from David French at the National Review:
Jerry Falwell Jr. Shows How the Advance of Christendom Can Harm Christianity
September 11, 2019 2:17 PM
Our wealth can be great. Our influence can be vast. But it is for naught if our commitment to Christendom supersedes our commitment to Christ.
If you haven't read Politico's lengthy investigative report on Jerry Falwell Jr.' conduct as president of Liberty University, published earlier this week, I'd urge you to do so. It's a sordid tale of the self-dealing, personal ambition, and extreme intolerance for dissent that's long been an open secret at Liberty and beyond. It's also an extraordinarily familiar tale for any person who's spent any time around institutional evangelicalism. Time and again, powerful Christian men create or nurture powerful Christian institutions-- only to fall prey to the temptation to equate the advance of those institutions and their own power with the advance of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.
In other words, the zeal for the advance of Christendom harms the practice and witness of the Christian faith.
You can read the entire post here.
Since French didn't define the form of Christendom that he thought was necessary and important, and wasn't advocating for it, I didn't find anything with which to agree or disagree. His point was that the form of it practiced and advocated by Jerry Falwell Jr. is harmful to Christianity. I certainly agree with him there. So, maybe "Christendom" doesn't have a singular definition and may take different forms including important and necessary ones. I'm willing to consider the possibility. Perhaps, as long has we have organized churches and a professional clergy, Christendom will always exist in some form.
Paul, thanks for your comments. Yes, he does not define it, but for me any definition of Christendom includes an unacknowledged assumption that the state takes on a function and significance for Christians that can only be provided by the church. So, the answer to this problem is for Christendom simply to die. In saying that, I also know it's not going anywhere anytime soon.
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