Mere Religion Is Not Enough

North Western Winds:

What the time calls for is a recovery of the great structure of metaphysics, with the Resurrection as its fulcrum, established as history, and interpreted through Greek philosophy. The representation of this metaphysics through language and ritual took 10 centuries to perfect. The dome of the sacred, however, has been shattered. The act of reconstruction will require a large effort of intellect, which is never populist and certainly not grounded on emotion, an unreliable guide. Religion not based on a structure of thought always exhibits wild inspired swings and fades in a generation or two.

Curt liked this thought, I do not.

It was included with a modernisation of Edmund Burke’s thought. The basis for my disagreement is this: true religion does not arise from the intellect, and it cannot be renovated or restored through that means.

I think what is happening in this train of thought is the attempt to restrain the free wheeling idea of religion as it has come to be in a post-Christian, postmodern culture. Government has its demands of the religious, and these have become quite sticky as we lose our Christian form and structure of defining religion within the populace.

But the more I look at these issues, the more I see the futility of trying maintain the outer shell while having continued loss of the core. That is something I was looking at when discussing the cultural shifts of the Christmas celebration. There has to be an inner truth. Without that you lose the essence of the Christian influence. And all that is left is another burdensome religion. The secular always finds religions burdensome at some point. Perhaps it is meant to be. Perhaps laws without mercy and salvation will only serve to crush man who is unruly at best. And at worst… well you don’t need religion to see how depraved man can become.

Religion only interprets that. And Christianity, alone, gives a new nature as the solution and alternative. Which is why you must have its truth, its living seed, at the core of anything you want to build with it.

And why I believe all efforts to intellectually build a perfect relgion, editing out that unwieldy and “wild” inclusion of emotional man, will end miserably. If revival of the Christian spirit fades it is because it is a living thing, it must be kept alive and fed…. or yes, it will wither. But to seek to hold the shell of it, encased in intellectual shrines and structures is to hold a dead religion. And one much less satisfying to the needs of the soul than many heathen ones.

What I do not argue with is the need to maintain the “pillars”. There are truths, and structures in society built upon those truths, which it is necessary to maintain… and I think this is the intent of the idea as it is stated, but to extrapolate preservation of the pillars to “[t]he act of reconstruction” is where it goes astray. It is a complete misunderstanding of what Jesus Christ presented in His gospel.

A digression that would be interesting to pursue is this disgust of the emotional in religion. More than disgust, really, there is a fear of it, as though it were destructive and counter to the very integrity of the Christian relgion. If that is not fully expressed here, it is something that definitely runs as an under current in the views on what we should view as “proper religion”.