From the Past to the Future

The Dying Past

Terry Mattingly of GetReligion wrote a good piece, worth digging into: Return of ‘nuns’ growing weed: A Rolling Stone puff piece on this emerging religious group.

It’s worth your time to read.

He quotes the Rolling Stones article, Our Ladies of the Perpetual High, twice. Here:

In the middle of California’s Central Valley, in a modest milky-blue home on one acre of farmland, lives a small group of nuns. They wear habits and abide by a set of vows, but as the door opens, it’s clear that the Sisters of the Valley, as they’re known, aren’t living in a traditional convent. Because as the scent wafts out, it’s unambiguous: It’s the earthy, pungent smell of weed.

When we visit, five women live in the home: Sister Kate, 62; Sister Sophia, 49; Sister Quinn, 25; and at the moment, Sister Luna and Sister Camilla, both 34, who are visiting from Mexico. Sister Kass, 29, lives off the property with her two children and her partner, Brother Rudy, the collective’s crop manager. On this sunny day, the Sisters of the Valley home is flooded with golden beams of light; a cream-colored piano stands against the wall with an ashtray and joint placed on top. Sister Kate picks it up, lights it, and thoughtfully inhales as she sits down to play “America the Beautiful.” She’s using a piano-learning app filled with Christian songs and national anthems — the two genres of music she dislikes the most. But there is an underlying motive: “The Christian kids nearby have contests, so if I do a lot of practicing in a month, then I can beat them,” she says with a raspy laugh. “There is some gratification in beating the Christian kids.”

And here:

A now-defunct religious order, the Beguines date back to the Middle Ages. Due to a multitude of unmarried women and a desire for spirituality, all-female groups found a way to live in devotion without officially joining a religious order. These women, who lived communally and supported themselves by making cloth or caring for the sick, stressed living like Christ; they were spiritual, and some even delved into mysticism. “We are not trying to romanticize the past, but there are things we like about it,” says Sister Kate. “It’s the way that these women worked in harmony with nature that we are trying to emulate.”

Part of the Sisters of the Valley business plan involves devoting their work and life to the cycles of the moon, which they believe is what their ancient ancestors did. Their harvest ceremony, which takes place during a full moon, begins with a reading from the “Book of the Beguines,” a pamphlet written by the enclave. “There’s no such thing as a ‘Book of the Beguines,’” Sister Kate confesses. “They were all burned. We make our own readings. We have to imagine what our ancestors would have said, what they would’ve done, and how they would have reacted to local political forces. Our closing prayer is from Season Four of Game of Thrones,” she says, laughing.

The Rise of Sheliaism

What is Sheliaism? Mattingly explains:

Forget politics for a moment. The headline on Rod’s post — “Christianity Declines — But Not ‘Spirituality’ “— is what connects that Pew data to this new Rolling Stone feature. Dreher wants to note a renewed surge in a tend that has been around for decades (think “Sheilaism”). Here is a key passage:

“America continues to transition to its post-Christian reality. … One of the most interesting, and unexpected, developments is that in the US, relatively few of these people who are falling away from Christianity are becoming atheists. Rather, they are cobbling together a bespoke bricolage religion, one designed just for them.”

Before this, I expect nothing from the pastors and the denominations than the safe bromides and the powerless hand-wringing of decade after decade, after decade.

Satan couldn’t have asked for anything more.

The Surging Future

Believing Christians who insist on having the Kingdom of God expand will have to forget the forever-failure Christian professionals, and go another way if they want to inherit the future.

I like Marinov’s perspective on this – and many other – issues.

See: And in One Holy Local Church: The Ghettoization of Protestantism Parts 1-3 (audio)

(Or get the book here)

And take a listen to Don’t Plant Churches, Build Covenant Communities

There is also, from the Freedom Conference: The Way of Wise Rebellion, The Biblical, Christian Duty to Rebel and the Q&A session.

My favourite? Missions in the Big Cities, Parts 1 & 2

But don’t forget Isaiah: The Prophet Of Christendom.

Always remember where you come from.

Summary

Never mind the stoned nuns. They are merely living the future liberal road of the liberals and the progressives, after the bankruptcy, discrediting, and de-legitimization of their One True Deity, the Self.

True: most progressives adore the State first, and the Self second. But when the State loses power – “the only thing that really matters” – then the haze of marijuana beckons.

When the God of Power collapses, there is always the God of Escape.

In contrast, keep an eye, and build up, those annoying Christian children. Raise as many as you reasonably can, raise them to be entrepreneurs who trust in God (not some guild, and not the State), raise them to love God first and also their fellow man.

Raise them to be literate, and numerate, with both wisdom and also knowledge, with a love of truth, personal righteousness and holiness, and public justice and the rule of law over all, impartially.

Yes, even pagan anti-Christian women deserve to be respected as God’s Law demands: their lives, their property, and their liberty.

And if they waste all three? That is something they can answer to God for, when the time comes.

We must not waste any of those mighty gifts: we have a holy Kingdom to expand, and a world to build. We must be good tools in God’s hands, filled by His Holy Spirit.

The inhabitants of hell are in the heaven of their own choosing. Each is his own god and universe. For them, there are none now to contradict their will: they can say eternally, My will be done! No fire, however, burns more bitterly than the fires of guilt and egocentricity. Man in the isolation of hell cannot grow: he consumes himself endlessly. The redeemed, however, both in this world and in the world to come, have community and growth. Because they know themselves to be God’s creatures, saved by His grace, they know the truth of Paul’s words:

7. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
8. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. (Rom. 14:7–8)

We then have God’s plenty to grow on, and His law-word to live by. The denizens of hell have the paltry and stinking world of their own soul.

The reprobate want themselves and their will, and hell gives it to them eternally. This is their judgment.*

The Sermon on the Mount, by R. J. Rushdoony
As quoted by Andrea G. Schwartz,
in An Endless Monologue in an Empty Room

Sheliaism is as much a road to hell as any other vision, religion, gospel, ideology, or philosophy that despises the Lordship of Christ Jesus and the Authority of the Scriptures.

Let’s not delude ourselves about escaping reality.

Or trying to reshape reality into our own image, for that matter.

We must obey the Lord of Reality, Jesus Christ, to win the future.

We must exercise lawful, God-directed dominion over the creation, and insure the supremacy of His Law over all creation and all men — including ourselves!

Our children must do so, as well, so they can be victors over the snake, regardless of his lies and his delusions and his venom and his empty promises of “being your own God”.

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