Collectivist Philosophy Masquerading as the Christian Orthodox Ideal

This weekend my family and I made our annual week-long trip to North Carolina to visit some friends…a couple and their three children.  Since this vacation is primarily about my wife and daughters getting some time with Mrs. X and her three children, I had a significant amount of time, being relieved of the normal duties of home, to putter around and sort of simply exist (Mr. X works the entire week we are there, and as he and I share very little in common, this is an understandable and acceptable arrangement…so, what I mean to say is that there really isn’t anyone in particular with whom I am expected to interact).  When this kind of situation occurs I find myself slipping happily into hours and hours of thought, staring out into space, twirling my glasses and occasionally closing my eyes.  But this time I was fortunate to be confronted with a specific task, and it manifested itself in the form of a little…well, I’d call it a primer (much larger than a pamphlet but much smaller than a book), which I found in the freebie bin outside a small Christian book store my wife and her friend like to frequent when we come for a visit.  This primer is titled, “Community: Your Pathway to Progress”, and it is published by an organization called North Point Ministries (here).  This primer was published in 2008, so keep in mind that it is a fairly recent periodical, not some throwback from decades ago and thus no longer relevant as indicative of the current American Christian psyche.

As I am always on the lookout for collectivist ideology inserting itself, as it is so often wont, into many organizations and schools of thought, but particularly into today’s evangelical Christian “orthodox” theology, which thanks to the Protestant Reformation provides the perfect host body for such evil, I was immediately intrigued by the title.  Back at our friends’ house I wasted no time in cracking the cover of this little virulent critter and was, to my delight, greeted with what can only be described as a perfect and perfectly concise exercise in modern evangelicalism laundering the ideas of Karl Marx…collectivist philosophy fully committed to what I call the Group Metaphysic.

What this means is simply that the root of human existential essence is not found in the individual person, but is purely a function of the group–the collective–into which a given person happens to find him or herself absorbed.  In this case, it is “the church”, but it can just as easily be the Party, the Tribe, the State, the People, the Masses, the Workers or other Social Classes, the Race, the Culture, the Movement, etc., etc.

Now, this of course is nothing new to Christianity.  Christianity since the days of Augustine has always been wholly devoted to the idea of the absolute denial and destruction of the individual in favor of the group metaphysic.  It is precisely how power over the masses can reside in the hands of either a resident autocrat or an oligarchy:  you tell people that they are literally non-existent without the group and then proceed to serve as the functional head of the group, privy to the ideals and doctrines and ways of the group as prescribed by the Primary Consciousness, having a special relationship with it that the individual members of the group cannot have, by metaphysical definition.  The Primary Consciousness can be, and usually is, or at the very least represents, god…meaning the Divine Will.  Now, in Christianity, God, naturally, serves as this Primary Consciousness.  In Marxism the Primary Consciousness is the “Workers Utopia”; in National Socialism it is the Racial Ideal manifest via the Aryan State; in the modern American Liberal Progressive Movement it is the “Common Good”; in the modern American Conservative movement it is “American Exceptionalism” which is always fused with an implied and impossible moral standard by which human beings are judged good or evil according to how well they adhere to said standard.  For example, homosexuality and homosexual marriage do not fit the moral standard and therefore are antithetical and even harmful to America.  In all of these examples, humanity gets is collective worth–which means its actual worth–from its integration into the ways and means and beliefs of the Primary Consciousness as dictated (forced upon them) by the “divinely” enlightened and appointed leadership (which is somehow in a unique metaphysical position to interpret the Will of the Primary Consciousness…and they never have a rational explanation for just how this is possible).  And naturally this always involves group integration.  Since the Standard of Truth, which is simultaneously the Moral Ideal, is a direct function of the Primary Consciousness and is thus outside of you, the individual, it is impossible for YOU, alone, as an autonomous SELF, to be reconciled to the Standard.  YOU as an individual must be discarded, denied, sacrificed (preferably figurative, but literally just as well), and you must join your fellow man in group integration for the sole purpose of affirming and promoting and propagating the Will of the Primary Consciousness, which is, ipso facto, the Collective Will. Never the individual will.  Never your will.  Never your SELF.  You, as an individual are, frankly, a cosmic farce.  An existential illusion.  A lie.

So like I was saying this is nothing new to Christianity, which has been responsible for countless murders, wars, oppressions, theft and torture in service to this evil philosophy.  However, it seemed to me a rare and fortunate find to stumble upon such a concise Christian primer on the subject that is so gleefully committed to and so flippantly expressive of the utter destruction and pillaging of the very thing Christ came to save:  individual human beings.  Keep in mind that the producers of this primer are self-admitted emissaries of the Gospel.  That is, they are a church of self-described Christians.

Take for example this quote:

“Although a community group is not intended to be a support group, a Bible study group, a spiritual book club, or a social fellowship group, there are elements of each in every healthy group. The fundamental purpose of a community group, however, is for members to intentionally connect with each other so that they’re “doing life together” and growing spiritually.  (p. 65)

So, what does this mean, exactly?  Well, it’s not really that difficult to interpret, so you likely already have it.  Simply put, it means that these Christians are specifically NOT meeting in order to discuss problems, or to learn the Bible, or to share resources, all of which are I submit fundamental components of “spiritual growth”, (in contradiction to this quote’s very last assertion), but to learn how to “do life together”.  This is a rank nod to the group metaphysic…the idea that the collective alone actually exists, and therefore must fundamentally replace YOUR individual life.  “Doing life together” then really means the rejection of life in service to the group, which by “God’s Will” possesses the only just authority over and ownership of you and all you are and all you own.  The author or authors of this primer are openly declaring that the purpose of their groups is not to grow as Christians, and/or to evangelize the world so that individuals become Christians, but rather to become collectivists. To fully embrace the group metaphysic.

In short, it’s not about Christ, it’s about control.  Because control over people and their property is the ONLY real and rational motivation for promoting and securing the mass consumption of collectivist ideology.  And the only reason for control is power.  And the inevitable outcome of this kind of power is the death of man.  And so this ideology is not only not Christian but is, I submit, utterly Satanic.

Stay tuned for part two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Collectivist Philosophy Masquerading as the Christian Orthodox Ideal

  1. Yeah, the idea of “community” as in small groups or whatever is really asserting itself in evangelicalism. You see warnings against “lone ranger Christianity” or not being involved in a “local church”, etc from many pastors.

    This thinking was in the seeker world to a certain extent (anything to get folks plugged in fast in megas before they never come back) but it is absolutely being brought to the level of sin in the Reformed world.. It is a horrible sin and HOW DARE YOU not be involved in the manner they know is best for you.

    Peer pressure, groupthink abound in these sorts of dynamics.

  2. “Simply put, it means that these Christians are specifically NOT meeting in order to discuss problems, or to learn the Bible, or to share resources, all of which are I submit fundamental components of “spiritual growth”, ”

    Oh no. YOu see this would mean INDIVIDUALS in the group that meet have value. Their views are valuable and to be discussed and even mature disagreement is expected to sharpen iron. It would mean we are grown ups. We cannot have that!

  3. Right, Lydia. We are all perpetually epistemological newborns. We need our authorities in Christ to herd us together and march us by hook or crook into our appointed collective destinies.

  4. Just substitute the word “pastor” for God in the bible and you have reformed theology insofar as it should be understood by the barbarian masses.

  5. “Simply put, it means that these Christians are specifically NOT meeting in order to discuss problems, or to learn the Bible, or to share resources, all of which are I submit fundamental components of “spiritual growth”, (in contradiction to this quote’s very last assertion), but to learn how to “do life together”.  This is a rank nod to the group metaphysic…the idea that the collective alone actually exists, and therefore must fundamentally replace YOUR individual life.  “Doing life together” then really means the rejection of life in service to the group, which by “God’s Will” possesses the only just authority over and ownership of you and all you are and all you own.” Argo

    See, I think you identified in this post why Tom doesn’t get our discussions from the get-go.

    The exchange of ideas is what I’m after. I find being out on a limb by myself, alone, less intimidating anymore. Do I want a group holding my hands to walk me across the ho-hum street or do I want to be strong & capable enough to attempt a thrilling balance beam walk by myself? I’ll take the balance beam. I may fall, but it’s totally worth the effort. I am not a zombie. I want to think for myself. No one is the boss of my mind. If I need to make corrections, I will.

    Which brings me to another problem. The fear of sin chains individuals to the group. Almost everything is labeled sin & all are equally bad. Preaching is preoccupied with sin (solutions hardly discussed). Individuals are discouraged from thinking, learning, growing, correcting themselves. You are encouraged to be small-minded, lest you stumble. On your own you could get it wrong, you know. The group/leader is there to chide & be the boss of you.

    It reminds me of Jesus’ warning parable of the talents.

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