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The Dragonslayer
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 04:53 AM
I was curious about something. If a new pope is elected and he decides to call a council to reform the Church and he asked you to head it up (you don't have to be a Catholic), what would be some of the necessary changes you feel would be needed to reform and revitalize the Church? The pontiff wants to reignite the Church so it can play a part in empowering Western Civilization. Your thoughts?

Alice
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 05:20 AM
I think reversing a lot of the changes put forth by Vatican II would be very important. Vatican II undermined Church doctrine and generally made a mess out of things, IMHO. Sometimes, I find it very hard to sit through a Novus Ordo Mass: communion in the hand and without kneeling, communion under both species, shaking hands ("the sign of peace")...sometimes this New Mass seems devoid of any actual elements that would render it Catholic. Plus, so many Catholic churches today are stripped bare of the beauty that set them apart from Protestant churches (no offense to Protestants :)!)

Oh, and don't even get me started on ecumenism. ;)

The Dragonslayer
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 05:27 AM
I think reversing a lot of the changes put forth by Vatican II would be very important. Vatican II undermined Church doctrine and generally made a mess out of things, IMHO.

That would be a major thing I would do myself if I was in charge of the new council. I think Vatican II has done a lot of damage to the Church.

Alice
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 05:34 AM
Oh, and before I forget: World Youth Day. I saw clips of World Youth Day from some years back, and it made some raves I went to circa 1990 look tame by comparison, lol. I don't blame the kids, though: they were probably never taught basic reverence. :P

The Dragonslayer
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 06:20 AM
Oh, and before I forget: World Youth Day. I saw clips of World Youth Day from some years back, and it made some raves I went to circa 1990 look tame by comparison, lol. I don't blame the kids, though: they were probably never taught basic reverence. :P

World Youth Day looks horrible. The bands and the way the crowds acts and so forth definitely doesn't look well for the Church. I bet many of these kids weren't taught basic reverence. When I've gone to Mass, I've seen people there in shorts, heavy metal t-shirts, flip flops, etc. They will talk on their cell phones. There is no respect at all.

Fortis_in_Arduis
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 10:57 AM
Did somebody say Rev. Ian Paisley? :)

I am not a Christian, but my father is a clergyman (Church of England) and I think that I have seen enough of the Anglican church to lead me towards the Presbyterian / Pentecostal end of the spectrum.

A real church does not need a huge bank, an enormous property portfolio or even a Queen, a Pope, Jesuits, or even Nazi Gold.

:)

If the priest is worth his salt the congregation can even pay his salary directly, which will prevent him from becoming an establishment puppet.

There is no need for an established church or churches with a big money agenda.

I do not accept that in my politics, so why would I accept that in my religion?

The Pope wants me to revitalise the church?

What about : http://www.priestsrapeboys.com/ ?

Loki
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 12:38 PM
I was curious about something. If a new pope is elected and he decides to call a council to reform the Church and he asked you to head it up (you don't have to be a Catholic), what would be some of the necessary changes you feel would be needed to reform and revitalize the Church? The pontiff wants to reignite the Church so it can play a part in empowering Western Civilization. Your thoughts?

The problem is, with the demographical changes of the past few decades, Christianity is probably more prevalent in non-Western countries and continents. It has lost a lot of support in Europe. The Pope wouldn't want to alienate the majority of its practising members, who are probably non-white.

Fortis_in_Arduis
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 03:28 PM
The problem is, with the demographical changes of the past few decades, Christianity is probably more prevalent in non-Western countries and continents. It has lost a lot of support in Europe. The Pope wouldn't want to alienate the majority of its practising members, who are probably non-white.

Yep, which is why these huge bodies such as the Church of England and the Papish monstrosity (said with some jest) are so dangerous.

∆meric
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 05:39 PM
I was curious about something. If a new pope is elected and he decides to call a council to reform the Church and he asked you to head it up (you don't have to be a Catholic), what would be some of the necessary changes you feel would be needed to reform and revitalize the Church? The pontiff wants to reignite the Church so it can play a part in empowering Western Civilization. Your thoughts?

The Roman Church wouldn't do that, it is a univeral church. They are strong advocates for open borders. It would be nice if the Protestant Churches would adopt a mantel of nationalism as tribal folk churches. There are national Prostestant Churches such as the Church of England, Church of Sweden etc... but they have become irrelevant, adopting new age multicultural idealogy.


Did somebody say Rev. Ian Paisley? :)

I am not a Christian, but my father is a clergyman (Church of England) and I think that I have seen enough of the Anglican church to lead me towards the Presbyterian / Pentecostal end of the spectrum.

The Espiscopal Church in the US (Anglican) is nearly dead, it has adopted so many "progressive ideas". It is rapidly becoming feminized, the presiding bishop is a woman & feminist, and it is pro-gay to a ridiculous extent causing the current crisis that is leading to a major schism in the Anglican Communion. The fastest growing churches in the US are Pentacostal Churches & independent Evangelical Churches that tend towards Calvinism in their theology. Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week as most Churches are of predomiately of one race & even ethnicity.

The Dragonslayer
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 05:52 PM
I actually had been a member of the Episcopal Church here in the United States. I've been horrified by many of the changes that have been taking place there. I quit going there. Many other Episcopalians have done the same thing. They've found other churches. Some churches have split off from the Anglican Communion. This has been a movement going on since the Anglicans first ordained women priests, but it's hit a fever pitch since gay priests have been ordained and we got a female presiding bishop.

I was raised a Free Will Baptist. That's the church most of my family goes to. There are no blacks there at all. It is a totally white church.

I know that the Catholic Church is not going to do anything of the sort. They are too big on the open borders stance. There are other churches like that too. The Catholic Church in the USA wanted more immigrants from Mexico and Latin America to try to fill the pews back up since American Catholics have been leaving in droves since Vatican II. It's really been happening more since the sex abuse scandal.

I guess my question was just a "what if?" thing. What if a pope got elected and he was more Eurocentric. He wanted to take the Church back to its glory days. He wanted to the Church to help in the rebuilding of Western Civilization. That sort of thing. I know it's not going to happen, but worth a thought I guess.

Grimm
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 06:01 PM
Hold the pedophile priests and their protectors accountable. Excommunicate them forthwith.

Fortis_in_Arduis
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 06:30 PM
The fastest growing churches in the US are Pentacostal Churches & independent Evangelical Churches that tend towards Calvinism in their theology. Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week as most Churches are of predomiately of one race & even ethnicity.

Their influence is felt here in the UK in addition to the Calvinistic influence that we already have.

I have a friend who is with the Free Church (Scottish) and it does her an awful lot of good. I went along to a couple of services.

The King James bible has helped a lot of people, and the Pope's shop is as inimical to our survival as any other large multinational corporation. One can be completely illiterate and still be a good Catholic. Is this something we really want to encourage as a general trend?

Imperator X
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 07:06 PM
I don't understand why the Protestants didn't just adopt the Orthodox Rite. The Celtic Orthodox church predates the Roman church in Britain and Ireland. The Orthodox Rite still maintains a lot of Church tradition and aesthetic appeal (Ikons, liturgy) and Christianity first came to the Gentiles through the Greeks. I don't understand what's so appealing about bare ascetic churches.. Anyone can study the bible and form their own protestant church and claim any sort of thing.

exit
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 07:18 PM
The church has exchanged religious doctrine for politics, so much so that none of the clergy understand their own doctrine. First thing would be to rid it of unqualified clergymen, which is probably 95% of them, and at the same time get rid of all the pews in the churches and return to simplicity. Secondly, without an esoteric core the church is not legitimate; at the very least it needs something like hesychasm, or more ideally, the Knight's Templars, but for this we need a new spiritual center established within Northern Europe. Forget Rome and forget Palestine.

Imperator X
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 08:01 PM
without an esoteric core the church is not legitimate;

I have trouble understanding why there is this demarcation between exoteric and esoteric doctrine. Who is entitled to the esoteric? What exactly makes the esoteric different from the exoteric? I understand 'esoteric' to mean "hidden" or an "inner" tradition. The Church is a hierarchical institution... This means that the higher one is in the hierarchy the more knowledge they have as to what are the true teachings or the purpose of the Order. Jesus said "Where two or more people are gathered in my name, there is my church"... Where is the idea that there is an elect that is more entitled to spiritual knowledge?

Many clergymen and cardinals, bishops etc. have their robes designed by Gucci in Rome. The vestments are made of gold thread and the imperial porphyry (purple)... Jesus said "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Why then, do they live so contrary to his teachings? Jesus also said "He who does not give up his family, can not be my disciple."... He also said "If your organ offend thee, cast it from you, for it is better to lose one organ than to lose your immortal soul." and that to think lustful thoughts with a woman is to commit adultery with her in his heart.

I've always thought the Abrahamic religions were contrary to human nature, so it's hard for me to understand why Sufis for example, engage in clearly heretical practices and then try to justify it using orthodox sources (Quran, Hadith, Sunna etc.) Why don't they just admit that they are heretics?

Sufis always condemn the Wahabbis, but as much as I don't like the latter, the Wahabbis are actually following that which is IN THEIR BOOK! *If it wasn't meant to be followed, it wouldn't have been written in the first place.*

Religion is expressed externally through signs, common practices, and cult sites. The rest is between the devotee and his God(s). Strict and ascetic dogmas should have no place in religion.

Oswiu
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 11:16 PM
The thread was started in the Christianity forum, by a Christian, and I assume that he wanted to hear the views of other believers, rather than outsiders. Members should be a little more respectful when coming from alternative belief systems....

Bearing that in mind, in England we have a Church OF England, and therefore I feel a certain proprietorial feeling towards it, which makes it a part of my culture, nation and history. I would thus simply allow our English Church to continue down the route it's already taken - its properties becoming wonderful museums. I very often enter these buildings to look at the ancient monuments and inscriptions, and so am a little put out when clergymen start abusing these places by shoving posters of happy smiling African and SriLankan children all over the walls as you will invariably find...

Fortis_in_Arduis
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 11:25 PM
I very often enter these buildings to look at the ancient monuments and inscriptions, and so am a little put out when clergymen start abusing these places by shoving posters of happy smiling African and SriLankan children all over the walls as you will invariably find...

Yes, it should be about the Christian message but the Church of England was infiltrated by Marxists and the Bishops have been political appointees for years and years.

Clearly...

The Dragonslayer
Thursday, November 20th, 2008, 04:29 AM
Thanks to everybody who has offered their insights so far. I really appreciate them. I don't mind the comments of non-Christians, but I hope they will be respective. I do believe there are serious problems in Christianity as a whole. While many might hope Christianity will die out soon, it's not going anywhere. Plus our people have been Christians for centuries upon centuries now. There were European Christians from 2000 years on back. Christianity and Western Civilization go hand in hand. The Church played a major part in the triumph of the West over the centuries. I have no problems with Pagans, Atheists, etc. I think we should all unite together. We have a common cause. I doubt any of us want to see the West continue on its decline to oblivion. I doubt that the Catholic Church will do anything to turn things around. I think it's been going downhill especially since Vatican II. You just have to look at the dropping attendance at the Mass. Christianity even among whites is booming in the Pentecostal Movement as well as some others. I personally prefer more of a liturgical tradition such as Anglicanism, Catholicism or Orthodoxy. I have been a member of the Episcopal Church, but I finally left it due to all the drama that's been going on there. I tried to attend the Catholic Church, but I prefer the Latin Mass. There's not one close enough in my area. There's not really much in the way of an Eastern Orthodox parish in my area. I would probably consider myself a Classical Anglican if I had to put a label on myself. If the Catholic Church is not going to do what's necessary to save Western Civilization, I wish the Church of England would. I know that's not going to happen. There would have to be a major upheaval there. You would have to throw out many of the bishops, priests, etc. there. I do wish the Queen as the head of the CoE & as the Defender of the Faith would see that something needs to be done.

SwordOfTheVistula
Thursday, November 20th, 2008, 06:28 AM
Make it a center of community and supporter of the family. Like others said, I do not expect a multinational globalist church to do anything of the sort.

The best system seems to be one of independent congregations formed by clergy, who can voluntarily align themselves with higher clergy, and the people may select which congregation and clergy to follow. This system is used in the Islamic world and American Protestants, which incidentally have the most conservative/pro-family alignment of the Abramic faiths. Orthodox Jews also apparently follow this model roughly.

A good article for those to read regarding in general Abramic religions and ethnic preservations:

http://www.theoccidentalquarterly.com/archives/vol7no2/TOQV7N2Faussette.pdf

Sigurd
Thursday, November 20th, 2008, 07:24 AM
When I've gone to Mass, I've seen people there in shorts, heavy metal t-shirts,

I fail to see the importance of the emphasis on them being Heavy Metal T-Shirts. Why should this be considered as outrageous beyond wearing let's say a Pink Floyd shirt? In fact, if anything it should be greeted by believers in Christianity that their faith is alive and well even in the Metal scene, and that there are now even Black Metal bands which sing about Christian themes. If anything, this is where much missioning should be done, really. :P

As an Odinist, I couldn't care less about the well-being of the Church as such, but in understanding it to be a fundamental cornerstone in having formed Christian Identity, and finding it important that people should believe in at least something - be it a faith that I consider alien and destructive due to its origin - which is somewhat connected with Folk Identity, and that is something that cannot be done away with a shrug: The fact that Catholicism helped to shape many norms that are still accepted in this day and age, especially in the area I grew up in.

If anything, then that little basic reverence that allows people to somehow keep in touch with their heritage, is a positive thing. Whilst I would wish that those who are a little unsure take more interest in their ancestral faith, I will respect people to follow a European brand of Christianity - laden with many pre-Christian traditions that were adopted by the followers of the Church (need to boil a frog from cold) such as Yule/Christmas, Easter, Solstice Fires, etc. up to the more bothersome Church Tax (likely derived from the idea that the 10th part of one's harvest/hunt would be voluntarily offered to the Gods in the olden days) ---- I'd much rather they followed a faith that at least has some roots in our soil than to opt for the likes of Islam or Judaism, or even the pseudo-scientific ideal of Atheism. ;)

Fortis_in_Arduis
Thursday, November 20th, 2008, 08:35 AM
If the Catholic Church is not going to do what's necessary to save Western Civilization, I wish the Church of England would. I know that's not going to happen. There would have to be a major upheaval there. You would have to throw out many of the bishops, priests, etc. there. I do wish the Queen as the head of the CoE & as the Defender of the Faith would see that something needs to be done.

Sorry, but you cannot have what you want. It is mostly just another business and much like the Queen and it follows the political mood of the day, in order to survive.

Veritas ∆quitas
Thursday, November 20th, 2008, 08:40 AM
Bring back the inquisition.

exit
Thursday, November 20th, 2008, 02:25 PM
The thread was started in the Christianity forum, by a Christian, and I assume that he wanted to hear the views of other believers, rather than outsiders.

I would hope that you're not referring to hesychasm and the Knights Templars as "outsiders." ;)


I have trouble understanding why there is this demarcation between exoteric and esoteric doctrine. Who is entitled to the esoteric? What exactly makes the esoteric different from the exoteric?

http://www.studiesincomparativereligion.com/Public/articles/browse.aspx?ID=5

http://www.worldwisdom.com/uploads/pdfs/163.pdf

http://www.worldwisdom.com/uploads/pdfs/164.pdf

http://www.worldwisdom.com/uploads/pdfs/279.pdf

If esoterism which is the higher inner meaning of the symbol offends one then it is because the offended are anti-traditional or agnostic and want nothing more than to replace the spiritual with the profane. Calling esoteric/ascetic practices heretical is like saying the sacraments are heretical, which is absolutely absurd.


Bring back the inquisition.

That is what ruined the church. The inquisition was nothing more than political persecution. Their means of torture were truly sick.

-------
That being said, in addition to what I wrote in a previous post, I would reduce the number of sacraments by getting rid of marriage, confession, and anointing of the sick, and only administer the sacraments to those who fully understand them; baptism no earlier than age 5 - 10, chrismation 15 - 20, and eucharist only after the latter. Ignorant participation in the rites would no longer be allowed.

The Dragonslayer
Thursday, November 20th, 2008, 04:36 PM
I fail to see the importance of the emphasis on them being Heavy Metal T-Shirts. Why should this be considered as outrageous beyond wearing let's say a Pink Floyd shirt? In fact, if anything it should be greeted by believers in Christianity that their faith is alive and well even in the Metal scene, and that there are now even Black Metal bands which sing about Christian themes. If anything, this is where much missioning should be done, really. :P

As an Odinist, I couldn't care less about the well-being of the Church as such, but in understanding it to be a fundamental cornerstone in having formed Christian Identity, and finding it important that people should believe in at least something - be it a faith that I consider alien and destructive due to its origin - which is somewhat connected with Folk Identity, and that is something that cannot be done away with a shrug: The fact that Catholicism helped to shape many norms that are still accepted in this day and age, especially in the area I grew up in.

If anything, then that little basic reverence that allows people to somehow keep in touch with their heritage, is a positive thing. Whilst I would wish that those who are a little unsure take more interest in their ancestral faith, I will respect people to follow a European brand of Christianity - laden with many pre-Christian traditions that were adopted by the followers of the Church (need to boil a frog from cold) such as Yule/Christmas, Easter, Solstice Fires, etc. up to the more bothersome Church Tax (likely derived from the idea that the 10th part of one's harvest/hunt would be voluntarily offered to the Gods in the olden days) ---- I'd much rather they followed a faith that at least has some roots in our soil than to opt for the likes of Islam or Judaism, or even the pseudo-scientific ideal of Atheism. ;)

The reason I brought up heavy metal t-shirts is because that's the ones I saw. I didn't see any other band. If I had seen a Madonna t-shirt of Snoop Dog t-shirt, it would have been the same thing. I love heavy metal myself. I don't see anything wrong with heavy metal. I wouldn't wear one of my t-shirts to church though. What I'm saying is that people today don't often dress like they are going to church. I saw that more among those at the Catholic Church than the Protestant ones I've been to. The people there were still dressed fairly decently. I'm not saying that's at all the churches. Especially in the Catholic Church where they believe the Real Presence in the Eucharist, there looks like there would be more respect. You wouldn't exactly wear a tank top, shorts & flip flops to an audience with the Queen, the Pope or the President. You would dress your best.

Thanks for your response though. It is nice to hear from those that aren't Christian and might not even care for it. I think all sides need to be represented and heard from. My dream would be to see Christianity go back to more of that European brand that once existed. Christianity of today is nothing like it was centuries ago. Heck, it's not even what it was just 50 years ago.

Alice
Thursday, November 20th, 2008, 06:18 PM
What I'm saying is that people today don't often dress like they are going to church. I saw that more among those at the Catholic Church than the Protestant ones I've been to. The people there were still dressed fairly decently. I'm not saying that's at all the churches. Especially in the Catholic Church where they believe the Real Presence in the Eucharist, there looks like there would be more respect. You wouldn't exactly wear a tank top, shorts & flip flops to an audience with the Queen, the Pope or the President. You would dress your best.


This is an example of the dresscode (which is visible and very obvious to church visitors) posted at more traditional Catholic churches (definitely not the norm) in the United States:


Please observe the basic standards of dress for attendance at church services in our churches:
• Women and girls must cover their heads. (Chapel veils or mantillas are available for loan in the vestibules of most chapels.)
• Women and girls must wear dresses or skirts that cover the knee completely when standing or sitting. Slacks, shorts, sleeveless, tight or low-cut clothing, and dresses or skirts with long slits are not permitted.
• Men and boys should wear suit coats and ties.
• Jeans and other casual attire are inappropriate for attendance at church services.


While many people are enraged or shocked by these type of "rules" today, forty years or so ago people wouldn't have dreamed of attending Mass attired any other way. Nowadays, with church attendance in decline (except in some Pentecostal and/or Reform churches, as Americ mentioned), I think the Church is afraid of further alienating people. I've often felt that there is a pervasive air of permissiveness and complete acceptance present, lest anyone get offended.

However, I think some people really thirst for some type of guidance today (not just in areas of apparel ;)), and more liberal churches (both Protestant and Catholic) aren't doing them any favours by going soft on major issues, so to speak. In mainline churches, sermons/homilies condemning topics such as abortion, divorce, premarital sex and homosexuality have all but disappeared (which many might delight in!) from the pulpit. However, these types of subjects (and many others) are not avoided in some Reform, Pentecostal and Traditional Catholic churches. In my opinion, this might be part of the reason that these types of churches are on the rise.

The Dragonslayer
Thursday, November 20th, 2008, 07:39 PM
This is an example of the dresscode (which is visible and very obvious to church visitors) posted at more traditional Catholic churches (definitely not the norm) in the United States:


While many people are enraged or shocked by these type of "rules" today, forty years or so ago people wouldn't have dreamed of attending Mass attired any other way. Nowadays, with church attendance in decline (except in some Pentecostal and/or Reform churches, as Americ mentioned), I think the Church is afraid of further alienating people. I've often felt that there is a pervasive air of permissiveness and complete acceptance present, lest anyone get offended.

However, I think some people really thirst for some type of guidance today (not just in areas of apparel ;)), and more liberal churches (both Protestant and Catholic) aren't doing them any favours by going soft on major issues, so to speak. In mainline churches, sermons/homilies condemning topics such as abortion, divorce, premarital sex and homosexuality have all but disappeared (which many might delight in!) from the pulpit. However, these types of subjects (and many others) are not avoided in some Reform, Pentecostal and Traditional Catholic churches. In my opinion, this might be part of the reason that these types of churches are on the rise.

I grew up as a Free Will Baptist. You saw men in suits. Women and girls wore dresses. Boys would wear a dress shirt, dress pants & a tie. We all dressed nice for church. It is after all the house of God. I've been back to that church some of the years and mostly it's still the same way. There they need to be very strict. They are a conservative and fundamentalist church. God said homosexuality was an abomination and it still is. They still have the same beliefs on issues. God doesn't evolve, so neither should the church in its thinking. What was sin 2000 years ago is still sin today. That preacher is not too scared to say it either. So many churches, whether Protestant or Catholic, don't adhere to much of a dress code. It's an anything goes situation these days. They also do sermons that are more or less self help pep talks. There's no real meat from the Bible in them. They don't want to hurt anyone's feelings so they watch what they say. We need to go back to the old days. That's what is so wrong with much of Christianity these days.

QuietWind
Thursday, November 20th, 2008, 08:30 PM
I was curious about something. If a new pope is elected and he decides to call a council to reform the Church and he asked you to head it up (you don't have to be a Catholic), what would be some of the necessary changes you feel would be needed to reform and revitalize the Church? The pontiff wants to reignite the Church so it can play a part in empowering Western Civilization. Your thoughts?

An imaginary council designed to reform, revitalize, and ignite the church in a way that empowers Western Civilization........

The first thing to do would be to unite the church. The church has divided so many times and continues to divide. A body divided can not stand. 2 Corinthians 13:11 tells the church to "be of one mind" and Ephesians 4:4-5 tells the church that "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism,".... these verses are just a couple out of many which instruct the church to be united. In order to unite the church, it would be imperative to gather a council of leaders from each denomination. These leaders would meet together to discuss the biblical basis for various beliefs, and reach an agreed upon consensus. Each denominational group could still have their minor differences, but all would fall under an agreed upon major doctrinal code. It would be similar to how each state in the U.S. has it's own set of laws, but all states fall under the higher laws of the country which are predetermined by our constitution and supreme court. This interdenominational council must set aside their political correctness and turn back to the Bible for their guide.

The second thing to do would be to set up programs where the church would meet people where they are. The church is not a building. It is a body of believers. While gorgeous cathedrals are awe inspiring, they are not necessary. In the Old Testament you see the people giving of their first fruits, their best and finest, in order to build the temple. God "lived" in the temple and it needed to please him. In the New Testament there became a shift where God no longer dwelled in the temple. Instead he came to dwell in mankind, and the body became the temple. Man is therefore called to live a life of holiness and to kepp the body pure so that you can "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1). The church needs to meet people where they are. It needs to have programs set up to take the message to the streets, feed others, provide shelter, clothing, etc. Meet the needs of the people. The money in the church should not be for designer robes, golden candlesticks, million dollar buildings. It should be for taking care of the most basic needs of others, and offering them the ultimate gift of salvation. At one time there were organizations which served the community, but many of these have gone a new direction and taken the message out of it. You can not expect someone to dress up in a nice suit and go down to a cathedral, when that person is more concerned about where his next meal is coming from. I am not saying that the church can not have nice cathedrals or dress codes, I am saying that there needs to be a shift in the focus and priorities. God does not require that a man be holy and dress a certain way before coming to know him. He wants man as he is. The rest comes later. Holiness is taught.

Which brings me to the third thing this fictitious council would do. Set up programs to teach: church doctrine, living a holy lifestyle, parenting children, marriage, relationship building, mentoring and discipleship, etc.

These are just a few things that I think would help.

Imperator X
Friday, November 21st, 2008, 04:45 AM
@exit:

Schuon points out that Mary is "quite rightly" called "Co-redemptrix" and is "made of the same substance."

Now, the adoption of an expression of the Feminine has been extremely valuable to the preservation and expansion of the church, but as much as I am drawn emotionally and spiritually to images of Mary, the theotokos etc..it is hard from an intellectual standpoint to see Mary veneration and marian devotion as anything less than a sort of "popish excess" as it were.

I mean after all, Jesus says to his mother: "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" A woman once said to Jesus: "Blessed is the womb that bore you and the paps that you sucked." And Jesus replied: 'Yea, but the one who follows me and keeps the laws of my father, their blessedness is equal.' (I'm paraphrasing of course, but you get the idea) Where then is the biblical admonition to honor Jesus' mother so highly?

One thing that Orthodox Church points out is that in Catholicism, "bridal mysticism" dominates to the point where the emotional element supercedes anything else.

When I was 12 I was very interested in Catholicism. I was excited to see all the beautiful medals, rosaries, images, prayer books, statues of the Virgin etc. I was particularly, nay exclusively, interested in the Marian devotions. I purchased a few prayer books devoted to the Virgin. What I found (to my ecstasy and elation mind you) were epithets like "Queen of Heaven", "Woman of the Sun", "Star of the Sea", "Gate of Heaven" etc. I once read something (from an extrabiblical Catholic text) where Christ says to his mother, "Come, sit on this throne, for long have I coveted the beauty of thee."

Now, without meaning to offend anyone, the above verse certainly is rather, er, Oedipal. Logically, this makes sense as the Church is the Bride of Christ, Mary has been identified with the Church, ergo Mary is the Bride of Christ... No? Those would be the theological implications.

The explanation for this would be of course that Catholicism, as the Roman Church,absorbed pagan epithets like "Queen of Heaven", "Star of the Sea" etc.

I came to this conclusion in the end... "Catholicism is a blend of Christianity with mediterranean indigenous (pagan) religion." so I thought, "I like all of the pagan elements, but none of the Christian" ergo, I should be a pagan..

And the rest is history.

In this essay I intended primarily to show the theological difficulties inherent in Catholicism... These are some issues which the Catholic Church ignores, and I have never heard a sensible or adequate refutation of these points, and so if what I say is true, the Church knows that it is propagating things which are contrary to Jesus' original teachings. In other words, they are liars and they know it.

The Dragonslayer
Friday, November 21st, 2008, 04:57 AM
In the early centuries of Christianity there were councils called where all the bishops, etc. came together. There was a lot of heated debate. There were many differences between the schools of thought. There was discussion on many doctrines, including the nature of Jesus and so on.

I do like the ideas of all Christians, whether they be Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, etc. gathering together. There have been so many things that have torn Christians apart over the centuries. Many of these are quite petty when you really get down to it. The Church cannot be divided. It doesn't mean everybody has to agree on every detail. It does mean that Christians need to come to some sort of consensus. They need to find a way to come together and unite. Divided we will fall. There can't be 10,000 or so sects of Christianity out there. We need to be One Church. Jesus Christ created One Church, not thousands and thousands.

I do like the idea of doing more for the people. While there are Protestant, Catholic & Orthodox charities out there, more needs to be done. There are so many people in the United States and Europe who need a helping hand to get back on their feet. The Church could help people in so many areas of their lives. We need to help people transform their lives for the better. We grow as a community and a race as we work together to improve the lives of each of us. We are all the children of God.

exit
Friday, November 21st, 2008, 03:06 PM
Originally Christianity wasn't a church or religion but strictly an initiatic path as Islamic tradition says, which is also evident in that it has no exoteric spiritual law and had to adapt Roman law once it descended into a religion. That being said, I'd much rather have a less popular religion but of a higher quality than a popular and unified religion of very low quality. Most Christians today are not even Christian, do not go past historicism, moralism or politics, and even confuse doctrine with legalistic codes. You cannot revitalize the church until the people themselves change, as the church is only a reflection of the people.

Morning Wolf
Friday, November 21st, 2008, 05:17 PM
Well if you want my heathen two cents, I think that patronizing Christian art would be a very good idea. Most of modern art, despite having better technology than in previous ages, comes off to me rather trashy. It's all about expressing personal angst or left wing propaganda. Gone are the dignified masterpieces of DaVinci et al. Imagine what a talented, passionate Christian artist could do with traditionally themed mosaics, paintings, sculptors, etc. So far the only artist that I know like this is Thomas Kinkade, so there's lots of room in the market. I personally think that a mural of David slaying Goliath with the Philistines running in terror before Israelite chariots and foot-soldiers would be great, but the Bible has so many awesome possibilities.

There could also be a political shift. Many of these fundamentalist denominations are rising, but they are not necessarily popular, I still see them as a fringe movement, just take a look at America's recent electoral map. I think it's time for evangelicals to forget about pushing their social values down other peoples throats and just apply it to themselves, because pragmatically speaking no one else really cares that much, and they are just making themselves unpopular. Leviticus also says that marrying and then divorcing and then remarrying is an abomination that should be punished by stoning, and in theology/philosophy, one can't do a buffet approach where you pick and choose which parts of a book/theory you like, if you assume that the rules in the book of Leviticus are right then you should follow them uniformly because you assume that it's God's holy word, or not at all because you assume that Jesus is the new law.

But, if these churches want to stay politically active and reap the benefits of an energized congregation, I recommend triumphing environmental causes. This is noncontroversial, pragmatic, and in all reality I think that religious groups would do a much better job of managing the cause, many of the Green Peace hippy types that are currently in charge of environmentalism seem to me as rather deranged and impractical.

Morning Wolf
Saturday, November 22nd, 2008, 12:47 AM
I had another idea, and that's promoting healthy living through a good diet and exercise. It's noncontroversial, and is already being done, it just needs a little more publicity. I've noticed that of all the people that I know, the ones that are religious, regardless of which faith, tend to be rather healthy. I would readily date most of the Christian girls that I know despite being heathen.

Part of it's from the god(s) being worshiped taking an interest in their people, and a psychological aspect where feeling nurtured and connected helps, but the most important reason is that many religious lifestyles are scientifically healthy. Getting totally thrashed every weekend just isn't good.

A campaign of 'look at us, we are healthy and happy, you might be interested in being like us' could give piety a boost.

Oswiu
Sunday, November 23rd, 2008, 09:49 PM
I have taken the liberty of moving Exit's and Imperator X's discussion here:
http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=110406
As I though it was straying FAR beyond the question originally asked by the founder of the thread.
Keep on topic please! :)

MetallicPain
Thursday, November 27th, 2008, 08:31 PM
The church has got to try and appeal to youth (ie below 25), as they are the generation who are going to be carrying it forward to the next. The problem is, Atheism at the moment is popular amongst European and American youth, but this is not because they hold any true belief in Atheism, to be honest, they don't think about it much, it's simply due to the fact that Atheism and mindless religon-bashing is in fashion, it is the current trend and that is 90% of what motivates them.

While, of course, the church and christianity still must remain true to it's values, it needs to revitalise itself in the sense of appealing to the younger generation and if they are to do this they need to build an image of Christianity being equally as trendy as Atheism or some obscure Pagan religion. How the Church are going to do this I don't know, but they need to step outside of old conventions.

Youth like to be seen as being "different", while still conforming within a group, which is why Atheism and pagan religions are more popular now. I feel the Church could equally play on the being different urge.

Fortis_in_Arduis
Thursday, November 27th, 2008, 09:22 PM
The church has got to try and appeal to youth (ie below 25), as they are the generation who are going to be carrying it forward to the next. The problem is, Atheism at the moment is popular amongst European and American youth, but this is not because they hold any true belief in Atheism, to be honest, they don't think about it much, it's simply due to the fact that Atheism and mindless religon-bashing is in fashion, it is the current trend and that is 90% of what motivates them.

While, of course, the church and christianity still must remain true to it's values, it needs to revitalise itself in the sense of appealing to the younger generation and if they are to do this they need to build an image of Christianity being equally as trendy as Atheism or some obscure Pagan religion. How the Church are going to do this I don't know, but they need to step outside of old conventions.

Youth like to be seen as being "different", while still conforming within a group, which is why Atheism and pagan religions are more popular now. I feel the Church could equally play on the being different urge.

Youths like to react against their parents to a certain degree.

I think that the problem we have is that secularists (people who want to force others into being atheistic) do not face strong enough opposition, and materialism and anti-religion seem to win the hearts of the young before God, spirituality and tradition can.

I think that the Christians could get tougher. I think that they should drop political correctness and liberalism and start pointing some strongly disapproving fingers at the wicked politicians, alcoholism, trash culture, consumerism and materialism.

The youth should be encouraged to rebel against degeneracy and also self-hatred. There seems to be an epidemic of self-hatred amongst the young and the Marxists and the teachers who have brainwashed them are responsible for this.

Patrioten
Thursday, November 27th, 2008, 09:29 PM
I think the Church would do well by returning to its traditions, both in terms of rituals and beliefs, whilst presenting a more self-confident front; more of certainty, less of doubt. No more of this ecumenical nonsense, which you certainly wont find in a synagouge or a mosque. The Church can never compete with the normless, demandless, anything goes lifestyle of modernity, what they can provide is the exact opposite, a "counter-culture" of you will, to those who have become disillusioned by the crumbling idols of modern society. These are two different crowds with rather different needs.

The first crowd is similar to those who only hang out with you to take advantage of all the cool stuff you own or the money you are prepared to spend on entertainment, all for their personal short-term benefit before they move on to their real friends. The second crowd is made up of potentially highly loyal friends who seek out your company for your own personal qualities, and for whom the activities are simply enjoyable perks.

Which Churches are successful in attracting followers today? The answer is those churches who have sticked to a traditional message and who unapologetically preach the traditional beliefs of the Church. The used-to-be-national Church is in a position like no other Church to be a stable beacon of faith in our society if only it would be prepared to shoulder that role with the zeal necessary to do so.

One of the problems is of course the change of the guard that has taken place within the church, with priests who themselves doubt in the teachings they are supposed to hold as holy truths. They are afraid to provoke, afraid to not be politically correct, afraid to come off as overly self-confident, this leaves them with a watered down message of peace and love and not much else. The Church needs to be on the offensive instead of on the defensive. It needs to be on the march, a modern-day Crusade, for the faith.

That is how you restore peoples' faith in the old Church, in the hearts of those who are looking for a beacon of light and hope, to lead them away from the Godforsaken swamp that is the modern world.

It is common today for those who do not agree with the liberalisation of the Swedish Protestant Church to leave the Church. I have thought about it but decided against it. The Swedish Church has been the Church which my ancestors belonged to for centuries, it would feel wrong to leave it, and also I would never want to join some off-shot frikyrka, "free-Church" which I view with great suspicion. If only they could get their act together...

Now when they are about to accept homosexual marriages it might prove to be the straw that broke the camel's back, we'll see. But it feels wrong to have to leave the Church due to the corrupt minds of priests cast in a cultural-marxist mould.

Oswiu
Thursday, November 27th, 2008, 10:33 PM
they need to build an image of Christianity being equally as trendy as Atheism or some obscure Pagan religion. How the Church are going to do this I don't know, but they need to step outside of old conventions.

I think this is exactly what many have already been doing for decades. Churches with guitar playing vicars who dress down and call you 'Man' and whatever. Trying to sound trendy but just making a fool of themselves really.

Who makes 'trendy'? The media. Will they make the Church trendy? Not on your life.

I have a lot of sympathy for the Orthodox Church in Russia, and have been to many services and have several books produced by them. They behave righteously and constantly attack 'modernism' when it goes against our old morals. They never bow down to passing trends and have a lot of martyrs on their books from recent times to prove they believe what they say. Orthodox churches do not have a lobby-full of leaflets about how they've spent money on wells and schools in Sri Lanka or how they've been holding conferences with African bishops or holding 'outreach' programmes to connect with 'alternative lifestyle' people. The Churches have little benches where they sell religious books, icons and candles. Unchanging, ancient, resilient and on the attack. When you come to them, you come on their terms. A style to learn from.

However, I personally can never get round that worshipping some ancient foreigner problem...

QuietWind
Friday, November 28th, 2008, 02:28 AM
The church has got to try and appeal to youth (ie below 25), as they are the generation who are going to be carrying it forward to the next.

You must not have seen some churches in America. :) You would think that you had stepped into a rock concert and not church.

Sigurd
Friday, November 28th, 2008, 06:25 AM
The posts questioning as to whether the conversion to Christianity was that which heralded the "racial suicide" have been split off into a thread of its own (http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=110515). I feel that the topic merits discussion, but that it should not blur the course of the thread at hand. Keep this to discussing the revitalisation of the Church only. :)

Fortis_in_Arduis
Friday, November 28th, 2008, 03:59 PM
The Church has been deliberately infiltrated by Marxists.

My adopted father is a clergyman, and I know this, he knows it and his colleagues know it. The only people who do not know it are the poor people who still attend on a Sunday, unless they too are in on it...

The Word has been transposed into social Marxism (including direct action to that effect) whereas before it was perhaps more a stimulus for personal reflection with basic morality and standards prescribed, if not taken as read.

In the Anglican Church, clergy who support the government of the day are rewarded with titles, the titles 'Bishop' and 'Archbishop' being the most coveted of the day, as they provide the unholy with another outlet for their outpourings where they can meet with like-minded usurpers.

Can you guess what I am talking about?

It is the festering House of Lords.

Well, why not? If Britain is sinking like the Titanic, why not go Club Class?

SwordOfTheVistula
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008, 03:51 AM
The Church has been deliberately infiltrated by Marxists.

My adopted father is a clergyman, and I know this, he knows it and his colleagues know it. The only people who do not know it are the poor people who still attend on a Sunday, unless they too are in on it...

The Word has been transposed into social Marxism (including direct action to that effect) whereas before it was perhaps more a stimulus for personal reflection with basic morality and standards prescribed, if not taken as read.

In the Anglican Church, clergy who support the government of the day are rewarded with titles, the titles 'Bishop' and 'Archbishop' being the most coveted of the day, as they provide the unholy with another outlet for their outpourings where they can meet with like-minded usurpers.

Can you guess what I am talking about?

It is the festering House of Lords.

Well, why not? If Britain is sinking like the Titanic, why not go Club Class?

That's why I don't like the idea of a centralized church. A centralized institution is much easier for a small group of ideologues to infiltrate and take over.

The Dragonslayer
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008, 03:43 PM
So when did the Church start getting infiltrated by Marxists and the like? Was it in the 1960's or even before?

∆meric
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008, 05:14 PM
I'm sure they started their infiltration of the churches decades before the 60s. The 60s was the decade when their influence became overwhelming but it didn't happen overnight though it might have seem so. Same thing with Universities, the Marxists had been accumulating power for years before people noticed.

The Dragonslayer
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008, 04:36 PM
I'm sure they started their infiltration of the churches decades before the 60s. The 60s was the decade when their influence became overwhelming but it didn't happen overnight though it might have seem so. Same thing with Universities, the Marxists had been accumulating power for years before people noticed.



Yeah, that makes sense. It couldn't have happened overnight. They had to have been building up their numbers and moving into positions of influence for years beforehand.

arthor
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008, 08:18 PM
Greetings

I am a heathen and would probably admit to being happy in the way that the CofE is imploding on itself. I have always regarded christianity as a splinter faction of the Jewish faith with the argument being whether Jesus was the son of god or not.
Wanted to post as I am not sure about this Marxists taking over the church thing. I would say that these days the church is politically split between Conservative and Liberal, which is probably close to the split liberals and conservatives in the church as far as policies go. As far as the church getting involved in politics they have been right from the start as they recognised it as a way to worm their way in to countries. (Grymer Wormtongue fashion). Even when the church became well established in, for instance, England, church appointments were nearly always political although this sometimes backfired (Henry II/Thomas Becket). So this is not a new thing by any stretch.
The church's response to any major crisis is to fragment. The Great Schism and the Reformation being two examples. This, I feel is the right way to do things. If you don't agree with our interpretation then get lost and start your own church. Even the Cistercian monasteries were initially founded as a response to what they saw as the Bendictines' betrayal of the original monastic principles.
How I see things as being different now is that rather than the feminist/homosexual/liberals splitting away from the church, they want to change the church and betray what they have been saying for hundreds of years.
This is purely for political and economic reasons. If the church clings to its old beliefs, it will die, with, it must be said, some degree of honour for not abandoning its beliefs.

There is no way for the church to revitalise itself. It can either regain its honour and look back or lose its identity, water down its beliefs and look forward with a "must get bums on seats" approach. Maybe the first homophiliac wedding in a church. I can't actually see why the CofE doesn't allow this.
I do feel that the only way christianity (a totally different thing to "the church") will survive will be in small groups who are happy with their own interpretation of the scriptures. Whether the group is a more conservative, old testament style bunch (almost the Jewish faith there) or more liberal, new testament crowd will be up to them. Shame about the poor old pope, cardinals, vicars, deacons, abbots etc who all stole a living by pretending they were closer to their god than everyone else.

wasshael

PS the CofE had some value as a flimsy defence against islam but would rather toady up to them in some sleazy power sharing deal involving the House of Lords. The last proper christian defender of Europe against the muslim hordes was Vlad the Impaler.