Sien hierdie goeie reeks van 9 artikels (6 artikels is al beskikbaar) oor die toekoms van die Christendom in die al meer afvallige Weste wat terugkeer na sy paganistiese verlede:


Die skrywer, Terry Johnson, skryf die artikels na aanleiding van die opspraakwekkende boek van Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option:
“Rod Dreher argues in his book The Benedict Option (2017), that the traditional western, Christian civilization of the past 1500 years is collapsing. The evolving secular society that is replacing it increasingly is opposed to Christianity. Christians today are living and working in an environment that is hostile to faithful Christian discipleship. Christian moral teaching is seen as hate speech and given the same social status as racism. Those who fail to accept the LGBTQ agenda are viewed as hopelessly bigoted and dangerous. The U. S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision declaring a constitutional right to same sex “marriage” is seen by Dreher as the “Waterloo” of religious conservatism. Meanwhile the church is increasingly compromised and impotent. Opinion polls document the collapsing of historic moral and doctrinal norms of professing Christians.”
Dreher se oplossing is:
“Rod Dreher in The Benedict Option proposes that Christians focus their energies in strengthening their institutions of the family, church, and school in preparation for dark times ahead. He envisions a time when the secular order collapses and is hopeful that Christian institutions will survive. Christian families, schools and churches, he hopes, will be there to pick up the pieces for multitudes of ordinary people whose lives are in ruins as a result of the false promises of secular paganism.”

Johnson skryf dan sy artikels – vanuit ‘n gereformeerde oogpunt – om aan te moedig en te wys hoe gelowiges deur en volgens God se Woord, verskillende instellings, veral gesin en kerk, moet reformeer. ‘n Paar aanhalings aangaande die sake wat hy aanraak:

Die Christelike sosiale orde moet die paganistiese orde vervang in die toekoms

“Christian families, communities, churches, schools and other institutions must be strengthened so as to survive the onslaught of secular paganism so as to be there when that new pagan order ​​ inevitably collapses. The Christian social order must become the alternative to which the unbelieving turn when the current amoral trajectory disintegrates into a dark age. We must cast an alternative vision of life: pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-children, pro-family, pro-church, pro-God.”

Die kerk

“What does this mean for the church? The church must simply be the church. This means summoning the courage to tell its story and nurture its distinctive life. Forget about being normal, Dreher counsels. Forget about being accepted. Abandon the strategy of “treating worship as a consumer activity and allowing parishioners to function as unaccountable, atomized members.”  Quit functioning as “secular entertainment centers with religious morals slapped on top.”3 The “renewing of our minds” means that Christian thought patterns and behaviors are not natural to people (Rom 12:1, 2).”

“In addition, if the moral witness of the Christian community is to have integrity, then Christian ethics will have to be consistently applied. Opposition to homosexuality must be accompanied by opposition to all sexual sin: fornication, adultery, pornography, and divorce. Those who refuse to comply will have to be admonished, and if they persist, eventually excommunicated.”

Die huwelik

“Rod Dreher asks the question, “Is sex the linchpin of Christian cultural order?”1 His answer is yes. The sexual revolution has been catastrophic for Christianity. The sexual revolution, says Dreher, ‘has demolished the fundamental Christian conception of society, of families, and of the nature of human beings. There can be no more peace between Christianity and the Sexual Revolution, because they are radically opposed.’ He argues that severing sex from procreation was a key milestone in the triumph of the sexual revolution. “We have gay marriage because the straight majority came to see sexuality as something primarily for personal pleasure and self-expression and only secondarily for procreation.” Consequently, “Gay marriage and gender ideology signify the final triumph of the Sexual Revolution and the dethroning of Christianity because they deny Christian anthropology at its core and shatter the authority of the Bible.”
Pro-familie en pro-vaderskap
“Every society faces the problem of channeling the energy of young men into productive activity. The terrorists in the Middle East are young men. The suicide bombers (with very few exceptions) are young men. The terrorists and mass murderers at home are young men. The violent criminals at home and abroad, the murderers, the rapists, the armed robbers, those who assault and batter, are all young men.
When society does not give to young men a meaningful role, one which affirms their identity as men, their manhood and masculinity, many of them will turn to anti-social means of establishing that identity: promiscuity, alcohol and drugs, and violence. They will establish their manhood by holding their liquor, sexual conquests, and violent exploits. They will live on the edge. They will flirt with danger. They will shirk responsibility. These are well- documented and universal trends observed by multiple social observers going back at least to Margaret Mead (yes, that Margaret Mead). These trends may be observed from the ghetto to Appalachia, from the Arab world to the skinheads and neo-Nazis of Europe.

What is needed is a revived emphasis on the role of husband and father. What proves a man’s manhood? What is the most important role for a man in this world? The Christian answer is: that of provider and protector of his wife and family. That alone is comparable to a woman’s irreplaceable role as the bearer and nurturer of children.”

Pro-tuisteskeppers en pro-kinders

The Christian community must also reaffirm the nobility of the role of mother and homemaker. Second-wave feminism viciously ridiculed the “stay-at-home mom” and the stigma remains. Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex advocated laws which would prohibit women from staying home to rear their children. Betty Friedan in The Feminine Mystique portrayed women as bored out of their minds at home, which she likened to a concentration camp. Midge Decter in The New Chastity denigrated the messy, ordinary care of babies. What defines a woman as a woman and not a man is her capacity to conceive life within her womb, carry that child to term, and nourish that child in its infancy. How is it that that which is distinctive to a woman’s design has come to be slighted?”

“The secular culture of death prevents conception through birth control, terminates life through abortion, and flirts with the practice of infanticide. Current birth rates in the United States are at a 32-year low. Newspapers proclaim “America’s Millennial Baby Bust.” The outlook of progressives is profoundly anti-child. The Christian community must be pro-life and pro-child. This means wanting and welcoming all children whom God is pleased to give.

“The Apostle Peter calls us “exiles” (1 Peter 1:1). We feel like exiles in this corrupt culture. Thankfully, the Bible has instructions for exiles. The prophet Jeremiah directs the Hebrew exiles in Babylon to build houses, plant gardens, marry, pray, and please note, have children: ““Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jer 29:4-7)”

Sien ook Johnson se preke en ander artikels hier: Reformation Today

Begin met hierdie preek: Christ’s Victorious Kingdom

Douglas Wilson se kritiek op The Benedict Option
Neem ook kennis van Wilson se kritiek op Dreher se boek. Hy waardeer Dreher se goeie ontleding van die probleem, asook dat ons ons instellings versterk en beveilig. Hy stem egter nie saam met al Dreher se oplossings nie. Hy meen ons kan nie onttrek uit die samelewing (geestelik of fisies nie), omdat die vyand ons nie gaan uitlos met ons eie instellings nie.  En dit is waar, soos ons bv kan sien met die LGBTQ en ander agendas wat al meer op almal afgedwing word.

Verder geen terrein van die lewe is neutraal nie, ons moet die stryd stry op elke lewensterrein, nie net ons eie instellings bewaar nie, so ons moet albei doen, in my eie woorde: versterk ons eie instellings en aanhou uitbou volgens sy Gees en Woord (huwelik, gesin, gemeente, ouer tuisonderwys en privaatskole, eie privaat besighede, ens.), maar ook elke lewensterrein – insluitende die politieke terrein – en alle mense oproep tot bekering en geloof in Jesus, die Koning van die hele kosmos, nie net die kerk en gesin nie. Almal moet die knie voor Hom buig en Hom  dien (Ps. 2; Hand. 17:17,30,31; 1 Kor. 10:31, ens).

Sien Wilson se reeks hier: The Benedict Option 

Wilson skryf in sy laaste artikel in die reeks opsommend:

“Political process is not neutral. Administrative process is not neutral. Procedures are not neutral. Constitutional law is not neutral. Nothing is neutral. Everything we do corporately in the body politic is an expression of our foundational faith. That faith will either be the true faith — what I have been calling mere Christendom — or it will be an attempt to build a great skyscraper civilization on the foundation of our watered-down secular concrete.

The “rule of law” is not some “pure neutrality,” an ethereal gas that enables a bunch of members of different faiths and religions to bond together in the same society. The rule of law is actually a codified expression of certain aspects of our Christian inheritance. It is part of our legacy and heritage for a reason. It came from somewhere. It grew and developed in some countries and not in others for profound religious reasons. The rule of law has no evident authority apart from the authority of a transcendent God.

Once the Christian faith has been successfully banished from public life, and Rod Dreher and I are both gathering raspberries in Montana to help keep our small communities alive — his Benedict Option, and my Beza option — the rule of law will be as gone as two years before yesterday. When the tree falls, so do the branches.

This is why the questions Dreher poses don’t really matter. If we want rule of law and even-handedness in our county courthouses, we need Christ there. We cannot postulate a situation where Christ is banished, but we believers can still somehow come to the county seat with an expectation of finding any justice there.

Van Til used to talk about epistemological self-consciousness — where the foundational religious assumptions and the ethical agenda line up. Over the last several decades, I have seen much more of it from the pagans than from the Christians. They know what they are doing. They know what they are tearing down. They know why we are thoroughly confused, and they are running quite an exquisite and elegant game of lies to keep it that way.

That lie is this — that salvation is something you can have without a Savior. You can be lying on the bottom of the pool for an hour, and then suddenly you are wrapped in a towel, sitting in the sun, and no lifeguard that you need to thank. Thanking the lifeguard might land you in court. Some people don’t believe in lifeguards, and it hurts them that you do.

Traditional believers have mysteriously come to believe that is somehow possible for America to saved without her humbling herself and calling upon the Lord. And when I say Lord, I am not referring to some generic sky god, but rather to the Lord Jesus, the one who was born of a virgin and who rose from the dead.

He rose from the dead so that Americans might learn that you can’t have it both ways. You can’t climb a mountain and climb into a hole at the same time, even if you call it principled pluralism. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deut. 30:19).”

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