SOCIAL CREDIT, POLITICS AND THEOLOGY by Betty Luks

I have been following a thread of the Social Credit discussion group.  It seems to me that when a newcomer begins to study Social Credit the subject invariably turns to the philosophical differences between Traditional Christianity, Puritanism and Judaism. Judaeo-Christianity (Judaised Christianity) is so widespread these days I guess it is difficult to avoid the subject.
 
I realise that I have been 'swimming' in the stream of history that draws on its Roman and Greek (western) roots.  Eric D. Butler wrote on the importance of that stream of history for western Christianity.  One such booklet "The Essential Christian Heritage" sends the reader to that stream. Going over older material in preparation for this article, I realised it would not be a straightforward matter to discuss why Christianity had become ‘Judaised’ nor why the theology of various churches had changed over the years.  But here goes.

A number of years ago, Canadian Bishop Robert Crawley in "The Rock," a Traditional Anglican Communion publication, wrote of the consecration of openly co-habiting homosexual priests and the performing of 'same-sex' marriage ceremonies in his country as the logical outcomes "of a fundamental change in the very basis of the theology of the Anglican Communion" which has taken place over a number of years and observed it was a mistake to isolate these events or to treat them as "the last straw" for Traditional Anglicans.
 
Bishop Crawley went on to explain:

"… the origins of Anglicanism are fundamentally different from those of the other Reformation churches.  Forget Henry VIII and his amorous problems for the moment - the split with Rome would have happened anyway - and of course what sealed it was the Papally-directed attempt to invade England by means of the Spanish Armada.
The intent of the English Reform was not to construct a new church but to restore its theology and practice to the essentials of the theology of the Catholic* Church before the split between the East and West in 1054.
Their foundation was the Vincentian Canon.... quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est. - ("What has been believed everywhere, always, and by all".)

Beneath this question lies more fuzzy thinking, so before that question can be answered we need to know the answer to "what is The Church?"
To many people it is a religious institution, an 'organisation' dedicated to promulgating a set of beliefs about life and death, with rules and regulations and a 'command structure' to facilitate its ideals and purpose - along the lines of a service club but with higher ideals and rules of life, based upon the teachings of Jesus and the Holy Bible; promoting these ideals in all aspects of life, from birth to marriage to death - with the hope of life hereafter.

'Church' is considered by many to be an "organization" - and different 'churches' have different standards, emphases, rules and structures. And in this advanced age, many of the trappings of officialdom have changed dramatically. Maggie Thatcher as Prime Minister, female heads of large corporations etc., etc. (all to the good!)
In other words, if the ministry is seen as an officer cadre or as executives in an institution this obviously demands equality of the sexes. Women have proved that they are equally capable in all spheres of endeavour. Therefore women have the 'right' to be Deacons, Priests, and Bishops. QED 
It is a logical step from this argument that homosexuals should be treated equally as it is claimed that "God made them that way."
However, this prevalent argument falls flat on its face before the Catholic belief in the 'nature' of the Church, which, from the beginning is seen as a 'creation' - literally; The Body of Christ, the continuation of the Incarnation, and not as a collection of believers. The priest is in fact 'Alter Christus'."
* Catholic as in ‘Universal’.

The Vincentian Canon of St. Vincent of Lerins 434AD

“In short, the Vincentian Canon is an epistemological (i.e. relating to how we believe and know things) standard set by St. Vincent to distinguish the truth in matters of doctrinal dispute. Vincent taught that the faithful must maintain firm adherence to what is taught by Scripture, and that the teaching of the Universal Church is the guide to Scripture’s correct interpretation.
Further, if there is some doubt as to what Scripture and the Church teach, then the truth can be discerned by a comparison of the disputed doctrine with the teaching of the ancient Fathers, the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, and the teachings of those Fathers in particular who held fast to the Catholic faith, especially in the face of opposition.
The Vincentian Canon is often summarized by saying that we must take great care and cling to “what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all of the faithful” (“quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est”). A strict application of this principle is notoriously difficult, though it can be a useful guide.”

I believe Prince Charles was referring to that same "Apostolic Tradition" when he wrote of the deeply built-in rhythm of the Creation and encouraged us all to take time to 'know it' and to grasp the "continuing centrality of that which is sacred, and the timeless importance of the traditional understanding of our place within the world".

Geoffrey Dobbs shared with his readers his understanding:

"Those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere of this planet have reason to be grateful to our Creator, who came to live among us in the populous North, rather than in the mainly oceanic South. This enabled our Christian ancestors to incorporate in the worship of the Creator much of the pagan nature-worship which preceded Christianity, no longer as a fearful vision of a spirit world behind the Universe, but in the form of a framework - the Christian Year - which preserves for us that deeply built-in rhythm of the Creation of which we are a part, and especially for us in the North Temperate Zone, that of the seasons.

Those ancient, pagan religions which placed Man so justly in his place in Nature and which led on to a belief in a universal Creator, were surely more innocent than the modern paganism which, after two thousand years of Christianity, denies the Creator, while returning to Nature-worship, or to the idol of human power.
 
Among those ancient religions were to be found, in confused and fragmented forms, all the greater elements of the Christian revelation: Trinity, Incarnation, the sacrifice of the King-god for the salvation of the people, and Resurrection, even though often distorted and corrupted - a fact often curiously inverted as an argument against the reality of Christian belief, even by those who believe in the reality of Nature from which these beliefs arose.

When, therefore, we worship God in the rhythm of the Christian Year, feasting with warmth and jollity at midwinter Yuletide ** to celebrate the birth of Christ, observing some Lenten discipline in anticipation of Spring, the season of rising spirit but of traditional post-winter scarcity, mourning and repenting our sins on Good Friday, arising with joy on the Day of the Resurrection, with energy on the Day of the Holy Spirit, and with strong and confirmed faith on the Day of the Trinity, we are united, not only with our Christian Fathers, but also, if more remotely, with our earlier ancestors. Even with those who worshipped the glory of the Sun, because they knew no greater God, and for whom every stream, and every rock was sacred, and who would ask forgiveness from a tree before they would cut it…

Never was such a teaching more needed than now, when mankind, through pride and ignorance is destroying the balance of nature; but the difference which Christianity offers, and which St. Francis, in particular, taught us, is that the other beings which share the planet with us are not of an alien nature: gods or godlings, sprites or goblins, spooks or demons, but our fellow-creatures of the same Creator's love, our brothers and sisters. "

I must say I thought Geoffrey’s final paragraph was just so appropriate for we in southern Australia at the end of this wintry, cold and very wet season: 
“So let us not be ashamed to be at one with our ancestors. When the clouds weep, let us thank them for mourning with us for our sins, and when Christ is risen, let our hearts dance with the daffodils!"

** Yule is the ancient name in the Germanic lunar calendar for a winter festival corresponding to December and January.  Later, yule referred to the twelve-day holiday associated with the Feast of the Nativity after the widespread adoption of Christianity through Northern Europe.
 
 
 

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