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Saturday, May 14, 2016

George Adams and the cultural genius of Christianity

Christianity formed and shaped all of the foundations of the modern world

by StFerdIII




It is refreshing, indeed mandatory, to read common sense and real perspectives from the past. Out of the dark and gloom of the modern era of 'scientism' [abiogensis, plant food causes climate, panspermia, life on dead rocks, algae became Achmed etc.]; and into the light of learning. In a culture which praises transgendered bathrooms and applauds a bronze age moon cult as enlightened, it is difficult to understand where civilization came from and why it formed. There is no 'evolution' of civilization to use the modern world's unscientific obsession. Civilization, as with life, art or any material substance, is designed, built, constructed and managed. It can be torn down, just as easily as it can be created.


Adams makes important notes on Christianity's seminal impact on Western Civilization, a metaphysics unlike any which had preceded it in the pagan world:


"Christianity taught also the equality of all men in the sight of God. It taught this not merely as an abstract idea. Stoicism had done that. But in the early Christianity, at least, it put the idea into practice so far as it was possible to do so. The master was held to treat his slave as a brother. They both stood on the same footing within the church, and its offices and dignities were open to both alike. ...instances are not uncommon of men from the lowest classes rising to positions in the church of the highest rank. The teaching of the church always kept before men the idea of the equality in moral rights and in final destiny of all men. That it was the chiefly effective force in establishing practical equality, so far as it has been established, can hardly be asserted."


Equality of men, leads to the equality of rights, freedom of speech and due process, between all men, and over time, women. The universal ethics of Christianity, demanded a universal creed in which all men had to be treated equally, fairly and justly.


"Christianity also taught, as a necessary result of the Christian conception of the relation between God and man, that religion has a direct practical mission as an ethical teacher and help. This was a new and most important step in advance. The ancient national religions had made no ethical demand of the worshipper. The character attributed to the gods could not be helpful to any man. The pagan priest had never looked upon himself as a teacher of morals, or conceived of any reformatory mission for his religion. The Greek or Roman in need of ethical aid and comfort sought the philosopher and not the priest. This whole condition of things Christianity revolutionized. The pure ideal of character which it held aloft in its conception of God, its clear assertion of the necessity and the possibility of such a character for every man which it made in the gospel narrative, created an intimate bond between religion and ethics unknown before. The religious life which Christianity aimed to create in the individual must of necessity express itself in right conduct. This was its true fruit, its external test, and to perfect this the energy of the new religion was especially directed."


Even when acting badly, and Christians have a long history of that, as does most any man or woman today; the ideal does not perish. The character of faith should imbue all action. God is not unknowable or untouchable. He is a part of each person and of the world around us.


...[the] fatherhood of God, typified and proclaimed in an extremely effective form in the sonship of Christ, man’s elder brother, brought man near to God and gave him a new point of view for all the future. Love became the great religious force of the new age. In the practical working of Christianity this idea did not remain a mere idea. It was transformed into a positive force in history through the keen conception which the individual Christian had of the immediate personal relationship between himself and God, by virtue of which the power of the Almighty would come to his aid in his endeavor to make himself like God. In other words, Christianity not merely taught that this relationship was an ideal possibility, but it made men believe it as a fact, so that they actually lived with a sense of the divine power in them."


Animated by equality, opportunity, joy, morality, a strong character, always trying to stay ahead and deny the baser impulses and true demerits we all possess including free will and our poor choices [sin]; Christianity galvanized and demanded action. Help to the poor, the needy; protection of the old, young, infirm and innocent. A conscious desire to do good and to be active in this life, to try to live a good, not a crude life and to participate in society in order to effect good works for the next life if grace grants us that. A commitment to life, family, beauty, reality and proper conduct. We all far short. But those attributes are what created the modern world. Christianity created that culture.