The Inadequacy of Official Christianity
Although I have spoken of my belief in the universal truth of Christ and also criticised the ‘spiritual but not religious’ approach as potentially unstructured and insubstantial, I have also mentioned that I do not belong to any established church or any spiritual organization at all for that matter, and never have. The fact is that we are living in that time known as the Kali Yuga in Hindu philosophy or the latter days in Christian myth, and it is a time of spiritual decline during which all outer forms of spirituality, including those religions which have previously promoted and protected truth, are falling away from the purity of their original vision. But that is not the only problem for while these avenues to truth were more than sufficient to satisfy man’s spiritual needs in the past they all arose at a time when human consciousness was rather different to what it is now so they can no longer perform their function so effectively.
I once asked the Masters about official religion. The religion in question was Catholicism which I actually think is the religion that has preserved more of spiritual truth than pretty much any other. Here’s what they said.
I asked the Master if it was wrong of me to try to ease Michael away from the Catholic Church and he replied that he had told me before to trust my instinct. He said that the Catholic Church, like any outward form of religion, was good for souls on a certain level but it was time to lead Michael away from it into a new and higher understanding of life. He told me not to be intolerant but to do this with love and patience.
I realise that’s quite enough for the Masters to be damned as demons in some quarters but that is to misunderstand their words. The key phrase is ‘outward form of religion’. We all at some stage need to transfer our attention from the outer path to the inner path and that often means going beyond conventional religion which, in the language of Orthodox Christianity, is more concerned with salvation than theosis. But theosis, which is the sanctification of the soul, the making of the soul godlike, is what the spiritual path is really all about. We do not just need to be believers in Christ but become Christlike ourselves and for this, religion, outer religion of any sort but in particular the modern churches, is often more of a hindrance than a help.
That is my first point but my chief complaint against the modern churches is that they have all, some more than others but all without exception, allowed themselves to be corrupted by ‘this world’. They now, more often than not, only conceive of spirituality horizontally which means that their eyes are fixed on human beings rather than God. I have little doubt that this is part of a demonic corruption but it is aided and abetted by the feeble quality of church leaders who, for the most part, are not men of vision, still less saints or mystics, but administrators and bureaucrats more concerned with their organisation than divine truth. The result has been they have conceded more and more ground to the modernist ideology of worldly progress and now have values little different from the current left/liberal ethos. This is a process that has been ongoing for well over a century but has really picked up speed over the last two or three decades.
The result is that official Christianity is now a hollowed out shell. It has followed the world instead of renouncing it. It has succumbed to the temptation of appearing loving rather than actually being loving and this it has done because it has misconceived love, restricting it to a kind of non-judgmental egalitarianism. Tolerance is more important to it than truth which has inevitably led to a loss of truth and a disconnection from the transcendent God (transcendence implies hierarchy) with the result that many churches now seem more concerned with matters of social justice than spiritual transformation. And all this has come about because contemporary Christianity has made the huge mistake of trying to compromise with the modern world.
Most branches of Christianity have followed that path and effectively despiritualised themselves. They have become absorbed into the modern anti-spiritual mindset because they were not strong enough to resist it. The spirituality of the leaders and members of these branches of religion has been too shallow, too insubstantial and too little felt for them to be able to shake off the influences of this world. Consequently they have accommodated themselves to it, become part of it and are now not only indistinguishable from it but actively fight on its side and against real religion if by that we mean, as we should, spiritual truth.
They have been led astray by the zeitgeist of the present age and the propaganda emanating from all aspects of society, the media, education and the intelligentsia in general who all plough the same furrow of metaphysical ignorance. And what is this furrow? It is the rejection of a transcendent absolute and the restriction of reality to this world and of humanity to as it appears to be in this world. And that has led to the ideology of liberalism which is the defining doctrine of the modern age.
It is important to realise that liberalism is an ideology. It is not based on any kind of reality but on a false perception of reality resulting from the eradication of God and the preference for abstract theory over truth. It also fundamentally misconceives human nature by ignoring the fact that, while human beings may originally have been created as good, we are all now corrupted by sin, that is to say, an innate selfishness. This may be an unpleasant truth but it is still a truth and to ignore it leads to illusion and worse. Whatever the benefits of liberalism as a reforming corrective to an established order that had allowed abuses or when decadence has set in (and it does have a certain validity in that context), it should never become, in its own right, a replacement for an established order based on the reality of God and the truth of religion. But that is exactly what has happened over the last hundred years or so. Liberalism, as the currently favoured moral philosophy of atheistic materialism, has become accepted truth and to oppose its premises is to deny goodness. That is why compromise is so tempting. Who wants to be thought a bad person? The problem is that liberalism does not lead to real goodness at all but a kind of by the book goodness which, of course, is not goodness at all. This is because it produces a conformist ideologically based mentality, opposed to any sort of real individuality which is necessarily non-egalitarian.
Official Christianity has compromised. The trouble with compromise is that it tends to assume truth lies between two extremes. But does truth lie between the extremes of right and wrong? Does it lie between God and no God, between truth and a lie? Evidently not but when a lie is powerful enough and almost universally accepted it can take on the mantle of a truth. The only thing to do then is to reject it and point out its falseness. You cannot make a compromise with it or you will be infected by it and the infection will spread, eventually taking over completely. This is what has happened in the Western world which has more or less set the agenda for everywhere else.
The churches have compromised but do we, as spiritual aspirants, have to? Well, we live in the modern world and so, however spiritually misguided it is, we do have to compromise with it to an extent. But we also have to stand out against it or else we run the risk of becoming defined, and then defiled, by it ourselves. Even if we have to go along with it externally some of the time, we must make sure that our hearts and our minds stay free and are not co-opted into submission to its dictates. How best to do this? By seeking outer and inner support, the former through spiritual reading and companionship if we can find it (by no means easy), and the latter through prayer and remembrance of God. Jesus warned us (in Matthew 10:22) that those who followed him in spirit and in truth (not just verbally or nominally like many modern Christians) would be hated by everyone but, if they endured to the end, they would be saved. Here is both a test and an opportunity and what it means is this. Don't compromise with what you feel inside to be true however much it may conflict with commonly accepted wisdom. There's no need to be confrontational but be true to what you believe. Stick to your instincts. Clever words and arguments can always be spun to make instinctive feelings appear foolish or wrong, but these should be ignored though they can be helpful in that they can sometimes show up gaps in instinctive perception or reveal what is prejudice and what really is instinct. But intellectual argument or debate cannot be regarded as primary, especially if it goes against basic intuition. God has given us a mind in the heart which goes beyond all else. Stay faithful to that.
If you want to reassert intuition over liberal ideology, even when that appears rational and logical which it often does in the restricted context of this world and within the framework that it itself has set up, then you must go back to basic principles. Basic principle number one is the reality of God. You must start from that. It is fundamental. But then you should go further and reject the egalitarianism of liberalism for the very good reason that this reduces humanity from a qualitative (spiritual) to a quantitative (material) level. It also flies in the face of a common sense perception of reality. Men are by no means equal on the earth plane said the Masters. Men are different, men and women are different and, while that is certainly not a cause for dismissing anybody, it does mean that intrinsic qualities are important and should be acknowledged. We live in a quantitative age. Diversity is allowed, and even encouraged (probably as a way to eradicate quality) but only on the basis that all diversities are equal. If we are all the product of material forces working blindly to no end or purpose then maybe we are all equal, all equally pointless, meaningless and valueless. But if we are individual souls created by God who, through our own endeavours and the function of our own free will, are working our way towards full spiritual understanding and expression then, at any one moment in time, we are very far from equal. Individuals, cultures, even nations will all have made greater or less progress towards that end.
There is another point to add. You may wish to avoid compromise but nevertheless be forced into it because of the language and terms in which any discussion is framed. For if you express yourself or even think using the language and terms of the modern world, as is difficult not to do, you are defeated before you start since these carry certain inbuilt assumptions. This is why revolutions attempt to change language before anything else. So avoid human rights but stick to justice and mercy, forget democracy and choice as arbiters of how things should be but propose instead proper authority (divine and natural) and objective truth as yardsticks. Don't discuss or think in terms of sexism, racism or feminism or any other -ism but in the context of goodness, truth, love and spiritual unfoldment as seen in the light of a divine Creator. This is reality, the rest is ideological theory which may intersect with reality at certain points but deviates from it at many more. Bear in mind that if you express yourself using the vocabulary of the reigning liberal ideology in an attempt to expose its flaws you will fail and probably end up looking like an ignorant bigot. Almost entirely official Christianity has failed to do all these things.
Compromise is often necessary in the case of day to day life. But when it comes to truth it must be resisted especially now in this time of universal spiritual decline and demonic attempts to subvert and invert reality. Unfortunately the churches have not proved equal to the task.