Thursday, October 29, 2009

Church And State

I got a really interesting comment to my post at Classical Values: A Libertine Speaks.

Even though I spent many years active in the Church, preaching and having a music ministry, once I got old enough to realize I didn't have all the answers, I didn't want any church elders having influence in law. Law should only be about not directly harming others, and nothing else.

The problem with imposing values is that when someone says "God told me this is the right thing to do" you can't argue with it. They've invoked the ultimate authority and don't think they have to even listen to opposing viewpoints. Calvin, who is STILL considered an authority, had people murdered for disagreeing with him. Almost every Christian church old enough has blood on its hands.

I've been active in quite enough churches to see first hand the jealousy and conflicting values. My music was more modern, and some Christians said "I feel the Spirit" and others said "I feel Satan in this why did you do this". They weren't both right, but both think they know God enough to use the Law to force people to live according to their own set of values.

Paul even told the early church in Corinthians to stop arguing over less important matters.

Jesus spent his whole time WITH the "sinners", not lecturing them or judging them.

We've already seen what the world looks like when the Church runs it, no one wants to go back to that.

plutosdad · October 29, 2009 03:05 PM
I have nothing to add.

Well actually I do have something to add. Eric at Classical Values documents some people who do want to go back to a time when the church ran the world as it still does in some places.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Unknown said...

Actually I kinda do feel inclined to add something ... this all sounds cool, but it's boilerplate.

"once I got old enough to realize I didn't have all the answers, I didn't want any"

How does this work in practice. Suppose you come into some situation and you don't know - at all - what to do ... what happens ?

That's right ... you react anyway. So you do have all the answers, in the sense that whatever the question, whatever the situation, even the most extremely unclear circumstances ... you do something.

Does this mean necessarily you know the best answer ? Ofcourse not.

But in reality it is not possible to live if you don't "have all the answers". At some point you would "block" and fall into nothingness, for you brain does not have an answer to a situation. In order to not give an actual answer the brain has only one choice : shut down. If there truly is no reaction to a certain situation, that would cause your brain to shutdown.

Whoops. Doesn't seem to happen that often, now does it ?

So of course your assertion about "nobody having all the answers" is else entirely. Specifically, you think that you know better than, oh basically everyone.

This is great, but of course you should take into account that the vast majority of people do not, in fact, know better. You and me are probably amongst those who do not, in fact, know better. Granted, there are probably at best a few dozen Einsteins alive worldwide who do. (and no I don't consider myself amongst them, I'm almost always quite happy to do what local "elders" (church, and otherwise) say)

So while you think you know better, this is in fact nearly certainly not actually true.

It is VERY christian of you to elevate everyone worldwide to this level of competence, in reality only present in a few humans. Jesus would be proud. I doubt the realism of it, though. I doubt, especially, whether others are in fact willing to actually give you that choice. Especially if there is an economic recession, an attitude like that seems unlikely to take hold.

In truth, this attitude will leave very large numbers of people stranded, and elevate a few above the fold.

For 99.9999% or more thinking like this is not actually a good idea : they would lose.

Not to say I don't agree with freedom being the best policy. I just wish to make the point that the more people live closely together, the more attractive an option slavery is. For the large majority of people, freedom really is another word for nothing left to lose. If you truly are a prima donna who knows better, then freedom is fantastic. Otherwise, not so much.

Of course, every other system was worse.

Pastorius said...

I relate to this guy's experience so much. I was probably quite a bit younger than he was when I realized "I didn't have all the answers", but believe me I had a bellyful of the "Christian Music Ministry" world.

Terry Taylor is the man, though.

The guy who wrote that would know who I mean, and why I say that, I believe.

I sat with Terry Taylor for two hours in a nook at a skating rink after he had played a "Christian concert" to "edify" the teens. He told me about the movie My Dinner With Andre, and he told me his feelings about art, love, and God, and he helped open my mind, when I was just 17 years old.

At that point, I could not understand why my music was being rejected by the Christian world, when I felt so much a part of it.

After talking to Terry, I didn't care anymore.