The Return to Damascus

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. – Acts 9: 3-5


It is painfully obvious from a Christian perspective that the liberals have triumphed over the Christian Europeans. The Christian channel of grace, the familial and racial hearth fire, has been dammed up so that liberalism can live into perpetuity, and Christian Europe will remain a dead letter. And liberalism, a religion that adheres to the doctrine that whites are evil and the colored heathens are godlike, will remain the religion of the European people until what is Christian is no longer synonymous with the doctrines emanating from the organized Christian churches.

The French Jacobins and the American constitutionalists (Jefferson, Franklin, and Madison were not Christians) were determined to live by a faith that was not dependent on the Christian’s God. The American experiment in atheism was not as sudden and drastic as the French Revolution, but it eventually became like unto the French Revolution in the 1860s when the Jacobin government of the North waged a merciless war against the Christian South. But it was not till the early part of the 20th century after World War I that the white intelligentsia of the European nations completely cut their ties to the Son of God. It became impossible in the aftermath of World War I for the intelligent European that Dostoyevsky spoke of to believe in the divinity of Christ and the mercy of God. That feeling of Godforsakenness was the mark of the ‘intelligent’ European after World War I and continued to be the mark of the European intellectuals through World War II.

During the period between the wars, the existentialists took center stage. ‘Existence precedes essence’ was their mantra, and under that banner they proclaimed the death of God. But men cannot live without a religion. The pure atheism of men such as Sartre, Becket, and Camus gave way to the worship of the noble black savage and other savages of color. But it was the existentialists, who claimed that reality was their raison d’être, who paved the way for negro worship, feminism, and all the other satanic -isms, because if the pure horror of existence makes the existence of a loving God impossible, then men are free to pursue other gods. And the European people have done just that – they have pursued the gods of liberalism.

There were Christian responses to the existentialists, but the problem with the responses was that they were based on the false assumption that God could be handed to mankind in the form of a computer printout: “Here, this will explain the ways of God to men.” The Christian apologists were like the ape who disguised a donkey as Aslan in C. S. Lewis’s book The Last Battle. When the donkey was unmasked, the dwarfs did not turn to the real Aslan, they rejected Him as well — they were not going to be fooled again. The churchmen went into battle with false theories about the essence of God, and the end result of their theorizing was the destruction of the people’s faith in the real Christ, the Christ whose existence precedes and transcends all the essences the human mind ever conceived of. The existentialists only defeated a caricature of Christianity, they did not defeat the living God.

The Christ of the Gospels, the Christ whom the European people loved before they became too ‘intelligent’ to love a fairy tale God, was not brought into the lists against the existentialists. The remote computer printout God was considered sufficient. But we need our exiled Savior. “Will He no come back again?” No, He will not come back again so long as the mind-forged Christ, the false Aslan of the theologians, remains in the organized churches. That Christ is compatible with negro worship, feminism, and the hatred of the European people’s vision of the living God. We can’t have two Christs. If the Christ of old Europe is not the living God, then we are of all men most to be pitied, because the Christ of modernity is not the God who saves.

In Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, the cynical, superficial Lucio tells the Duke, who is in disguise, that he knows the Duke and loves him. Yet he has nothing but bad things to say about him.

LUCIO. Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the Duke; and I believe I know the cause of his withdrawing.

DUKE. What, I prithee, might be the cause?

LUCIO. No, pardon; ’tis a secret must be lock’d within the teeth and the lips. But this I can let you understand, the greater file of the subject held the Duke to be wise.

DUKE. Wise? Why, no question but he was.

LUCIO. A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.

DUKE. Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking. The very stream of his life, and the business he hath helmed, must, upon a warranted need, give him a better proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own bringings-forth, and he shall appear to the envious a scholar, a statesman, and a soldier. Therefore you speak unskilfully; or, if your knowledge be more, it is much dark’ned in your malice.

LUCIO. Sir, I know him, and I love him.

DUKE. Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love.

The whole history of the European people and their break with the living God is contained in that exchange. Christ did not come to us in power and might so that we could know with rational certainty that He was Son of God. If He just wanted our minds He would have come down off the cross when the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders mocked Him: “If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.”

Christ wants our hearts. David and Mary Magdalene found favor with God. Why? Certainly not because they were great sinners. They found favor with the Lord because they had hearts that loved much. They had the knowledge of God that stems from the love of God. Loving knowledge binds us to Him while mere catechism knowledge creates a gulf between us and Him. The miracle of our people, when they were a people, was that they followed the path of loving knowledge and forsook the path of intellectual knowledge divorced from the heart which loves. The loving heart knows the beloved: the scientized intellect knows nothing. The cold obituary in the newspaper that describes the mother, father, or spouse you loved hardly describes the loved one. It is you who loved them that really knew them. The church of Christ consists of those men and women who love Christ as St. John and St. Paul loved Him.

Why did St. Paul bid us circumcise our hearts instead of opening up our minds? He wanted us to see the Christ he encountered on the road to Damascus, the Christ who enters human hearts. That is the Christ the liberals flee from like the devils in the Gospel who begged our Lord to let them enter the swine. And that is the Christ whom the churchmen have replaced with their computer-printout God, who rubber-stamps the sacred decrees of liberalism. It’s not possible for a loving heart connected to Christ’s sacred heart to accept the fusion of liberalism and Christianity, while condemning the antique Europeans as unChristian because they loved their own people. “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose,” and he can cite church documents and use theology for his own purpose. If that is so, how does the European Everyman separate truth from falsehood? It is impossible unless we go through the narrow gate that the liberals and the churchmen have barricaded and placed sentinels in front of to stop anyone from attempting to break through the barricade. But we must break through. The heart that truly loves will not be satisfied to live outside of his racial hearth fire where there is no mercy, no love, and no Savior.

In the short story “The Man Who Saw Through Heaven,” Wilbur Daniel Steele depicted an evangelical minister who lost his faith when he went to an observatory and stared at the heavens through the instruments provided to him by scientists. He had a road to Damascus experience in reverse. He replaced Christ with nature and nature’s gods. His road to Damascus story in reverse has been the story of the 20th and 21st century Europeans. They think they have seen the living God in science, which will save them from the existentialists’ vision of nothingness. But what if the prophets, the apostles, and the antique Europeans were the true existentialists? What if the fairy tale is true? Just because our scientized brains tell us that Christ be not risen does that mean that darkness is right? There is a subterranean current of our lives, if we do not let go of the vision of our heart, that draws us to the Christ story in its entirety. Like Posthumus in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, who sees the heavenly vision with his heart: “The action of my life is like it, which I’ll keep, if but for sympathy,” and like St. Paul, who sees Christ darkly through a heart circumcised by the love of Christ, the European can see the living God if he leaves the road that leads away from Damascus and returns to the road to Damascus where he will encounter, once again, the living God whom St. Paul and the antique Europeans knew and loved.

I rejected the modern world in my mid-twenties when I came to believe in the Christ of old Europe. As the shadows of modernity lengthened and engulfed all of what was once Christendom, I became conscious of the fact that I was a man in exile. There was nothing left of my people and their faith. And the most striking contrast between my people, the antique Europeans, and the modern Europeans, was the complete absence of the prophetic fire in the modern Europeans. The prophets who told us of the coming of the Lord had passionate hearts that enabled them to hold on to their faith in the living God despite the opposition of the Jezebels and the Ahabs. What happened to that passionate, prophetic fire? Was it no longer necessary once Christ took flesh and dwelt among us? That cannot be true. It is the prophetic fire, the passion for a connection to the living God, that enables the Christian to pass on the faith from one faithful heart to another. We can’t become lukewarm exponents of a Socratic Christ without losing our faith in the passionate Shepherd who died on the cross for our sins. In all the fairy tales that come from the heart of old Europe, a rescue comes at the last moment – “When hope seems nearly gone, God’s relief to us will surely come.” But does real life, our existential life here on this earth, really work that way? Where is God’s relief to us? The relief has come and is with us now, even unto the ending of the world, but we cannot avail ourselves of that relief unless we possess the prophetic fire that sustained Elijah in the desert and our people throughout all the Christian centuries when they strove so mightily to maintain the prophetic fire. I love them now and always – they are my people and they have borne witness to our Jesus, the God of our ascending race. +

 

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