Why I Am Not A Christian

But, I don’t believe. I’m not sold on the rational, logical, empirical case for a supernatural historical Jesus.

You are looking in the wrong places, friend. Regarding the a posteriori as ultimate – or the sovereignty of “empiric[ism]” – is a labcoat dork’s answer to the meaning of life. It is no coincidence that all men of empiricism, who bend their knee to the god of the experimental method über Alles, are stereotypical nerds and grinds.

If you want to find God in this topsy-turvy culture, I suggest starting with Nietzsche. He was not fooled into thinking a will to scientific truth would suffice to replace God in a true man of independence. Rather, he was of the Alexandrian school: when the empiricists present a man with the Gordian knot of “truth,” he demonstrates the higher truth by slicing their precious construct asunder.

In other words — no one asked you to believe in Jesus Christ yet. Start with simple agnosticism. Do you believe in God, or are you certain he cannot possibly exist?

Let me correct that. Those who presently do insist you believe in Christ are his worst advocates. Because Christianity is inextricable with the late stages of postmodern western culture, it must be presented in a corrupt state. We think we know what Christianity means because it has hegemonically, culturally dominated the air we have breathed for twenty centuries. It has defined the subliminal standard against which we judge everything. So our individual caricatures of the way of Christ satisfy us as the truth of it. “Of course we know what Christianity means. Next.”

But you are skipping way ahead. Believing in a Prime Mover is the first step. The historical “empirical” qualities of Jesus are advanced grad-school stuff. You haven’t rejected it so much as you have (rather passively) allowed the culture around you to reject it on your behalf, and that culture is the false empiricism you cite. C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity might help you understand the bottom, middle, and top rungs of the latter to faith.

Christian morality doesn’t often ‘feel’ right to me, as it should if I were created with the image of God inside of me.

Did you just cite your feelings as a rationale to reject faith? That is more girlishness, simply put.

No one can know the mind of God. We are minuscule embers in the sun – if comparisons to infinitude were apt. What would you know about “the image of God,” whom no one has seen (1 Jn 4), other than by revelation and faith? How can you know it does not comport with “the image … inside” you? “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” Have you considered that, like the “blue-pill” man, the image you perceive inside you is a slightly warped one? The correct starting position is Socrates’s “All I know is I know nothing.”

Above all, Christianity would be extraordinarily inconvenient to me right now.

Christianity is extraordinarily inconvenient now, yesterday, tomorrow, and forever. That’s the gig. It is not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to be the challenge of your life. In a culture struggling to free itself from millennia of Christian influence, the way of faith appears to be the safe and bourgeois choice – what half-a-fag Mormons and “God-fearing” beta cowards gravitate toward. This is the Gospel distorted.

Let us test [the righteous man] with insult and torture,

that we may find out how gentle he is,

and make trial of his forbearance.

Let us condemn him to a shameful death …

(Wis 2:19-20)

What does this challenge mean for the “player lifestyle”? Far less than you think.

1) “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The Christian is no pagan, true, but neither is he puritan (cf. Chesterton’s “Why I Am a Catholic” pace your blog-post title). “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, / There’s always laughter and good red wine” (Belloc). We are not sticks-in-the-mud, but neither are we raging alcoholics. We seek the golden mean between equally destructive excesses. Before feminism, that was the definition of virtue, a word built upon vir, Latin for “man,” “brave man,” or “hero.”

2) Augustine and Aquinas, the intellectual equals of Plato and Aristotle but anno Domini, approached life with the same “empirical” spirit as you but with a radically different conclusion. In fact, the young pagan Augustine was the equal of any of the nihilist pussyhounds of this century. Look it up.

3) We are in a state of war, a war currently prosecuted by only one side. What you erroneous believe the church considers “sinful” is a direct consequence of your feminist upbringing, the enemy’s poisoning of your mother’s milk with traces of blue-pill bullshit. Of course violence per se has been redefined as “sinful,” regardless of its end: because men excel at it. Likewise, the male sex drive has been redefined as alien and base by the harpies presently engaged in their 2+2=5 campaign. In war, we kill, but it is not murder. In the war of the sexes, we fuck, but it is not crass fornication. You don’t “reject the pleasure,” but you do yoke it to a higher purpose than the advanced mutual masturbation that currently enthralls you. A man does not submit himself to the base passions of sex any more than he would sing the praises of a righteous BM. He conducts his impulses like a maestro at a symphony.

Anyway, you were on the right track with your first-rate series on Christian game in the four links above. The coda in this latest post is gratuitous. What keeps you from the narrow path is not age (“Perhaps I’ll revisit the faith question at a later point in my life. For now though….”). It is ignorance, an ignorance entirely incongruous with your fine breakdown of the Christian ethos in your last four posts.

Your masterful delving into this subject is not prompted by “an ounce of curiosity.” It is rather the “still, small voice” of conscience calling you to your purpose.

Then Eli’hu … became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; he was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer ….

“God opens their ears to instruction,

and commands that they return from iniquity.

If they hearken and serve him,

they complete their days in prosperity,

and their years in pleasantness.

But if they do not hearken, they perish by the sword,

and die without knowledge.”

(Job 32:2-3; 36:10-12)

“Elihu” = “He is my God”

Matt

Reply

asdf September 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

“Christian morality doesn’t often ‘feel’ right to me, as it should if I were created with the image of God inside of me.”

If you understand original sin and the Christian conception of evil then this isn’t a problem so much. You should expect to have impure impulses.

Yet, I can totally understand your point. I accepted Christianity on the basis of an overwhelming moral feeling in me. At one point, during a difficult moral trial, I could basically feel God’s presence right in me. If I never felt that I would probably not be religious, as even though I accept God on rational theological grounds they rely on faith, and faith relies on that personal connection I had with God. Reason was simply the vessel for understanding it. It’s why I became religion the second time rather then the first (when I had no way of understanding it).

“But whatever my conclusion, I’m a better man today for having grinded through the subject.”

MY DEAR WORMWOOD,

I hope my last letter has convinced you that the trough of dulness or “dryness” through which your patient is going at present will not, of itself, give you his soul, but needs to be properly exploited. What forms the exploitation should take I will now consider.

In the first place I have always found that the Trough periods of the human undulation provide excellent opportunity for all sensual temptations, particularly those of sex.

This may surprise you, because, of course, there is more physical energy, and therefore more potential appetite, at the Peak periods; but you must remember that the powers of resistance are then also at their highest. The health and spirits which you want to use in producing lust can also, alas, be very easily used for work or play or thought or innocuous merriment. The attack has a much better chance of success when the man’s whole inner world is drab and cold and empty. And it is also to be noted that the Trough sexuality is subtly different in quality from that of the Peak-much less likely to lead to the milk and water phenomenon which the humans call “being in love”, much more easily drawn into perversions, much less contaminated by those generous and imaginative and even spiritual concomitants which often render human sexuality so disappointing. It is the same with other desires of the flesh. You are much more likely to make your man a sound drunkard by pressing drink on him as an anodyne when he is dull and weary than by encouraging him to use it as a means of merriment among his friends when he is happy and expansive. Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it’s better style. To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return-that is what really gladdens our Father’s heart. And the troughs are the time for beginning the process.

But there is an even better way of exploiting the Trough; I mean through the patient’s own thoughts about it. As always, the first step is to keep knowledge out of his mind. Do not let him suspect the law of undulation. Let him assume that the first ardours of his conversion might have been expected to last, and ought to have lasted, forever, and that his present dryness is an equally permanent condition. Having once got this misconception well fixed in his head, you may then proceed in various ways. It all depends on whether your man is of the desponding type who can be tempted to despair, or of the wishful-thinking type who can be assured that all is well. The former type is getting rare among the humans. If your patient should happen to belong to it, everything is easy. You have only got to keep him out of the way of experienced Christians (an easy task now-a-days), to direct his attention to the appropriate passages in scripture, and then to set him to work on the desperate design of recovering his old feelings by sheer will-power, and the game is ours. If he is of the more hopeful type, your job is to make him acquiesce in the present low temperature of his spirit and gradually become content with it, persuading himself that it is not so low after all. In a week or two you will be making him doubt whether the first days of his Christianity were not, perhaps, a little excessive. Talk to him about “moderation in all things”. If you can once get him to the point of thinking that “religion is all very well up to a point”, you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all-and more amusing.

Another possibility is that of direct attack on his faith. When you have caused him to assume that the trough is permanent, can you not persuade him that “his religious phase” is just going to die away like all his previous phases? Of course there is no conceivable way of getting by reason from the proposition “I am losing interest in this” to the proposition “This is false”. But, as I said before, it is jargon, not reason, you must rely on. The mere word phase will very likely do the trick. I assume that the creature has been through several of them before-they all have-and that he always feels superior and patronising to the ones he has emerged from, not because he has really criticised them but simply because they are in the past. (You keep him well fed on hazy ideas of Progress and Development and the Historical Point of View, I trust, and give him lots of modern Biographies to read? The people in them are always emerging from Phases, aren’t they?)

You see the idea? Keep his mind off the plain antithesis between True and False. Nice shadowy expressions-”It was a phase”-”I’ve been through all that”-and don’t forget the blessed word “Adolescent”,