Christianity as Antichrist

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Despite its protests to the contrary, modern Christianity has become willy-nilly the religion of the state and the economic status quo. Because it has been so exclusively dedicated to incanting anemic souls into heaven, it has, by a kind of ignorance, been made the tool of much earthly villainy. It has, for the most part, stood silently by, while a predatory economy has ravaged the world, destroyed its natural beauty and health, divided and plundered its human communities and households. It has flown the flag and chanted the slogans of empire. It has assumed with the economists that “economic forces” automatically work for good, and has assumed with the industrialists and militarists that technology determines history. It has assumed with almost everybody that “progress” is good, that it is good to be modern and up with the times. It has admired Caesar and comforted him in his depredations and defaults. But in its de facto alliance with Caesar, Christianity connives directly in the murder of Creation. For, in these days, Caesar is no longer a mere destroyer of armies, cities, and nations. He is a contradictor of the fundamental miracle of life. A part of the normal practice of his power is his willingness to destroy the world. He prays, he says, and churches everywhere compliantly pray with him. But he is praying to a God whose works he is prepared at any moment to destroy. What could be more wicked than that, or more mad?

The religion of the Bible, on the contrary, is a religion of the state and the status quo only in brief moments. In practice, it is a religion for the correction equally of people and of kings. And Christ’s life, from the manger to the cross, was an affront to the established powers of his time, as it is to the established powers of our time. Much is made in churches of the “good news” of the gospels. Less is said of the gospel’s bad news, which is that Jesus would have been horrified by just about every “Christian” government the world has ever seen. He would be horrified by our government and its works, and it would be horrified by him. Surely no sane and thoughtful person can imagine any government of our time sitting comfortably at the feet of Jesus, who is telling them to “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you…” (Matt. 5:44).

- Wendell Berry

No Wendell, dear. No sane and thoughtful person. But there doesn't seem to be a great many of them around. Our desire for our own peace and our own safety and our own crappy little pathetic lives will always be at the expense of other people. And religiously-minded Christians will continue to claim the name of Christ over that because their religion has made them stupid and thoughtless and they are the last ones to know.

5 comments

  1. Sue, in many of it's manifestations it is anti-Christ and the denial of this fact and the justications of bad behavior is stunning. I'm not shocked by it anymore...just stunned that we continue to see the Jesus of the gospels be replaced with a fallen mind created Jesus of empire and so many people somehow buy it.

    But then again, it took me many years myself to own up to my participation in the destortion.

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  2. hmm he makes sense does Mr Berry...

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  3. You might find this post interesting, Sue, from a probably quite unexpected direction ;-)

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  4. The WAY people use Christianity in this country specifically is a horrible thing, yes, but that does not make Christianity itself the horrible thing.

    Flags in churches!?!?! My God.

    There is so much amazing to be found in the teachings of Christ. Such a freaking rebel! Like I like to refer to him -- a hooker hugging hippie!

    My favorite book I've read in a long time that you might get a major kick out of: Jesus Wants to Save Christians. This guy (my age -- gen X) is a minister and he kicks everyone's ass, starting with "Christians" who drive hummers.

    Really great writing too.

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  5. Kent - yes, I find it stunning too, the denial. I think that's the bit that gets me the most. How can so many people continue on adhering to this thing that is so different to what Jesus was? But then people keep leaving established religion, so perhaps that is the answer.

    CB - he does make sense. I love the way he looks at things.

    Mike - I'm not claiming that all established religion is antichristian in its behaviour. It's not that black and white. It's just that sometimes I wonder if Jesus came to establish any kind of religion at all. That was a cool video, huh :) There is so much about the Orthodox church that fascinates me - so much more of an Eastern sort of a mindset.

    Christine - hey there, thanks for dropping in :) A hooker hugging hippie, haha, ABSOLUTELY. I love Christ, and I am a Christian, but I do not hold to this horrible thing that has wedded itself to the culture. Might have to look up that book, thanks for the recco :)

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