Anglican Samizdat

September 15, 2009

Christianity, the religion of exclusion

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 7:24 pm

Christianity, and Judaism before it, is unique in its demand for exclusive loyalty. There is one God and he is a jealous God: he will not share allegiance with other gods. Not because he is an egoist, but because other so-called gods are not God and, if they exist at all, they are malicious not beneficent. This was something that disturbed the pagan world; as David Bentley Hart says of the early church,

And, while of course “miracles” might also be produced on behalf of gods other than the Christian, the signs and wonders wielded by the Christian evangelists were associated with a cult that was unprecedentedly exclusive of all other religious loyalties; and so, uniquely, the miracles of the Christians destroyed faith even as they created faith. In this way, from the first, Christianity was engaged in extinguishing all rival faiths.

Sadly, in contemporary Western Christianity this is no longer the case. The Anglican, Lutheran, United and most other non-Roman mainline denominations have reverted to the pagan notion that gods are interchangeable and – may the best god win. Thus, we have the god of sex – Xochipilli – the god of reproductive rights – Moloch – the god of ecology – Gaia – all cavorting unrestrained in the hallowed cathedrals of contemporary Christianity-lite.

God is not mocked, of course and, just as a dog flees its own excrement, so members of mainline denominations are bolting as fast as possible to exclusive Roman, evangelical and congregational churches.



  1. Hardly unique, although perhaps Judaism was unique in the days of widespread polytheism, and Christianity built on that.

    Islam? Their deity seems to be both jealous and violent.

    Comment by Andrew — September 16, 2009 @ 10:04 am

  2. Andrew,

    Good point; when I wrote that I was thinking about the early church competing with polytheism and, in retrospect, should have left ‘unique’ out of the post.

    Comment by David — September 16, 2009 @ 10:32 am

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