Poor Shotgun is Attacked by a Cultist

cult

I have a new word I’d like to start using:  cultist.

I use it pejoratively but in most cases with a loving (if slightly annoyed) intent.  I used to be a cultist, after all and can’t think unkindly of those still trapped in cultish ways.

When I became aware enough of the phenomenon to give it a name, I referred to the guilty as “rationalists”.  That was too kind; they were so pernicious I had to start calling them “mouth-foaming zealots”.  That seemed a little harsh and too long-winded so I changed again and opted for the simpler: “dogmatist.”  But while they are stubbornly dogmatic, another word was needed – one that casts a wider net and sliced the pie more accurately.  I’m settling on “cultist”.

Mr. Cambria describes them well:

“In every century of the Christian era of Europe there were blasphemers who championed the forms of the faith against the substance of the faith. Walter Scott depicts such a “Christian” in his novel Old Mortality. John Balfour, a fanatical Scottish Covenanter, violates the law of chivalry, which was written in the hearts of all Christian Europeans, by killing, in the name of his mind-forged Christless faith, a Christian soldier of the royalist party who came to Balfour bearing a flag of truce.

“A free pardon to all,” continued the young officer, still addressing the body of the insurgents—“to all but—“

“Then the Lord grant grace to thy soul. Amen!” said Burley.

With these words he fired, and Cornet Richard Grahame dropped from his horse. The shot was mortal. The unfortunate young gentleman had only strength to turn himself on the ground and mutter forth, “My poor mother!” when life forsook him in the effort. His startled horse fled back to the regiment at the gallop, as did his scarce less affrighted attendant.

“What have you done?” said one of Balfour’s brother officers.

“My duty,” said Balfour firmly. “Is it not written, ‘Thou shalt be zealous even to slaying’? Let those who dare NOW venture to speak of truce or pardon!”

They champion the forms of the Faith against the substance of the Faith.  Yes.

A few years ago when I was optimistic enough to sit through a college class, my Western Civ. professor told us Christianity was a cult.  “I’m sorry if you don’t like to hear it, but it’s true…” he said, with typical smugness.  I wasn’t going to die on that hill so I stayed quiet.  I remember thinking we’d have to delve into semantics and figure out what was meant by “cult”.  The insulting thrust of the word didn’t bother me.  If someone defined it in such a way that it applied to Christianity, then so be it; I’d simply be a supporter of cults.

I’ve since refined my view and were I in the class now, I’d strongly object (see footnote 1).

In short, a cult is a congregation of individuals who identify themselves by their mutual allegiance to and shared passion for a set of doctrines.  These doctrines are usually taught or exemplified by an individual who, in addition to having tapped the secret vein of knowledge, is usually a charismatic speaker and able to win people to his views.  In turn the foot-soldier “apologists” for the cult become experts in defending these doctrines against the doctrines of other cults.  This description only applies to Christianity if we conceive of Christianity as a set of doctrinal dogmas and talking-points, expertly taught by some guru or other (be he Jesus, Paul, or Fred Phelps).

Tragically, I think my Western Civ. professor would be right to call Christianity a cult…today.  There are almost no manifestations of the Faith today that aren’t cultish in nature, and almost no apologists who aren’t ideological foot soldiers for their particular denomination of the cult.

O who hath causèd this?
O who can answer at the throne of God?
The Kings and Nobles of the Land have done it!
Hear it not, Heaven, thy Ministers have done it!

This isn’t a post about how Christendom imploded.  I’ll only say, along with Blake, that our ministers and our nobles hath done it.  The Enlightenment convinced westerners that man and man’s intellect were the measure of all things.  Once that was believed, Christianity nose dived into cultural irrelevancy.  Modernism is a direct result of the Enlightenment and today most Christians are modernists because they  believe their own rationalizing will get them to God.  Christianity becomes a matter of doctrines and dogmas – a cult.  The “isms” and the “ists” are multiplied because the game is an intellectual game.

I’ll stop my commentary there and note that, once again, I’ve been attacked by one of these cultists.   This Todd Lewis guy reminds me of myself when I was 19 and zealous for my cult doctrines.  Last year, if I recall, he tried posting on my blog but due to his lack of respect and civility, quickly earned himself the boot.  Cultists know honor and chivalry like little girls know lions and tigers: academically, or through picture books.  But they don’t know what it’s like to be honorable and chivalrous in the wild and if they meet honorable and chivalrous men in the wild, well, they quickly realize their academic concepts and the reality are frighteningly different.

I think Todd’s upset with me for two reasons: I try to work with non-Christians and I’m a “judaizer.”

I’m a “judaizer” because I’m a theonomist, apparently.  His critique of the theonomic thesis is passe’ and uninteresting (his sorts of criticisms have been answered by theonomists for years; there’s no reason to re-hash them), but I do think it’s ironic that he claims I’m a judaizer when *HE’S* the one forcing extra-Biblical standards onto me.  Who’s the real “judaizer”?

Imagine we go to the beach and someone points at a girl and says “her bathing suit is too immodest!”  Well, what’s the standard there?  Where do we turn?  On the theonomic view, it’s up to the community to interpret God’s law and set those sorts of fashion precedents…but that makes us “judaizers.”

Where would Todd turn?  Being a cultist Todd naively thinks he can turn to Scripture and magically discern these sorts of moral standards, not just for a particular community at a particular time, but for all communities at all times…worse, he thinks he can do this without appealing to the explicit law statements of the OT!

In our case, he thinks he can define exactly how close a person is to be with a non-Christian.  On his view, Parrott, Heimbach, and I have violated this clear standard of Scripture; which is to say, we’ve violated the moral standard he’s magically extrapolated from Scripture.  Todd, however, hasn’t violated it.  His living and working around non-Christians is different than Trad Youth’s living and working around non-Christians, somehow?  Unless Todd wants to claim he lives in a bunker with no access to the outside American world.

The Pharisees, like Todd, were cultists.  They extrapolated hundreds of extra-Biblical law standards from Scripture (using the same cult magic Todd has access to), then brutally and inhumanely oppressed their fellows with these magical extrapolations – as Todd would certainly do if he ever had authority in some situation.

They champion the form not the substance.

I hope Todd finds his way out of cultic Christianity and into the arms of the real, flesh and blood Jesus.  I hope he does it in a more direct route than the one I took; who knows how many people I annoyed and how many times I caused someone to question their Faith before finally discovering my zeal for doctrines was misplaced?

I think Todd’s mosquito-like criticisms of Trad Youth are a sign that he’s interested in our work and wants to take part.  He’s certainly intelligent enough for it and his added energy would be much appreciated.

If Parrott were smart, he wouldn’t debate Todd on some podcast or other.  He’d give him a job to do.

————————-

Footnotes:

1. This professor was only slightly older than me and I suspect, not as well read, although I readily admit he had me beat in history.  He would get frustrated and intimidated if I asked my questions in the wrong tone. Once, in response to one of my queries, he angrily declared to the entire class “I’m a HISTORIAN! And I DON’T appreciate it when someone insults my profession!”  I replied…”Well, I’m a Christian, and I don’t appreciate it when someone insults my Faith!”.  We worked out our differences in his office after class and our relationship was cordial from that point on – at least until I had to write an essay defending liberalism, which I refused to do, choosing to defend monarchy instead.  I cited the so-called “Dark Enlightenment” as a contemporary monarchist movement and apparently he didn’t like what he discovered when he Googled the Alternative Right.

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10 Responses to Poor Shotgun is Attacked by a Cultist

  1. Hans Gygax says:

    I can reckon with some of your points, however, the major problem with your view, is that everyone becomes powerless to ever say anything anyone is doing is wrong. If Todd cannot say, “that woman is dressing immodest” then neither can you, even if a woman is practically naked.

    Your illustration about “unless he is living in a bunker, cut off from all the outside world” is an extreme example. That would be like saying, “unless your wife is covered from head to toe, covering even her face, then you have no right to say another woman is immodest”.

    Arguing for or against standards of anything in the real world doesn’t mean that everyone has to agree. But it doesn’t mean that it cannot be discussed and debated, and that a logical/scriptural argument cannot be made. We should always be examining ourselves to see if we are violating the Lord’s commands in a practical sense, and that includes not becoming a stumbling block to others in what we do.

  2. Hans Gygax says:

    By the way, my words have more authority than yours, seeing that I am THE Quasi-Oracle.

    ; o )

  3. You’re one of a legion of quasi-oracles in American Christendom.

    *MY* view is that I’m not a cultist who defines himself by views; but if cultists want to define me by my views, then I’m a “theonomist”. Theonomy is the view that God’s law is the only legitimate law for governing individuals, the state (if there is to be a state), or any other governable entity. And it’s written on our hearts. It’s the “higher law” everyone must appeal to and ought to appeal to directly. It’s the only law in the Bible and has never been put away although, we readily admit the administration of it has changed in various respects.

    Remember this Todd guy rejects theonomy. What does he replace it with? What do any non-theonomic Christians replace theonomy with? What’s their alternative? After years of studying both secular and Christian ethics, I’ve never found an intelligible replacement.

    So on my view everything outside of God’s law is up to the conscience of the local Christian society and the Christian individual, himself. That goes for bathing suits, the length of hair and skirts, and who we associate with and how we associate with them.

    No magical extra-Biblical standards required.

    If Todd thinks my association with non-Christians is in violation of some Christian moral standard, then he needs to show why I’m in sin but he isn’t. Remember, he drives down roads built by God-hating satanists. He eats food prepared by non-Christians. He uses an internet which is, in large part, sustained and maintained by non-Christians. If he has a job, he likely works very closely with a gaggle of pagans, non-Christians, and likely even homosexuals on a daily basis. And yet, I’m in sin for having a few beers with National Socialists?

    No. I’m not in sin for that.

    • Hans Gygax says:

      Well I suppose your entire blog is a violation of what you claim is wrong. In fact, how can you claim anything is right or wrong? Why is it wrong to be a Quasi-Oracle? Why is it wrong to judge a woman for wearing pants? Why is it wrong for someone to marry outside of their race? None of these issues are directly stated in scripture. So if it is up to my conscience or another’s conscience for just about every practical life issue, then we should all just fold our hands and stay silent.

      The fact is, you make a lot of declarations on others’ lives. You tell a woman she shouldn’t rebuke a man in public, and a whole slew of other beliefs you have regarding masculinity and chivalry that are not directly stated in the Bible. There really is no difference at all in what you do, and what I do. I think you are just uncomfortable with the TYPE of things I address, compared to yours. Be consistent, brother.

    • Hans Gygax says:

      In reference to “how long is too long, for a skirt?”

      How much non-white blood constitutes race mixing? Am I race mixing because my wife is 1/8th American Indian? Will the whites who marry my children be race mixing because my children are 1/16th? Do I really have to know where the line is drawn, to be able to declare a standard on race? Likewise, do I need to know where the exact line is drawn upon immodest apparel?

      • I just wrote a long response to you but said “screw it” and deleted it all.

        You guys can accuse me of being in sin; you can misrepresent or misconstrue my ethical view…I really don’t care. Just don’t try to assert any authority over me or my family…we southerners know how to deal with that sort of thing.

      • Fr. John+ says:

        10 generations. that’s the Biblical law. Like Ez 9:2, you should never have married her, and you should put away the ‘xenos’ from your house. This law hasn’t been repealed, though some antinomian prots think it has, because they are actually antichrist Anti-Incarnationalists, and therefore, heretics. They don’t believe that Adam is ONE race and one race of Hominid only, and that all the other races DON’T PARTAKE of that Election unto salvation, because they (modernist prots) are, at base, filioquist universalists. Heretics, in other words.

        Just ordered a book I can hardly wait to read.
        Anatomyzing Divinity: Studies in Science, Esotericism and Political Theology by James L. Kelley along with
        The Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit (The Fathers of the church) by Photios (Joseph) Farrell, PhD (Oxon.)

        The filioque is the root cause of the enlightenment, and these two books treat that subject. FWIW.

  4. rogerunited says:

    I laughed when I read your definition of cult, it sounds just like some of the libertarians I have argued with online!

    ‘it’s up to the community to interpret God’s law’
    This is actually the ancient Christian view; The ekklesia is the conscience of the Church.

    • Libertarians, Presbyterians, National Socialists, Baptists … the lot of them are cultists.

      They don’t know it but Presbyterians are the best of all the Cultists. The National Socialists have *nothing* on them. Presbos have their own publishing houses, congregations stretching all over the Western world, full churches every Sunday, and more conferences than can be kept up with. Plus, they have fully functioning seminaries and volumes of systematic theology; a literal army of scholars defending their doctrines.

      …White Nationalists are lucky to have two or three conferences a year, attended by the same people, maybe two very small publishing houses, and a couple of popular blogs. And in terms of their philosophy, they’re light-years behind the Presbos.

  5. Capt. John A. Snyder says:

    Shotgun… I like your comment on “We Southerners”

    God Bles,..Keep at it.

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