Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Christ the King Day!

A happy Christ the King day to all Christian readers. Today, in countries at least where Christianity is still considered, and the political left and right squabble over "What Would Jesus Do?" it is worth pointing this feast day out, particularly that it is the Feast of Christ the King rather than Christ the "President". A significant distinction as true authority is not gained by a popularity contest, nor by the bomb or billy club, not by slick advertisements or piles of cash. Power may be gained in such ways, but not true authority. Christ (the anointed) is King (not President) because His position is based on birth (no one elected Him to be the Son of God) on divine authority and does not rest on popular opinion. His orders are not voted on, cannot be vetoed and (as much as some today may like to) He cannot be voted out of office because that "office" exists for the people but is not of or by the people. It is a divine position, not a popular one, something handed down from Heaven, rather than being set up from earth. There are, of course, those Christians today who try to have it both ways (with the best of intentions we must assume) and who will say that they recognize the authority of Christ the King but of none other. "No King but Jesus" was once the popular slogan. Yet, they do the Christ a disservice in saying that, for truly he was called the "King of kings" which would neccessarily imply that there are other kings beneath him and these we are called to obey, rendering unto Caesar as well as unto God. Moreover, the spirit of pride inherent in that phrase is not one, upon closer reflection, I think most sincere Christians should be able to be comfortable with.

So, if I may offer a little suggestion to the subjects of Christ the King today, take a moment to reflect, not only on worldly politics (we have the rest of the year to devote to that) but to the centrality of kingship to the Christian narrative. The foretelling of the coming of Christ was bound up in kingship. The prophecy was that He would be of royal blood, born of the House of David and born to be King. It was because of His royal blood that, even as a newborn, He was hunted and persecuted. The ministry of Christ was the ministry of the King who came to serve rather than to be served, in all things doing the will of the King of Heaven and finally, it was because of His royal blood, ultimately, that it was prevailed upon the Romans to put Him to death with the "crime" nailed over His head being "King of the Jews", wrapped in a purple cloak, holding a reed for a sceptre and wearing a crown of thorns. The kingship of Christ is absolutely central to the Christian story and it is an aspect that should not be ignored, especially in times such as we live in today.

So ends the 'sermon' and may the King of Heaven bless you all.
MM

8 comments:

  1. Great post, Monarchist. Very relevant thoughts considering how religion, particularly Christianity, is becoming such a political tool today. Christ would not have made a good politician; quite the opposite in my opinion. President of presidents just doesn’t have much of ring to it anyway.

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  2. They'd be better off just doing what He said instead of arguing over what He would do.

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  3. I was watching a video of Bill Maher with a heretical priest in front of St Peter's Basilica. Bill asks the obvious question - "Do you think Jesus would see this as over the top?", and the priest answered in the affirmative, as people do today.

    Then this day comes along and ever so stubbornly hints that the answer is actually negative. Jesus would not consider it over the top. To the contrary, he might say "Tear it down so that I might build the greatest church and palace that can possibly be built."

    It's rather refreshing, to be frank. A touch of pomp and circumstance, if you will indulge me.

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  4. That "heretical priest" was my dear Father Reginald Foster, formerly chief latinist under Benedict XVI and John Paul II. The first time I saw that, I had to shout out loud, 'of all the priests he could have found, why did it have to be Fr Foster?!' He does often say things that makes you do a face-palm. He is, however, an expert on Roman history (anything Roman pretty much) and one of if not THE greatest masters of the Latin language around.

    Of course, that old line is ridiculous. When God gave orders on how to build the Temple of Solomon it was for a grand structure with only the very best of everything going into its construction and lavishly decorated. St Peter's was not built for man, it was built for God and for that reason alone has every reason to be the biggest and the best (there's also the part about being the resting place of the Prince of the Apostles etc -you know, that detail). It's not as though the Pope could rent out St Peter's or the Apostolic Palace and pocket the money for his own villa on St Bart's. I don't know why people can never grasp that when it comes to magnificent churches or papal or royal palaces, crowns, vestments or jewels. It's not as though it really *belongs* to the person in question. They couldn't take it to the pawn shop and get cash for it.

    A Church does not have to be grand or magnificent, but as the house of God, it is certainly befitting that you do the very best you can. When Jesus came the first time it was to serve, when next He comes I'm sure he will have glory and magnificence to put all the Solomons and Louis XIVs to utter shame.

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  5. If you want to see (or hear actually) Fr. Foster more in his element, scroll down to the "Rome" flag, click it, and find the link I put up to Fr Foster talking about the Emperor Tiberius. As long as he's talking about Latin or ancient Rome and not religion he's really the best I promise you.

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  6. I've also seen that clip. I heard about Father Foster being one of the few people who speaks Latin fluently. Shame about his theology though.

    I'd vote for President Jesus though, it'd be nice to have a Hispanic President, haha.

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  7. MM, Mr. Wells, I think I can explain, in brief this Time.

    I study psychology but may switch to law as a law Firm will pay for it. That is of no consequence. What is, is that I have spent a good deal of Time in the Psychology of Religion and discovered that “Religion” is something we all have, even those calling themselves Atheists. Its nothing more than how we understand and interpret the world. I have said this before. Politics, contrary to modernist views, can never be separated from Religion because Political ideologies will inevitably emerge from our understanding of who we are and how we should live, which in turn rests on our understanding of Humanity and Human nature.

    In our Modern world, the Mythology is that of Democracy, in which Lords and Kings are envisioned as arrogant and self centred, while the Common Man is elevated and praised. This is why modern Right Wing Neo-Cons will blast Liberals for wanting “Rule by Elites” as much as the Left will decry the Capitalist Elites. In the end, they both claim to speak for “the little guy” and there story is about how wonderful common men are and how awful Aristocrats, or their closest proxies like Businessmen or well off merchants are. In this, Modern Democratic Notions are based on a praise of all things common, and is irrevocably based around Class Warfare. I don’t even think this is a result of Marx, as America’s Founding fathers were also engaged, in their own more limited way, in a form for Class Warfare when they wanted “The Common Man’ to win over “The Aristocracy’ and declared “No more Kings”.

    While it is also true that America’s Founding fathers were actually Wealthy Elites themselves, whose original vision wasn’t so much the elevation of the Common man as the elevation of the “best” men in society, the retelling of the Revolution and combination of other influences, merged with the swelling words of total equality for all men they themselves penned leads inexorably to the idea that Common is best.


    There is also the component of Authority. From whence comes legitimate Authority? In the Age of monarchy, the authority cam from God and flowed down from heaven, but in a Republican age, it comes only from “The People”.

    Given that Logician Contradictions are usually not discovered by those who do not reflect honestly upon their thoughts, its easy to see how this is overlooked in a Zeal for modern men for Democracy and how they can merge this with Christianity. Jesus is imagined as a poor Carpenter who wondered about with nothing and thus is re-imagined as a Commoner himself to exemplify that. Combined this with the age old myth of how awful and corrupt he Church became, especially after that big bad Constantine came along and made it the State Church and mixed pagan stuffs with it, and the entire Dark Ages where the Church reigned supreme and supported Tyranny, and you have many Christians already primed to see the Church in distinction from Christ. This is more usual with Protestants (Naturally) than Catholics, but the Idea has become a regular one even amidst Catholics now.


    In fact, it’s basically the same narrative. All power came from the People. Jesus came along as a common man and led commoners, without pomp or regal displays, and died common. Christianity is thus reinterpreted as being about commoners VS Aristocratic Kings like Herod and the Pharisees, who can now be the Evil Kings like Louise the 16th and George the 3rd. The Church can be the Modern Politicians who “Turned their backs on the Historical Vision of our Founders/Original Philosophers”… it’s the same old same tune, the same story with different actors.

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  8. In fact, just last year Herman Cain, now a Presidential Candidate for the United States, wrote in “Why Jesus Was A Conservative” that Jesus was not born Royal, but left a Royal Impact. Of course if he was not Born Royal this means he was not Messiah as Messiah was suppose to be of the Line of David so he can rightfully claim the Throne of Israel, but I suppose that’s just me being silly. Mr. Cain is a Baptist Pastor after all, surely he knows better than I do…


    The point being, Jesus is set in contrast to the Wealthy or Elites today, and is distinct from the Church. Once you rip Jesus away from the Church and make it independent, you can then claim that some Churches are corrupt or overly extravagant and thus not living up to the Common man Jesus’ Ideals. They honestly do think the Church is gathering all this for itself. They can’t help but think this.


    As all power is vested in “The people” they can’t comprehend anything collected for God. All of their focus is on “The people” and thus ultimately on themselves. They think this is True with everyone, so the Church builds large, impressive Palaces and calls them Churches to show off the Churches Great wealth. After all, if you build a Mansion its clear its to show off your earth, right?

    Its this inherent self focus that keeps them from looking upward. They look only at the crowd, and eventually only at the Mirror, and can’t Imagine anything else.

    They are like the men in the Cave in Plato’s analogy, they see shadows and think they are the objects, and can’t understand the words of the man who has seen the Sun.

    It is the inherent selfishness and focus on Man in Democracy that blinds them here though. That is the Darkness of this Cave.

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