A Sleeping Pill Called Heresy

My late brother, a World War II veteran, had a talent for getting at the heart of things and a knack for expressing his thoughts forcefully on his feet. In the Brooklyn, New York of the 1930s, he could boast that he argued with priests and took them down in face-to-face debate. In spite of his Catholic upbringing, he managed to make his family wonder what had gotten into him.

The scholar in my brother induced him to read Thomas Aquinas and other luminaries of Christianity, presumably to debunk church teaching, and when he discovered the depth of his ignorance about life and about the true nature of Christianity, the turncoat of the family soon dedicated himself to following Christ.

The spiritual journey of his kid brother, me, not less dedicated to seeking truth, led to a study of other religions. I read Alan Watts instead of Aquinas. Sal got to know one religion well; I got to know several well enough to appreciate “where they came from” and to see the gap in thought and feeling between East and West, a gap that many 20th century theologists tried to bridge with Western rationales, to little avail. Even Watts, who knew East and West perhaps better than any other soul, stumbled when, in comparing their respective metaphysics, he thought that Western religion was flawed in uniting God with the moral principle.

This to me was a tacit surrender to the “principle” that might makes right, after all, a de facto dismissal of the value and the reality of human life.

My own “research” told me that separating God from the moral principle is like separating body from mind, the very dualism shunned in the East where notions like matter/mind, up/down − tolerated for convenience − need to be grown out of, on the way to becoming mature adults. But in the West, where polarity dominates everything including thought, the separation of God from the moral principle becomes a detour from the road to growing fully into a human being.

This is quite like trying to change the body because “science” tells us there is something wrong with it. In response, I would say “back to the drawing board” – not for the body but for the “science.” The brain, thanks to its Originator, is designed to engage in reality, not invent it.

This is something that agenda-mongering “progressives” have yet to learn, after centuries of vaunted “progress.” And their number includes, I must add, today’s “reformers” of the Christian faith, among them a good many pastors. To continue my analogy, these “reformers” of society are attempting to dismantle their own bodies and destroy their own souls, taking down their followers with them.

The obsession of progressive religious leaders for making Christianity “generic,” as in “universal,” “ecumenical,” “inclusive” is applauded by globalists who by their actions demonstrate their contempt for God-centered religion. When I first heard the word “inclusive,” as it has come to be used since the 1970s, I said to myself and to others, “Are we to ‘include’ evil?” I asked and still ask: Are we to be so naïvely undiscriminating as to “include” death and self-destruction when such outcomes are peddled with seductive words like “choice” and “liberation”? Christian church leaders fail in their mission to guide people through the moral tunnels of life when they “include” ideas and attitudes at odds with the Christian Gospel, such as terminating the life of children before they are born or suppressing the life of humans of any age that no longer serve the rulers, or promoting sexual conduct that violates the design of the body and rejects the first and primary purpose of sex: procreation.

We are supposed to reject such “outdated” moral advice because it is “out of fashion.” Have we forgotten that having a body with a head on it is equally “old fashioned, a fact that transhumanists seem to detest. Doing stupid and evil things, in the name of progress or under the mantle of “the common good,” has become a habit among progressive reformers since their washing out of Christianity from public life and from the church.

The smell of degeneracy in the church has in fact a long history. “It was in January 1798,” wrote William Hazlitt, “that I rose one morning before daylight, to walk ten miles in the mud, to hear [Coleridge] preach. ...A poet and a philosopher getting up into a...pulpit to preach the gospel was a romance in these degenerate days, a sort of revival of the primitive spirit of Christianity...as if the sounds had echoed from the bottom of the human heart.” [1]

How to connect the depth of the heart with the height of the intellect, even among brainy Christians that squabble over doctrine, is a problem that ought not freeze the will to find and abide in the truth regarding our union with God.

Which brings me back to what got into my brother when, like the new hotshot on the block, he ridiculed the faith not only of his parents but of parents reaching back to God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob. What got into him (before his awakening), and continues to get into many who wittingly or unwittingly wander from the spiritual unity with God that they are born with, is heresy preached by intellectuals who themselves are not fully awake. It’s a mistake not made by, for example, the man of math and science we know as Blaise Pascal who ultimately concluded that “the laws of nature and the laws of God − God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars − set limits on us. Reject them as oppressive, and we suffer; accept them as opportunities, and we prosper.” [2]

Blaise Pascal

How far has heresy closed doors of opportunity and driven people astray? How many have fallen asleep to reality? Thanks to the celebrated ghost of sophistry known as Zeitgeist, today even the pope wants his flock to follow the atheistic United Nations instead of the Gospel, while atheists get appointed as chaplains – to cite two extreme examples of compromising morality. That such actions are applauded by those who hate God, tacitly or openly, while claiming to help society should surprise only those still sleeping.

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[1] William Hazlitt, “My First Acquaintance with Poets.”

[2] Statement found on a slip of paper sewn inside Pascal’s coat after his death.

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