Why is Christianity so divided?
If you live in the Anglosphere or in Europe, then you are living in a post-Christian country. Our nations once took Christianity seriously, and our once-religious societies tried to organize themselves according to some understanding of Christian values. However, this is no longer the case. Many factions hostile to Christendom have arisen within the post-Christian world, and the Christian community, despite possessing a great amount of wealth and power, responds to those who denigrate the faith anemically at best and, oftentimes, not at all.
The source of Christendom’s current sorry state is its division. The Christian community has split between Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant factions, and these, in turn, are further divided in innumerable ways. This endless division of the Christian community has produced a state of chaos within it that prevents Christians from imposing any meaningful cost upon those who are hateful to them.
So many pot-shots and sucker-punches are doled out against Christians.
If you are a Christian, then this should bother you. And if you are bothered by it, then you will want to reverse the decline of your religion, and this requires us to understand how Christianity fell into its current predicament. The purpose of this piece is to present a clear answer to that question and provide instruction on how a Christian listener may help reverse this trend.
I will now concisely describe the source of the problem.
Christianity is divided because of needless additions to its theology. Many people insert new ideas into the faith and in so doing produce a split between those who accept the novel idea and those who reject it. In this way, a single faith becomes two, and two later become four.
Christianity is divided because people insert new ideas into the faith when they do not need to. The insertion of new ideas creates disagreement within the Christian factions and, if the disagreement is important and irreconcilable, then the original faction divides into two smaller ones. The new churches are both smaller than the original, and their ability to influence halves as a result. These novel churches will later experience further additions, and new factions will emerge in response to these as well. With every addition made to the faith, Christians become more divided, and their ability to respond to outside threats slowly disappears.
This is why strongly anti-Christian factions such as Islam and Marxism are able to spread so easily throughout the Protestant countries. Protestants have, through their constant addition and division, effectively neutered themselves by destroying their ability to organize in response to external threats. Orthodox churches suffer a similar problem because of their ethnocentricity. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church, possessing a singular leader, contains some unique resistance to the division experienced by the other factions, and Catholics are able to find common ground which allows them to exert cultural force. It is for this reason that Islam does not enter South America as easily as it enters Europe and North America.
I now address the main sources of division within the three factions of Christians: Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant. Afterward, I will describe how members of these respective factions may work to reverse the disintegration of Christianity. I will not be addressing how these three factions came to be; that is a topic for elsewhere.
The Division of the Orthodox
Orthodoxy is the faction most resistant to division by addition. The core aim of Orthodox theology is to preserve the religion which Christ gave to the apostles, and the Orthodox resist innovations in religious matters to a much greater degree than the other factions. Consequently, new ideas are much less likely to be accepted by the Orthodox Church, and it avoids splintering because of changes to its theology.
Now, this is not to say that the Orthodox churches are undivided. Their divisions exist, but not for theological reasons. The Orthodox churches are divided because many are tied to a particular country or ethnic group, and the constituent churches have transformed into social clubs for members of their respective ethnic groups as a result. The theology of Orthodoxy does not require this ethnic splintering, but secular practices which were adopted in past centuries have accidentally produced ethnocentric states within Orthodoxy, and the bishops of the various churches are both aware of and working to mitigate its effects.
However, as previously stated, the Orthodox are strongly resistant to change, so efforts to undo Orthodoxy’s ethnocentricity progress slowly.
Now I will move on to Catholicism.
The Division of the Catholics
The Catholic Church contains fewer subfactions than the others. Of the divisions within the church, the most important is that between the Novus Ordo and the Traditional Catholics.
During the sixties, the Catholic Church was infiltrated by Marxist spies. Communist Russia and its spy network were extremely potent during this time, and communists hate Christianity, so they worked throughout the world in order to destroy, suppress, and subvert religious communities. In some cases, Christians, such as the Eastern Orthodox, found themselves under the direct control of Communist regimes, and many were executed, imprisoned, or exiled. However, most of the Catholic world existed beyond the immediate reach of Joseph Stalin and his successors, so they assailed it with a different method. They tried to subvert the church by replacing its clergy with Communist sympathizers. The process was later brilliantly described by a KGB defector, Yuri Bezmenov.
Now, Stalin and his sympathizers were somewhat successful in their subversion, and a fair portion of the officials within the Catholic Church were no longer Catholic, but communist, and the communists began developing a doctrine called ‘liberation theology’ in order to pretend that communism aligned well with Catholic ideals.
Many members of the Catholic Church were deceived, while others saw the communist subversion for what it was. So the Catholic Church is now divided between traditional Catholics and people who have mistakenly converted to communism masquerading as Catholicism. The current pope is of this sort, which is why he has permitted the display of postmodern Nativity Scenes and idol worship on the Vatican lawn.
The current status quo of the Catholic Church advantages the subverters within it, so the traditional Catholics are forced to take an active and disruptive role within it. This, of course, places them at risk of violating the precepts which Catholics must affirm as part of the Nicene Creed.
But I have said enough of Catholics for now. I move on to the Protestants.
The Division of the Protestants
Division is in the DNA of Protestantism. Protestants are people who invent new interpretations as they like and try to pass off their inventions as Christianity. They do this by cherry-picking Bible verses which are suitable for their interests, ignoring those which are not, and then constructing arguments out of their self-serving verses and willful ignorance in order to defend whatever they happen to be calling Christianity at the moment. For this reason, there are as many different forms of Protestantism as there are Protestants. This is also the reason why Protestants will frequently respond to the question “What makes someone a Christian?” with an answer that does not contain a clearly observable course of action. Such an answer would constrain their ability to fabricate theology at will.
Protestants justify their fabrications by claiming that the Bible alone possesses authority and then pretending that this somehow means that anyone who happens to own a Bible is both permitted and able to interpret its meaning. Some Protestants hold themselves to higher standards, but this minority possesses little influence within the greater Protestant community.
Now, the fact that Protestants frequently cherry-pick Bible verses to support their views and then try to pass off their self-serving arguments as Christianity produces many forms of the religion within the Protestant world. Many of these forms are adhered to by such small populations that a church cannot be formed around them; so these small Protestant sects accidentally obliterate themselves by rejecting other institutions while also failing to construct one of their own.
Meanwhile, the Protestant factions which possess enough members to sustain a church find themselves in a sea of other such groups. These small churches often lack the ability to differentiate themselves from the others, so their attendees rarely feel a strong emotional connection to their “generic brand” church. Consequently, people stop attending the undifferentiated churches, and this religious community dissolves, although the Protestants who had been associated with it will still call themselves Christians and pay lip-service to the religion.
Now, some of the larger churches are able to differentiate themselves and stay afloat. However, Protestants rarely acknowledge the authority of religious institutions, because they so-often believe them to be unnecessary when one has a Bible and a personal relationship with Jesus, so even the larger churches struggle to attract members. Therefore, such churches will often change their theology in order to attract new members. But in so doing, the directors of these organizations accidentally prove that they are more concerned with increasing their membership than they are with either retaining or advancing truth. Many Protestants have begun to realize this, and the larger churches lose credibility on that account.
Then they lose members.
So in this case, as in the others, the Protestant community dissolves into a collection of individuals who are no longer being held together as a community by an institution which they acknowledge possesses authority. The Protestant objection to authority is such so that many churches, in order to survive, have begun to adopt an all-permissive theology which, although agreeable and inclusive, is antithetical to Christianity.
I will now summarize the points which I have raised, and present solutions to the dissolution of Christendom.
Why Christians Are Divided (Summary)
Three factions of Christians exist: Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant.
The Orthodox are divided because of their ethnocentric churches.
Catholics are divided because their church was subverted by Communists.
And Protestants are divided because of their personal approach toward scripture.
Some problems associated with the division of Christianity into ten-thousand anemic sects cannot be solved by the common person, but a few can. If you want to restore Christianity, then you will do what you can.
In the case of the Orthodox laity, we must reduce the ethnocentricity of our church. We can accomplish this goal in three ways. First, we must begin referring to ourselves as the Holy Orthodox and not as the Greek, Russian, or American Orthodox. We should also avoid calling ourselves the Eastern Orthodox because this causes us to sound as though our religion is too strange and foreign for the peoples of Protestant countries to adopt. Orthodox laity should also refrain from the church-hopping which jurisdictional problems of the church permit. Pick a church, stay with it, and do not leave a Serbian church because you believe that an Antiochan one might be better.
In the case of the Catholics, you must avoid the Novus Ordo mass. The purpose of the council which ushered in the novel mass was to commemorate the successful subversion of the Catholic Church, and the Novus Ordo Mass exists in order to reinforce their hold over the institution and gradually phase out proper Catholicism. Traditional Catholics should also refrain from arguing with their deceived counterparts about the purpose of the Novus Ordo mass and the Marxist subversion of the church. Those members of the laity who have been subverted are more likely to reinforce their position against traditional Catholicism than they are to abandon it if one argues with them.
In the case of Protestantism, I’m afraid there is no way back to unity. The methods which Protestants use to develop their religion have the effect of immediately undermining any authority which might try to gather them together. The fact that Christianity disintegrated within the Protestant countries, while it did not do so in those of the Catholics and the Orthodox, proves this to be true. Perhaps one may postulate that if the current condition of Protestant societies were to return to that of an earlier time, then the Protestant disintegration might then be avoided, but this view is born from wishful thinking and not from a sincere understanding of Protestantism and its methods. A movie with a bad ending will not reveal a different one if it is rewound.
It is with this in mind that I offer the following advice to Protestants: If you dislike that the Christian world is so divided, then do not try to convert people to Christianity, and do not undermine Catholics or the Orthodox. The current fractious state of Christendom is the product of constant Protestant novelties and this problem will always be present within Protestantism because of its individualist approach.