1. It’s not so much a home for us
As home for our deceit:
Affirming every guiltless heart,
Distracting from defeat.
It’s found in lands of apathy
Where feelings limit thought,
And standards thought impersonal
Rely on what is not.
2. A place where temples will adore
The inner light inside:
Where you directly see the world,
Directly through your pride.
A place of icons that demand
A greater life than yours:
A life of goods and happiness,
Of wanting more and more.
3. A place where God is glorified
The most through our content,
Where suffering lament will be
Portrayed as deviant.
A place where God is glorified
When we have self-esteem;
Where trust in self is trust in him:
A god inside our scheme.
4. A place where God is worshipped most
When we try hard to touch
A presence we’re convinced is Him:
A feeling found in us.
A place where we’re convinced that faith
Is all we need obtain,
But then define faith as good works
And love only our chains.
5. A place where truth defined as less
Directs us downward to
The dimmer lights of narrowness,
A world of residue;
A world where truth has boundaries
Beyond which God can’t go,
For human thought is fallible
And Scripture’s all we know.
6. The prophets in our icons speak
Of truth without a Pope;
Tradition that’s as old as you,
Where meaning is a trope.
Where we connote, we don’t define
But by effects alone.
We’re hoping that the essence will
Eventu’lly be known.
7. Seduced, we tend to run to self,
The selves we wish we were:
With freedom, wealth, and pleasure and
A life fulfilled, secure.
But freedom’s just a neutral tool,
And wealth is merely means,
And pleasure’s mere result of good,
The Good it cannot be.
8. So when the church pursues these things
As visions of the Good,
They choose to play off barons’ lies
Instead of something true.
They build themselves an idol that
Is dressed in Words of God,
But paint His face in colors of
A cultural facade.
9. Where are the prophets of the old,
Who knew that truth is full:
That truth without tradition will
That language, genre, meaning will
Be dead without a guide,
That texts alone will never speak
Past cultural divides?
10. Where are the princes of the old
Who though seduced by power,
Would, when condemned, kneel in the snow
And beg in rags for hours?
Where are the laymen, who when wrong,
Won’t split off from the Vine?
Who, blinded by the light of forms,
Won’t run back to their binds?
11. What happened to the saints portrayed
On icons made of gold?
Whose lives were good and true and real,
Not poured in market’s mould?
Why do we sing of present Lamb,
When altar’s absent from
A stage that points to podiums,
That’s filled with pipes and drums?
12. If we deserve what we produce,
Then pedestals should not be, for
Production’s sake, reserved.
Unless we think God owes us what
Was given on the cross,
Then worship Him, not music, words,
Not feelings, dreams or thoughts.
13. But then what choice remains when we
Reject the miracle,
Of accidents remaining same,
While essence changes full?
And when we ***** the altars bare,
And throw away the bread,
We **** our God yet worship him:
A thought inside our head.
14. So those who want to find what’s true
And find a God that’s real,
Must pull the nails from Wittenberg
And cross themselves and kneel.
Five hundred years of modern pride
Have found in Paris home.
Unless we want to live there too,
We must return to Rome.
1-2. Thesis: Modern Christianity is a mask. It reduces God to self.
3-5. Examples of reductionism common to modern religion.
6-8. The problem with reduced theology.
9-11. What's missing.
12. A theology reduced to the individual is a theology of pride. It's why modern Christianity can't help but showboat.
13. Something greater than the individual was always central to premodern worship. Modernity tossed that away.