Kronos

The cold winds blow from the bitter north,
Emissaries of their frigid lord.
He comes from the final sphere, devoid of mirth,
Carrying a sickle for a sword.

Once before a saturnine messenger came;
The Baptist preached repentance from sin.
The people could not bear the blame
And expelled him from the land of men.

Now in gloom his ruling Power
Descends upon our rebellious ball,
Ensuring that in this late, mournful hour,
we eat the fruit of our willful fall.

The reaper, grim-faced and grey-eyed god
Of unyielding time and dire judgment –
What madness possessed us? Now awed,
We once scorned his promised advent.

But Tellus is blanketed as with lead
And pressed by the grave weight of despair.
Saturn’s scythe swings with looming dread
To harvest the sons of the power of the air.

O Unfortunate Aspect, reminder of justice,
Man cannot bear the burden for long.
The snare of folly has surely crushed us,
Left us with little, left us alone.

Come, Venus, with your warm embrace!
Come, Mars, with your gleaming spear!
Join your brother, and, by God’s grace,
Temper his work in our earthly sphere.

O Mercury, fleet-footed messenger divine,
Bring us glad tidings of returning light.
The coming feast prepared, of bread, of wine,
In Jove’s kingly halls lit bright.

Let Jove now reign, king of kings,
Yet a shadow of the Highest.
These starry minstrels, the Heavens, sing
The glories of our Christ, the brightest.

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Exit Benedict

I reproduce publicly something I wrote in a private group about the outlook for Western Christians. Even if the stuff about liberal sexuality were not true, I think points 9-14 would still hold. The LGBT crusade is just helpful in making the necessity of this rather obvious to anyone paying attention. (Read Rod Dreher’s book.)

Here’s a rough outline of my thinking on this:

1) Christians are a minority in Western culture now.  We do not hold cultural or political power.

2) The liberal sexual paradigm is ascendant and dominant, culturally, politically, and religiously.

3) The liberal sexual paradigm is opposite to and irreconcilable with the Christian sexual paradigm.

4) The liberal sexual paradigm does not allow for dissent. Normalization and celebration of deviancy is being/will be compelled.
5) The educational establishment is pushing the liberal sexual paradigm, including transgenderism, at all levels of education, requiring both students and faculty to assent to it.

6) The corporate world (finance, administration, media, law, retail, etc) is fully on board with the same. HR departments routinely push for ‘diversity training’ and public expressions of ‘allyship.’

7) Christians are already being terminated from these jobs in small numbers.

8) All indicators say those numbers will increase.

9) This means large numbers of Christians in those fields will need some sort of livelihood and a place to educate their children.

10) Those will only be possible in a thick community of like-minded, serious, orthodox Christians living in close physical proximity to one another and serving one another and their wider community in interlocking vocations.

11) Such a community cannot be built over night, so waiting until one is fired to begin building it means you’ve waited too late.

12) LGBT woes are the occasion for our strategic withdrawal, but they are only a recent symptom of a deeper, older problem that the Church has failed to address.

13) Failure to form these thick communities will mean widespread apostasy, isolation (ironically) of individual Christians, and irrelevance of the Church.

14) It is only from these thick communities that we can hope to be a compelling witness for Christ and His kingdom.

Charm

I wonder if Charles Wesley read Phaedo.

Cebes laughed and said: “Assuming that we were afraid, Socrates, try to change our minds, or rather do not assume that we are afraid, but perhaps there is a child in us who has these fears; try to persuade him not to fear death like a bogey.”

“You should,” said Socrates, “sing a charm over him every day until you have charmed away his fears.”

“Where shall we find a good charmer for these fears, Socrates,” he said, “now that you are leaving us?”

“Greece is a large country, Cebes,” he said, “and there are good men in it; the tribes of foreigners are also numerous. You should search for such a charmer among them all, sparing neither trouble nor expense, for there is nothing on which you could spend your money to greater advantage. You must also search among yourselves, for you might not easily find people who could do this better than yourselves.”

Where shall we find a good charmer for our fear of death?

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.

Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, our King and Savior – a far sweeter and more effectual charm than what Socrates and Plato had to offer!

Winter

Following the Anglo-Saxons, take spring and summer together as Summer; likewise fall and winter as Winter.

Summer is when Creation exhales. It’s the time for growing, spreading out. Leaves bud, flowers bloom, calves are born, seed is scattered. Children roam the countryside, sometimes quite far from home. Men go out into the fields. It’s warm, and the heat drives things apart. It’s the time to make a journey.

In Winter, the earth inhales. What had previously spread now pulls back; it contracts. Leaves fall to the ground and return to the earth, sap retreats to the roots, animals are taken to the stalls. The fruit of the field is harvested and brought into the storehouse, close to home. Life is centered more intensely in the house. The bitter cold drives the folk to the hearth; it presses them together. Death and adversity outside the household foster and strengthen bonds within.

Alastair on Themes of Household and Sexuality

Alastair on Themes of Household and Sexuality

These are the podcasts/videos that Alastair Roberts has done to date on the topic of the natural family, household, and sexuality. I figure having these collected in one place might be helpful to those seeking to restore the traditional household. Even though I’m highlighting these, his whole podcast is worth checking out.

I’m putting these in an order that, to my mind, ranks roughly from most important at the top to least at the bottom. The first four or five are well-worth your time; the rest fill out the themes.

The Church And The Natural Family
A Biblical Theology Of The Household
Paul Maxwell On Masculinity
Gender Segregation?
What Is Meant By Calling Marriage A Natural Institution?
Singles Adopting
What Is The Case Against Women’s Ordination?
Man, Woman, Deception, And Authority In 1 Timothy 2
Does New Creation Undermine Natural Law?
Why Is The Man Rather Than The Woman Who Leaves Father And Mother In Genesis 2:24?
1 Corinthians And Women’s Silence In Church
Was Jesus A Fruitful Eunuch?
Is Abortion To Be Solved By Controlling Male Sexual Behavior?

War unto Peace

Christianity is War. To be a Christian of any sort is to be engaged in a martial enterprise. It is a war unto peace, no doubt, yet still a war so long as we live in this present age. In the world to come, we will have peace on all sides. The sword will be beat into a ploughshare, But for now, we fight.

Orthodoxy wars against heresy. Godliness against ungodliness. Holiness against sin. Wisdom against foolishness. Good against evil.

This war has fronts in every heart, in every church, in every family, community, and nation. Even between nations.

If you aren’t fighting, you’re dead.

Whither Conservatives?

It’s worth noting that virtually anybody who could be called ‘conservative’ in the 19th and early 20th centuries was alarmed by the shift to an industrial society from an agrarian one. Our seers consulted the stars and were able to discern many of the deferred costs we’d have to pay for our newfound material comfort and ‘progress.’ They saw, with a clarity that amazes me, the social, political, religious, and economic goods that we’d eventually be forced to relinquish. Fatherlessness, wage slavery, loss of inherited liberty, sexual deviancy, breakdown of kinship relations, rootlessness, ennui, and more besides were all foretold. And while I don’t think industrialism is the sole cause of any of those, it is difficult to overstate the role it has had in producing them.

John Crowe Ransom states well the old conservative sentiment: “Industrialism is rightfully a menial, of almost mircaulous cunning but no intelligence; it needs to be strongly governed or it will destroy the economy of the household. Only a community of tough conservative habit can master it.” The fact that modern Americans, whether self-professed conservatives or no, will scratch their heads at talk of ‘the economy of the household’ is enough to show that we did not have a sufficiently conservative habit. Since Ransom’s day, we’ve more or less capitulated to the industrial mindset, left, right, and center.

And so modern political and social (even religious) discourse consists of talk among various wings of the industrial party. Ironically, our ‘conservatives’ are some of the most ardent defenders of the industrial gospel. (Which makes me wonder what exactly they mean to be conserving.) They have made an about-face. ‘Conservative’ is more or less synonymous with Republican, and everybody knows Republican politicians will back Big Business to the hilt, family, religion, and tradition be damned. The average conservative is somewhat better than the politicians, of course, but even there you won’t find a very robust esteem for the past. You can occasionally arouse a fighting spirit that will take on corporations, like what we’ve seen with the NFL and Nike. But that’s a fickle spirit and not to be relied upon.

So where does a young conservative go? What does he do with his energy? If he wants a settled household nestled within a community that is committed to a particular place, that is largely independent politically and economically, and a church that proclaims the Gospel in Word and Sacrament, to whom does he turn? Who are his brothers-in-arms? Neither major party represents him. Ostensible ‘lay’ conservatives often are committed to fortifying the very forces that are undermining that vision of the good life.

That’s basically me. And as angsty as that sounds, I’m more hopeful than anxious. But boy do we need good conservative voices to interpret the times AND provide practical advice for living, which we haven’t had in a long time. May the Lord raise them up for us.