I had not written the post to spark a debate between the Orthosphereans and Romantic Christians and was somewhat surprised when it did. The initial Orthosphere responses hinted that there was much room for agreement concerning salvation and personal spiritual discernment, but when I brought up the birdemic church closures, the overall tone of the discussion took an icy turn.
I finally disengaged after Kristor Lawson published his self-described “splash of hellfire: of hard hot adamantine opaque and impenetrable truth”, which he employed to brand all Romantic Christians as “enemies of the Church of Christ” and by logical extension, enemies of Christ and Christianity.
I suppose I could write a formal rebuttal – compose my own little splash of hellfire, but I won’t.
I am now thoroughly convinced that most Orthosphereans/Orthosphere readers are indeed indivisibly wed to the altar-civilization model. I also know that the very idea of exploratory thinking beyond the altar-civilization model repulses them. And that’s enough for me. I won’t suggest these sorts of things to them anymore.
I don’t believe Kristor, the other Orthosphereans, or their trad/mainstream readers are enemies of Christ, and it’s not my place to brand them as such. Having said that, I must confess that the deep respect I once held for some of the Orthosphereans is now quite shallow.
But I don’t want to harp on about that sort of thing. What I’ll do instead is close with two recent comments taken from Romantic Christian blogs. My aim here is to provide some insight into how “the enemies of the Church of Christ” think:
The first is from David, who runs the excellent New World Island site. The comment appeared on Bruce Charlton’s blog today:
“When I was first introduced to Mormonism (and Christianity, again as an adult, beautifully clarified by the missionaries) I was also asked to seek personal revelation. After some time I did believe it to be true, but I had no desire to become a Mormon or join the Church. I did however become a Christian.
It did not seem necessary to me that a loving God, who is primarily concerned with my salvation, would require my allegiance to a particular church or denomination, but would rather prefer a personal ongoing and unlimited relationship that was Jesus-centered and unhindered by any outside or second-hand influence.
I follow this path knowing that there is no earthly authority (no man, no government, no church) that supersedes my inner awareness of Christ who dwells within all men as "the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
This is quite freeing. And therefore regardless of what happens with any church or church system in the future, I am confident this will have no effect on my faith or trust in God.”
The second is from Luke, who added the following thought to one of my posts:
“There are those who are aware of their own freedom and bear upon themselves the responsibility for their own souls, and there are those who wish to renounce their own will and flee their sense of responsibility. For a little while longer the latter may be possible, but I do not think the future will belong to them.”