Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Empire of Desire

Hie thee over to First Things for this piece entitled "Marriage, Morality, and Culture" by R.R. Reno, features editor of First Things and professor of theology at Creighton University who writes,
"Our secular elite culture believes that desires—as long as they do not directly harm others—should command and shape culture. We should be able to make of marriage what we wish.

Result: the emerging postmodern Empire of Desire."

How does the Church interact with the Empire of Desire? How should the Church interact with the Empire of Desire?

The Episcopal church, through its actions and resolutions has demonstrated an open arms attitude towards the secular mindset. Taking a modern rationalist approach to each issue, the Episcopal church translates the secular "no harm, no foul" into "no harm, no sin." For example, we have relieved ourselves of the burden of the sin of adultery through the church's acceptance of free and easy no-fault divorce and remarriage, and we are moving to the next level of redefining traditional marriage to include anything that "does no harm" between "consenting adults." Along the way, the desires of clergy to freely remarry, to engage in extramarital affairs and premarital affairs is accepted by the church as demonstrated by its failure to discipline Bishops and clergy and its resolutions in favor of "open" ordination. In so doing, the church has chosen to ignore scriptural advice as well as years of tradition. Revision of the Bible by our leaders in order to accommodate their personal desires and changes in culture is akin to building a golden calf as an object of worship. It is a deliberate walk away from God. Since revisionists believe that they are "following the Spirit," and do not believe in all that Old Testament nonsense about the perils of walking apart, the doors to the great congregation are opened wide for any and all "desires" of Man to supersede the desires of God for Man.

How should the Church interact with the encroaching "Empire of Desire?" Looking around for examples, one's eyes are drawn to the teachings of the Bishops of Rome and the mechanisms through which they are developed. The Episcopal church is not so structured as to be able to publish PB "Bulls" or "Encyclicals," and given the current resident of that office, we should be thankful. If, however, a structure were ever to be devised for Anglicans to develop and share in the fruits of such statements, would that be enough to stop the spread of the Empire of Desire?

It appears to me that the Church should stand firm against the spread of this evil empire. How it should do so certainly involves one "stone bridge" at a time, but larger structures will need to be planned for to protect future generations from the false teachings of tomorrow.


  1. Sorry about the date thingy. This got posted a day early, so there may be some good feeding ground for improvements.

  2. Man's desires, evidence of his sin nature, have always conflicted with God's Word. That's why there are to be pastors and shepherd to provide firm, but loving, correction of members of the flock who go astray. I believe people look for and crave such guidance.

    Alas, when the shepherd fails to correct; to go seeking for the lost lambs, or worse, leaves the flock unattended, the sheep begin to think that straying is OK. Of course, there's always a wolf or wolves out there ready for that to occur.

    It all begins with individual pastors and their congregations. It starts with a conviction of God's calling to shepherd a flock and the knowledge that at the end, God will chastise the teachers, pastors and prophets who've deliberately abandoned their charges more severely than others.


  3. Can a shepherd by fired? Or, is he protected by union "featherbedding" rules?