Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stand Firm Against The New Arianism

In a most succinct article Anthony Esolen pinpoints, like no other, the essence of the evil confronting the Christian today. I’ve often thought that today’s crisis in the Catholic Church over sexual ethics must be tantamount to the great Arian crisis of ages past but Esolen has framed the reality superbly in his very brief essay.

Here’s an excerpt:

Chesterton noted with his usual acuity that people who sneer at the Arian controversy—battles over a diphthong, said Gibbon—do not know what was at stake. If we believe that "God is love," not that God happens to favor us, but that in his inner life God is himself love, we owe that belief to the inflexible fidelity of Athanasius. The Christian faith could and did baptize much of the ancient pagan world. The rider upon the racing horse can lean in one direction and then in another. But sometimes a failure of the breadth of a hair can be fatal. There is no such thing as a little bit of adultery or apostasy. An innocent man's life cannot be sacred on every day of the year but one. To give up the Trinity is to give up Christ, and to give up Christ is to give up all. We might as well worship the unapproachable deity whom Chesterton called "the lonely god of Omar."

If Athanasius was mulish, let's praise the Lord for the mule, who knows what he must not do and who will not do it—who will sooner starve where he stands than move one inch. We may never budge one inch on what is essential. We will not tell a lie, even to please the world and win us the accolades of faculty bishops and historians everywhere. We will not move.

In our day, the issue is not Christology. We're not so sophisticated in our heresies. The issue is sex. We're encouraged to pretend that the child-making act is not essentially ordered to child-making. We must pretend that it's only the friction of erogenous flesh. We must pretend that a man can be made into a woman by a saw and a trowel, and a woman into a man by pinning the tail on the donkey, or by just thinking it is so. We must pretend that a child in the womb is just some stuff or other. We must pretend that boys and girls do not deserve a married father and mother, promised to one another for life. If we are Christian, we must say to Christ, "Thus far and no farther! You can have all the world, but these few inches are mine."

Read the rest here.

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