Saturday, 17 October 2015
What are we seeing in the synod?
We are seeing worldliness.
Let Faber explain:
There is a hell already upon the earth; there is something which is excommunicated from God's smile. It is not altogether matter, nor yet altogether spirit. It is not man only, nor Satan only, nor is it exactly sin. It is an infection, and inspiration, an atmospehere, a life, a colouring matter, a pageantry, a fashion, a taste, a witchery, an impersonal but a recognisable system. None of these names suit it and all of them suit it. Scripture calls it "The World". God's mercy does not enter into it. All hope of its reconciliation with Him is absolutely and eternally precluded. Repentance is incompatible with its existence. The sovereignty of God has laid the ban of the empire upon it: and holy horror ought to seize us when we think of it. Meanwhile its power over the human creation is terrific, its presence ubiquitous, its deceitfulness incredible...
...It cannot be damned because it is not a person, but it will perish in the general conflagration.... we are living it, breathing it, acting under its influences, being cheated by its appearances, and unwarily admitting its principles
Faber doesn't advocate the remedy of total escape from the world into the severe aesthetic of the coenobite. He argues that worldliness will follow us into that particular cell. He argues simply that we put God first; remembering our smallness and His eternal majesty, remembering the hardness of our own hearts and His infinite love. He argues for our continual remembrance of the Incarnation; that He came into the world because He loves us. He argues that we forever remember that God's creation is good, and that it is only sin that corrupts and that He is not the author if sin.
I'd also add that I think it important we stop blaming the devil for all that we see. He'll be enjoying the credit too much, especially when he has hardly had to lift a finger and actually do anything. The confusion is caused by worldliness more than the prince of this world. The bottom line is, we only have ourselves to blame. Our Lord and His Holy Scripture have spelt out in simple language the dangers of worldliness since the very beginning. It is worth reading John Chapter 17 carefully and humbly, about what it is to be a disciple and to live in the world, but not be of the world, because that is what God calls us to do.
It is not so much that it [the world] is a sin, as that it is the capability of all sins, the air sin breathes, the light by which it sees to do its work, the hot-bed which propagates and forces it, the instinct which guides it, the power which animates it .... It has laws of it own, and tastes and principles of its own, literature of its own, a missionary spirit, a compact system, and it is a consistent whole. It is a counterfeit of the Church of God, and in the most implacable antagonism to it.