April 24, 2013
Things should be what they are
What should we, as conservatives, be trying to preserve and trying to pass down to our children? Many things, obviously. One thing that gets, to my mind, to the heart of what we should be trying to teach is a love of the genuine as opposed to the fake. Our culture wallows in the fake. Everything has to be new, everything has to have been thought of yesterday. This makes it difficult for young people to appreciate anything like a genuine and valuable cultural oeuvre with a history or a tradition behind it. Many of them have never been exposed to such a thing in their lives.
A "liturgy" that you made up last year because you think you're good at writing isn't a real liturgy. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the Tridentine Mass are examples of real liturgy. Imperfect they may be in various ways, but they are human artifacts that represent real human history. Pastor Joe's Worship Ideas for Advent don't.
Here, however, we run into a difficulty: If you love what is real in human history and culture, you are going to come smack up against the fact that the ideas that made various undeniably real (in the sense I'm discussing here) and also worthwhile and beautiful (this may be more controversial) cultures and artifacts possible are in conflict with one another. How, then, can you give the proper appreciation to two or more traditions founded on incompatible ideas? And, if we acknowledge that all good things come from God and return to God, what does this say about God? How does God view incompatible traditions and their artifacts? And how will what is valuable in them be preserved in eternity?