A Call to Christians Drawn toward Paganism

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Brethren, to be saved is not only to be caught out of the evil age but also to be given the power to build for the kingdom without end, to be cleansed now in promise of a crown of glory. Many take no care for their words, and corrupted names lead to corrupted practices, whereas rectified names lead to rectified practices. An informed Protestant knows, as does all of Christendom who knows the catholic faith rightly, that we have been saved in Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection, are being saved in Christ’s intercession in heaven and gift of the Holy Ghost, and will be saved in Christ’s coming in glory at the Last Day. Do not be shaken by those who introduce all manner of innovation in the name of religion: in the end they will be confounded, and their corruptions destroyed.

The system of works and doctrine, necessary as these are, is the framework for the mystical life, which is the presence of Christ’s Holy Spirit through faith in the selfsame Christ. Indeed, we must consider how they were saved who were counted righteous before the coming of God’s only-begotten Son in the flesh: they too, as the Apostle says, pleased God by faith, knowing that he is, and that he rewards all who diligently seek him. Thus Abraham believed, and through faith he was counted righteous; for, as the Psalmist would say, Christ was his light and his salvation. It is possible, therefore, among those who have not heard the gospel fully laid out, that they that do not explicitly know Christ are saved through him, just as all were saved of old before his coming in the flesh. In this way, those of our ancestors were saved who put their ultimate trust in God himself: O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.

Therefore we can trust God. No one but he sees the secrets of every heart; and whatever truth remains from Noah down to the present, and whatever else is by man inferred from the law of nature, is the basis of religion on which men knew God, and solely indeed through Christ the life-giving truth, God of God, light of light, very God of very God; begotten, not made; being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made. That this is so, and that this was how any man could have been saved before the full knowledge of Christ, in no way requires postmodern thought, but is all within classical Christian thought. To say such things, one has not even for a moment to step out of catholic Christian doctrine: far from being a perennialist thing, it is a simple recognition of the facts.

Nevertheless, to return from the full revelation of the truth of Christ to shadows and figures is to turn away, like the Jews, to a darkened mind. Simply put, to do so is foolhardy and must needs be in substance a rejection of person of Christ, and thus of God, who is whole and entire, without parts or any possible division. The condemnation that hangs over the Jews is the fire that burns him who turns from the greater to the lesser, who having seen the only God turns from him to the worship of idols. Lady Wisdom calls to all: Be wise.

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4 responses to “A Call to Christians Drawn toward Paganism

  1. Thanks for this, Lue-Yee. It was a great and devotional read.
    I have a random other question for you. If you found yourself, as I have, living in Nashville, what Anglican churches in the area would you commend/consider joining?

    • Thanks, BamBam. Sorry, I really am not familiar with Anglican churches in the Nashville area. I will say, however, that I would look for an evangelistic Anglican congregation committed to the doctrine of the Thirty-Nine Articles and, whether in early-modern or in more recent language, to worship in the classic Prayer Book tradition before 1979. Try to avoid the silliness of, say, Three Streams understandings of Anglican doctrine: such revisionism is unhelpful at best. One way to gauge church ethos, which my pastor once suggested, is to see what reading material they recommend. Evangelicals on the Canterbury trail are often drifting toward Rome rather than finding a deeper Protestantism than the one they grew up with, and it is good to be aware of that tendency.

  2. Thanks for the reply. My search has actually been borne of necessity; I don’t think I’m on the Canterbury trail in any determined way, at least not yet. (Btw, I’ve also commented here in the past under ‘Cephas’; this is just me rmbring to log into WordPress). Nashville has churches aplenty, but few that I’d want to join. The nearest one, for a car-less student like myself, is a small Episcopal (ECUSA) church. It’s been good so far, but slowly its ethos (as you put it) is coming to light and seems of a piece with the (now ‘ex-Bishop’) Jefferts-Schori that I’d heard so much about, from a distance, many years ago. I’ve enjoyed the ordered worship, and a liturgy that is more considered than the de facto liturgies common to evangelical churches. I’m now looking for that continued tutelage in liturgy, but with a church whose leadership I can submit to, and where I can partake of the table. Thanks again for the reply. I’ll use it as I continue looking.

    • Glad to be of service. One thing I think you always can do, even as a layman, is get a 1662 or 1928 Book of Common Prayer (or a stack of them) and meet regularly with other laymen, such as the students on your campus, to pray the daily offices of Morning and Evening Prayer. This kind of meeting, I think, would build up everyone who took part, perhaps even every day, and relieve somewhat the need to escape the bad liturgies of the local evangelical churches; at the same time, it could in the long term influence the students who contributed to the lives of their congregations and begin a good work in the Church in Nashville.

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