Christians in the Pantheon called Life

A reader with the name Metzengerstein, which sounds like it might actually be a real name for once, writes and comments:

It is an interesting fix we Christians find ourselves in. On the one hand we should like to argue that Capitalism is a better system than any other by virtue of its results and its preference towards voluntary action and organization over government coercion for arranging society.

On the other hand, we are anti-materialists who would like to proclaim there are more important things in life than money, and that wealth can lead you astray. Even technological improvement and scientific advancement can lead us into a mindset of creating a heaven on Earth, rather than passing through a transitory phase in a strange land.

I confess I do not see the paradox.

We Christian men are also supposed to love our wives without worshiping Venus or being addicted to the pleasures of the marriage couch.

We are supposed to drink wine without being drunkards or worshipers of Bacchus or Belial.

We are supposed to drawn the sword in defense of right without worshiping Mars or being addicted to bloodlust, conquest, or military glory.

We are suppose to have dominion and stewardship over the Earth, but not to worship Gaea, or feed our children into the fires in the name of Moloch.

We are supposed to desire justice without worshiping Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, or becoming obsessive vigilantes.

We are supposed to give alms to the poor without becoming Socialists or Albigensians and without worshiping the imaginary evolution of man toward superman.

We are supposed to glorify and praise creation, and this certainly includes the glories of Natural Science, by whose merits alone can the hidden handiwork of the Creator in all their mathematical intricacy, balance, and perfection be brought partly to light. But we are not to worship the works of our own hands, nor turn the scientist’s bench into a conjurer’s cave, and use technology like a dark magic to dominate and destroy nature or human nature, lest we destroy only ourselves.

I do not see how a Christian is supposed to behave in the marketplace or the science lab as any different from how we behave in the marriage bower or battlefield or halls of power or courts of law.

Those who say the Church is at war with sexual pleasure, or scientific advancements, or military glory, or conservation and stewardship of the wilderness, or with republican forms of government, or at war with the press or academic freedom, are all of them, liars, simply liars.

We are against none of these good things. We are for them. We are for them so much so that only the Church has clear and wise guidelines defining how each can be enjoyed to its fullest in this sad valley of tears, because only the church sees the big picture, the God’s Eye View, as it were.

We are for them and those who want to poison and corrupt them by exalting them over their peers are actually against them. The partisans of no fault divorce and the sexual revolution are enemies of Venus, not her friends.

The partisans of the Clausewitz and realpolitik and jihad and Total War Theory are enemies of Mars because the partisans of Crusade and Just War theory alone turn the hideous gorgon mask of Mars into something like a human face, into which we can look without our hearts freezing to stone in horror.

The drunkard to whom wine is a plague and a disease rather than a source of cheer is the true enemy of Bacchus. Those who ache with the unholy and unforgivable desire to experiment on humans, on babies, on unborn babies, or who propose junk science, theories as unproven and unprovable as Darwin’s, they are the foes of science, not the Church, who is the nursemaid of science in its infancy. And so on.

This world is like a gilded temple to many gods and goddesses richly and fetchingly adorned and painted, blazing with gems, awesome to behold: harps and wine and war and gold and scrolls of secret knowledge, shining stars ascending in their sphere and shining futures burning in our dreams, and the scales of justice, and scepters of power, all of these become idols when you bow the knee to them. Most insidious, because its danger is rarely mentioned, is the idolatry of the pen, when a man bows the knee to some pet theory or fascinating vision. This is the lure of intellectual pride, the sin of scholars, when even virginal Athena turns from goddess to demoness.

This world is a temple with many gods, and we Christians are pilgrims passing through, who are meant to bow and serve and worship none of these good things. We worship the source of all goodness instead, the greater God who made the gods, and who made the good things good.