaving a millennia and a half of solid theology on the table by ignoring your past. Go back and embrace it.

    Reply
    • Didact

      Amen, Reverend.

      Catholics: purge your ranks. You would have many more allies in the other denominations if you admitted your error in dealing with the pedos and cleaned house.

      Yep. The Catholic Church is in desperate need of another Inquisition – one with real teeth this time, that actually can purge and burn heretics.

      Protestants: study church history. Christianity did not begin when Luther nailed his Thesis to the door.

      Correct. Both the Catholic and Orthodox traditions are rich and have a phenomenal number of great thinkers who explored and examined the relationship between God and Man. Rejecting all of that just because Protestants don't like the Catholic obsession with worshiping the Virgin Mary or other odd non-Biblical traditions, is simply silly.

      Reply
    • Eduardo the Magnificent

      Thing is, Catholics don't worship Mary. She's venerated (as the Fifth Commandment requires) and she's asked to pray on our behalf (Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners…), but she's not worshipped. That's one of those petty things that need to be put aside, and would go away if different denominations were sincere about reconciling with their fellow Christians. Sadly, we are not.

      Reply

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