Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The church militant of Elmer Gantry and storefront prophets

5 December 2003

Protestants are a factious fraction of Christianity, that do not realize their importance within it. They are the majority in the english speaking world and by the combined exceptionalism of calvinism and american chauvinism they project their imagination as the defining one for all.

We can see their combative thought in their musings concerning those who were closest to Christ, when He walked the earth. The hostility toward Mary is greater than the indifference of the innkeepers on the eve of the Nativity. The axis of human history, which is the Incarnation and the Crucifixion, that our salvation revolves about, had only two people in common attendance. It seems that Mary's presence is an encumbrance to these some, who would approve of the mechanisms manifest to have been otherwise---the appearance of the Messiah without nativity, and an Ascension without Passion, and a Tridium of different itinerary.

The chief earthly associate in the ministry of Christ, for those who ever read a gospel by the words that are within it, was Peter. Whatever of the failings that Peter demonstrated, none disenfranchised him to Christ. Yet, by circumlocutions and selective filtering that would make a drunken Talmud scholar blush, Peter does not receive the keys to his office in their reckoning.

To those who proclaim, "sola scriptura", by sola sciptura are vanquished. Ultimately and instantly the claims of the reformers and their descendants are null on continuity and elegance.

And then there is primary commandment of the decima. Ten percent is mine, praise the tithe. The widow's mite will not do. Twist and turn, rave and pay. Now Elmer Gantry was a huckster, but can we not find him less artfully on the television and in his place of practice still plying his trade?

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