Pro Christo et Patria
I went to my brother's graduation at Geneva College this weekend. Geneva is the official college of the Reformed Presbyterian [Kirk] of North America, and the home of Covenanterdom on earth. Theirs is undoubtedly an heroic enshrinement of the past--specifically of a Reformation splinter-world which Cromwell came to end--and as such is a dissent from a modern world gone wrong, an order fatally intoxicated with the sweet liqueur of false autonomy. The motto itself, "For Christ and Country," is a blunt political demand for "no king but Christ," made, in fine, in despite of Tudor despotism. But equally, the Covenanters serve as a warning of how the Church can degenerate into an historically-conditioned ethnically-delimited cult and, like Tolkien's elves, "dwindle to a rustic folk of dell and cave, slowly to forget and to be forgotten." Yes, as heirs of a Christian Roman civilization which united the virtue of Athens with peace of Jerusalem, our love for great books and great paintings is deeper than the depths of the Sea; as medieval souls alienate to a modern world of machines, bureaucracy, and corporate fictions, our regret is indeed undying and never be wholly assuaged. :) But what is over and past--which I suggest includes both the "Old" West and "Christian" America--is now usefully chiefly as a treasury of historical lessons, a coffee-table photo-atlas of wrong turns, a mine of moral instruction and biographical inspiration. The world has been changed too many times to make the honouring of old ordainances too much the point of honor, let alone the point for defining where the community of the Elect begins and ends. Too much blood and cellophane shrink-wrap stand between us, as the Matrix-conscious children of flower children, and the heroes of the SL&C.
And don't get me started on the regulative principle . . .