This faith brings us a discipleship, which brings a self-control and many forms of (public) service. The country lives at second-hand on this self-control and service. The country lives from the virtue it has received, over many centuries, from Christians. It enjoys the rule of law because Christians learned and demonstrated how to live together under the discipleship of the Church. All the education, health and social care that together have formed our welfare state are derived from centuries of love and service of Christians to those around them. All the forms of national public service have been built up by this Christian service to neighbour and neighbourhood. Without it we would constantly be pushing against each other, and the unhealed sources of friction would make us a society of constant rivalries, sectarianism, violence and totalitarianism. It would be a society of feud and retaliation, and consequent poverty and lack of aspiration, just as static as every other culture untouched by the gospel.
The presence and (comparatively) well-ordered lives of Christians are constantly healing wounds that would otherwise stay open and fester. The country lives on the moral credit of the few accumulated over many generations.
The nation owes its existence and its ongoing vitality to the continuing supply of this love that produces this public witness and public service, and the discipleship which produces this self-control so we accept the restraints on our action and live with one another as in mutual respect as a law-abiding society.
Christianity forms us as citizens and members of the nation. Without Christianity, people don’t take on political responsibility, and become fully citizens able to commit themselves to an open mutual accountable form of life. They separate into two classes, one of the managers and controllers, and another of those who are managed and controlled, who are dominated and passive, who have never learned to express themselves, or to express themselves in any other form than discontent and occasional dangerous outburst of anger.
It is Christianity percolating over many centuries into every relationship that makes a society of people content to recognise each other as equals under the law and so as members of a shared political community. Only Christianity makes a nation. The Christian political and moral culture that spread from European nations around the world sustains the present worldwide modern regime. But that political unity and culture, and the modern world, are entirely dependent on being renewed by the same gospel that brought them into existence in the first place. Without renewal from the gospel and the political culture which it produces, the present world will break up and disappear.
There are two alternatives. On the one hand the church has to be brought up to date. The world has moved on but the Church is struggling to keep up. The Church is irrelevant because it is lagging, left behind because people can no longer agree with it.
On the other, the Church stands where it has always stood, while the world is going round in small circles. It is not marching bravely on to a bright new future as it has asserted. It is not going anywhere, but marching and counter-marching and repeating itself in endless confusion. The Church stands where Christ built it. He is its unchanging foundation. It is the lighthouse, beaming out the same light it always has done. It does not adapt or modify, because the truth it shows is fundamental and unchanging, the basis on which any groups of humans may love and live and sustain a society. Anyone who confesses that the Church is ‘one, holy, catholic and apostolic’ is committed to this second view, that the Church must stand where Christ planted it, and never that the Church must leave its station and start running to catch up with the world.
The clergy have created over these last decades a ‘gospel’ which is unattractive and inaudible. The British people long since decided that the clergy are saying nothing of any consequence. And they are right. For the clergy are saying nothing that is in any way different from the offering of the media, corporations and governments, with their long determination to remove decisions from us. The corporations know how to delight and entertain, while the government knows how to buy loyalty with jobs and incomes. Only the Church knows that humans must not sell themselves or give up responsibility for themselves and their neighbours. The clergy have not challenged any of the abandonment of responsibility through centralisation or the growth of regulation, or challenged the distractions and compensations offered for them. The have given into to the temptation to commit our all health, education and welfare to the all-centralising powers, and been part of the prejudice against actual people making decisions in their own towns and villages. The clergy themselves are centralisers. They are here to take decisions away from us. They seem ready to amalgamate parishes into oblivion, replace the wide-spectrum gifts and ministries of congregations, parcelling up the various aspects of Christian witness into jobs and careers reserved for a few in a central office. Lucky for them, we are here to oppose them. We insist that all life and wellbeing begins at the altar in the worship of God, and that our refreshment and restoration depends on our manning our station at the altar at every parish church in every place, small as well as large. Only the prayer of Christians can prevent man from surrendering himself to, and being swallowed up by, the overweening Leviathan
Poor sods, the British, in the grip of a vast cultural pessimism. All diagnosis of this pessimism merely adds to it, unless it is preceded by the original and optimism that bubbles out of Christian worship. This cultural pessimism has been taught in schools from the moment that schools ceased to be witnesses of the gospel, and gave up schooling generations in hope that comes from the gospel. The bible that was once the one and only book of our studies, and then the first step for all other studies has been made the one book that may never be opened in a school in Britain. As long as the book is shut, and Christian worship not sung, these are not schools. They are centres for the indoctrination of the next generation in the delusions of this generation. The literature and thought that once formed our culture, believed to be too difficult for our children has been withheld from them. Our new leaders believe that they are not worthy of it. In schools, the very place where children should be introduced to the writers and thinkers of our culture, they are given only what is easy and undemanding, and encouraged to dismiss whatever is not contemporary and immediate. They are not introduced to this literature, but they do pick the sense that it is too difficult for them or that is to be sneered at. They are introduced to ‘critical’ thought that despises this great tradition.
All education has to be home education now, home and church. Give them the optimism that bubbles out of Christian worship
The Christian teaching about God is the only defence against idolatry. Idolatry is excessive recognition of the wrong powers. When we give them too much acknowledgement, we become captive to them, we become servants of them, transmitting their claims and imposing their worship on those around us, and so spreading the pathology. Idolatry is the obstacle to our becoming free, willing, accountable and mature members of the human race. Christian worship frees us from illegitimate power claimants, and thus it takes us out of their power.
Where are you going to be when you die? When the moment of your death arrives, are you going to be sitting in front of your television screen? Are you going to be kneeling before the altar? Are you going to be in church, wrapped up in the worship of God in the presence of all generations of his saints? Are you going to be sedated and speechless before the shrilling puppet show, your life a reflection of the cartoons? Which set of characters are you to be counted among – celebs or saints? Which is for you, the true liturgy of God by which all creation is remade and redeemed, or the counterfeit liturgy within which all life is faked? Which liturgy is yours? Which liturgy do you belong to?
As long as we consume this media output we offer our homage to the founders our media empires. We inhabit the world of their construction. We live on the reservation created by media and entertainment industries, in the safari park they have erected around us, made happy by confinement within the paddock assigned to our age-group. We might as well erect a little bust of each other of them and put them in the place of honour above the television. Of course each television and each screen displays the images and idols that show us what we want to be, while the voices tell us what we want to hear. Just as the Romans kept figurines of generic ancestors in alcoves and cabinets, so we enjoy figurines that flicker and move across the screen which each of us keeps before us, or behind which each of us hides. There we are content to live an ersatz life, lived through the perpetual of human types, each Punch-and-Judy show keeping us fixated and secure. We might as well offer our media masters a pinch of incense and venerate them as our progenitors, as the creators of all the possible outcomes conceivable for us, and so as the Fates. Unless you pray to the God who made you and gives you a voice, that is.
What Christians have to say is seldom acceptable to the governing authorities as long as those authorities make the assumption that the rest of us are morally deficient. They regard us as lesser people, best dealt with en masse by large solutions. They do not easily regard us as persons who rightly demand person to person interaction and dignity. They grow complacent, patronising and arrogant, or to attempt to place themselves beyond challenge, to refuse to give an account of themselves, to conceal the truth.
The police not enforce the law against the criminal manifestations of the slave cult. But they do enforce silence on whoever points out the criminal manifestations of the cult. We can only reply that it is our duty as citizens to report crime to the police. We can only ask the police to uphold the law. We can remind them that they are officers of the law. We remind them that they are we are all equal under the law, that no one is above the law, that there is no special group that may not be criticised, challenged or offended. We can hold them accountable. We can stand outside police stations, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) offices and courts as reminder to those who work there of the responsibility of public office, of the absolute nature of justice. Justice is impartial, we can say. There is an impartial judge, he is the source of law and arbiter between all men. We worship him, and to do so we defy all other powers.
The gospel proclaimed by the worship of the Church is a public event. It not only takes place in public and intends to be heard by the public but it creates the public that can hear it, and which can take part in it. Each church understands that it is speaking to its own community and nation, and that they can hear what this church is communicating to them. This worship gathers together and reconciles persons representative of different and hitherto antagonistic groups, bringing their enmity to an end. It demonstrates that the power that cuts persons and groups off from one another is itself overcome. It establishes that that human relationship cannot be broken or brought to an end by any power, not even by our mortality and death. Relationship between person and person may continue without limit, and thus the universe is open, and man is the creature of hope, directed towards his future.
So Christians ask, is twenty-first century Christian theology faithful to the teaching of the great Church? Would ancient or medieval Christians recognise us as fellow Christians? Or would they say that we have turned from the faith towards some simulacrum of it? Would they charge us with robbing our own future generations to the point which our society is disintegrating and its culture disappearing before us? How could we reply? Lord, have mercy. What other reply could we make? Lord, have mercy.
Our government does not yet want to acknowledge that these are not random individual acts of criminality, but deliberate attacks on our law, political culture and our identity. Many working class people do see what all these individual attacks have in common and point out that they are not simply many individual incidents but a concerted attack on all of us. And this is of course what the representatives of the Slave Cult themselves are telling us, that each attack must be understood as part of a campaign and that they intend to replace our law with theirs. The greatest problem at the moment is that the media have so far failed to challenge the government account and ask whether it is mistaken. The greatest failure is always the failure to tell the truth, or to allow the conditions within which the truth can be heard in public