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My friend Rich Blesdoe always amazes me with his wisdom and insight. The following as an example:
Somewhere, Paul Tournier says this, but it is common experience anyway. Children who experience deep conflict in the home of religious (ie, Christian) parents, have an added burden. Hearing, or seeing, and living with constant conflict on the part of parents who are professing Christians, who are one thing behind closed doors, and something entirely different in church, or in public, does damage in ways that children raised in entirely unbelieving atmosphere’s does not. It is not simple. On the one hand, the child may still find new strength for life because of his or her inherited faith, but there is still the conflict and soul tearing that is experienced because of the known hypocrisies that were seen and experienced behind closed doors. Some children do not recover, and the conflicts become the foundation of apostasy from the faith.
So likewise, perhapsone of the deepest conflicts of the Western World are still “The Wars of Religion.” Of course, it is perfectly true that the real facts are that often religion was a mere facade behind which power hungry princes stood, but no matter. As I read somewhere (and I believe it was John Owen) there is hardly any spectacle in the world anywhere less edifying than men killing each other in the name of Jesus. It is a wound in the soul of the Western World that is still not healed, and still is cause for real fear. No matter that the Enlightenment Settlement that “resolved” the issue by placing religion in the realm of “opinion” as opposed to “knowledge” (where autonomous empirical and rationalistic axioms were placed), was often done by men “looking for an excuse,” it still has power, great power, over men’s souls. And no matter that the great 20th century diasasters were brought about in atheistic regimes, killing many millions times more than “religious” regimes ever did in the past. The wound is still there, and still festers.
Beyond all of this, there is no doubt that the worst fanaticisms are fueled “in the name of God.” Just to observe the unedifying fanaticisms in our circles (who in their right mind would go after Peter Leithart, for example) gives a hint.
What is going to have to be proven again is that we are back to a kind of tribalism in which THE ONLY WAY that people can be brought to peace with one another, is by means of faith. And of course, I mean faith in Christ. We are back to a kind of Benedictine reality with the early tribes of what became Europe. I am also beginning to see that the only way that young people can be brought to sufficient “peace” with one another to have the courage to marry and to make a marriage work, is by means of faith. And I do believe the new emblem of the coming city states is marriage itself.
We are not only the new Benedictines, we are also the new “makers of marriages.”