Frank Schaeffer’s father was one of the “thinkers” behind what we now know as the “Religious Right”, here in the U.S.
In other words, he was “raised” to “believe” a myriad of blatantly idiotic things — “literalism” which not even many of the “Early Church Fathers” would have taken seriously.
Now, Li’l Frankie has since awakened to the fact that his former-Fundie pals are actually a gaggle of dangerous loonies. However, unlike a sane person, he can’t seem to give up on his imaginary friend (“Jesus!”) or his “lucky” rabbit’s foot (“liturgy”).
He flatly admit that “Christianity” is on the way out:
I don’t think there will be some new age of religion dawning in America anytime soon unless a lot of people change their minds about worship. The dream of progressive Christians whether they call themselves “emergent” or something else will fizzle along with the slowly collapsing evangelical/fundamentalist juggernaut unless the basic mistakes of North American Christianity are addressed.
Now, the one thing Li’l Frankie can’t bring himself to question is whether “CHristianity” (whether in its purportedly “American” variant(s), or not) is a mistake.
He’s been confronted with Fundie Protestants’ attempts to take the Bible “Literally” — and seen exactly where that ends.
Does he do what any sane and rational person would do, and admit that maybe — just maybe — the entire thing (at LEAST from Constantine on forward) should be scrapped? That maybe “Christianity” should go the way of (for example) Greek “mythology”?
Li’l Frankie has a different prescription: A return to empty formalism and “groupthink”:
The great weakness of Protestant American Christianity across the board is that by and large it dispensed with liturgy. Having dispensed with liturgy it dispensed with the signposts that point people toward an identity that binds communities together. American Christians have just never admitted it to themselves but the issue is not truth or salvation. For most people who go to church the issue is about community. And community doesn’t work any better than team sports work unless everyone’s wearing the same uniform on your team.
Of course, Li’l Frankie conveniently neglects the pesky fact that the above-mentioned ‘teams” tended to squabble incessantly over absurdities, and — throughout most of the history of “Christianity” — SLAUGHTER one another in droves:
Quite frankly, it was only after Christianity became impotent in terms of any one variant being able to torture and slaughter its way to hegemony, that “Christianity” even became halfway tolerable.
Li’l Frankie assures us that the various “teams” won’t do that this time around, because:
In terms of the practice of Christianity this “uniform” has always been faithfulness to the ancient Eucharistic tradition of Christianity far more than it’s been about creeds of correct belief. Showing up was the deal, not sincerity. The point is there had to be something to show up for that was diferent than the rest of your life, special, set apart. Otherwise why bother?
In the past Christians were bound together and had a center-point to concentrate on not so much by signing on to belief but by the doing of Christianity. And this “doing” was recognizable and passed down through the ages from grandmother to granddaughter in a form that was as familiar as the shape of the mountains are to someone who grows up in an Alpine village.
People knew what church was not what they were supposed to believe.
Um…..try telling the “heretics” that they weren’t being tortured and slaughtered because of “what they believed”.
If this is what “progressive” Christianity brings to the table, then I almost have more respect for the craziest of the Fundies.