Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When the circus is over: people will live by every word that comes from the mouth of God

Self-fulfillment twisting Christianity makes a return this coming new year with Christopher West's new book, Fill These Hearts. Same old schtick. Joined with a band he's doing his Fill These Hearts tour. Best way of doing business. Forget the very recent last book and its concomitant criticisms. Pop out a new one. Full steam ahead.

The cover picture of his new book reminds me of a joke that Bob tells in the wonderful movie, What About Bob?

He's in the psychiatric unit cracking jokes with the people working there:

So a psychiatrist has a patient and he draws a circle and he says, "What do you see?"

Patient says, "I see sex."

He draws a picture of a tree and he says, "What do you think about that?"

Patient says, "Sex."

Then he draws a picture of a car, a house...

"Sex, sex, sex."

The doctor says, "Well your obsessed with sex."

Patient says, "Well you're the one drawing all the dirty pictures."

So, no, I don't really care if people think I'm nuts for saying that the cover picture of Christopher West's new book is a subliminal vagina - and was meant to be. So I just went ahead and said it - just now. I think that cover was very purposefully thought out.

It's practically the one thing West would want people to say about it, too. Because then it's a sign that they are repressing their sexual longings and secretly seeing sex everywhere. And when they are talking critically about him, it only means they're talking about their own immature impurity, and projecting it on him - and his disciples. Say, he can use the What About Bob? pop-culture reference in his talks for that. Watertight cult. Debauch Revelation. Drink that Kool-aid. It's the banquet set for you.

Met a woman once who told me that people are saying that Christopher West is a living saint. He had come up in the conversation before and I had decided to say nothing. But when she broke out with the third-party living saint bit I started to say some things. A convert was there. Ex-Lutheran pastor. Converted because of Theology of the Body written by Pope John Paul II. Not by West. Found it so beautiful he decided only someone who had the truth could have written it. I was excercising restraint in releasing my opinions. Conversation didn't go very far. Woman got the gist I didn't think West's teachings were very good - that is, not at all a true interpretation of late Pope's Wednesday talks. She wasn't beholden either way. But she took up my doubts about West and pondered.

Went to a Katrina Zeno talk once. Someone paid for me to go. Only way I would go. Waste my Saturday. This person said to me I should go and find out what this Zeno is about. He said this to me before he knew anything about what I had written about Christopher West. Told me the thought came to him in prayer that I should go. Years before, he and others were instrumental in having a West gig here cancelled. LOL. So that's the only way I went. Katrina Zeno talk. Took some Zenotes. Sound recorder didn't work too well. Whole damn day. Ugh. Zeno getting audience to repeat many times throughout her talks one mantra. Zeno would say, "Theology of the body means--" and then she would implore audience for the taught answer, and audience would chant in unison: "the body reveals God".

Many times this mantra repeated: "the body reveals God." Bloody cultish.

And who would have thought of foreskins as a prefiguration of the temple veil that was rent apart to reveal the holy of holies upon our Lord's death?

Zeno goes on about significance of old covenant of circumcision: that the foreskin is a type of "veil" that is removed, or drawn back, to reveal...reveal what you say? Now, don't be a knob!

Or, of course, for the uncircumcised, this would mean perhaps that every time the man has an erection this would be an "unveiling". Holy. Every erection is "the desire for heaven gone beserk".

I think that talk was the 15 and older one. Not sure. Didn't seem to matter with the youngins running around while the penetration of the thin vaginal membrane was being used as the other analogy for the revelation through the veil - since theology of the body means what again?

In unison now: "the body reveals God".

This is what's making the circuit these days as "Catholic teaching".

Ug think Ug's erections come from fertility god. Ug build big penis towers. Ug erect big penis tower as offering to fertility god. Ug paint many penises on cave wall. Ug like that. What then you say? How many babies you make? Ug make many. Ug blessed by fertility god with many erections.

Ahhhh yes. Of course many folk from the same Zeno talk now reading this post would be likely to go ballistic saying I am twisting it and misrepresenting it and they'll be all standing up from their computers shrieking:

But it was you see. These false prophets work with sublimation.


Paul Stilwell said...

Apologies for language in this post. But with these reverse-Manichean heretic false prophets and sellers of sex-as-an-immanent-god, sometimes there's just no way around it.

Kevin O'Brien said...

I'm coming up with a new character - Wild Willie West. He will host a show called HOT TUB CLUB. He will talk theology from a hot tub and have babes all over the place. Kind of like "Playboy After Dark" meets EWTN.

Paul Stilwell said...


Kevin O'Brien said... - in which I try to point out the utter subjectivism of the Westians.

jvc said...

No surprise, from the guy who brought into the mainstream Carl Jung's (forgive me) penis candle idea.

DeaconJR said...

Hi, Paul--do I still have the privilege to leave comments here?

God bless you,

Deacon JR

DeaconJR said...

Thanks, Paul--

I just wanted to invite you to my blog "The Body Guard", wherein you will find much related content. I would welcome your comments there.

Regarding your post here--I don't think Christopher's new book is out quite yet, is it? There is that cliche about judging a book by its cover, no?

God bless you,

Deacon JR

Paul Stilwell said...

Good post, Kevin. "The prosperity gospel for horn dogs" is exactly it.

Paul Stilwell said...

LOL! Judging a book by its cover! Well, mostly just judging the cover itself. But anyway, yeah, there'll be nothing new inside the book to judge, that's for sure.

DeaconJR said...

Well, Paul--in any case, when the book comes out and you've read it, drop me a line with your thoughts.

As it stands now, I think I'll be spending at least a little time charitably critiquing your TOB comments here (as well as some illustrative recent comments by Kevin and by our past correspondent Wade St. Onge) over at my blog.

I wish you well in the meantime. God bless,

Deacon JR

jvc said...

I have asked two women what they thought the book cover is supposed to represent. These two women don't know Paul Stilwell from Gandhi or anything about this blog. They both instantly arrived at the same conclusion.

The first said that it reminded her of a Georgia O'Keeffe painting. The second said that if she say it at Barnes and Noble, she wouldn't be surprised if it was covered up.

I think Christopher West has jumped the genitalia.

DeaconJR said...

Paul--your readers who believe the impossibility of "mature purity" might wish to read this from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Spe Salvi” (#45-46):

[[[[Our choice, which in the course of an entire life takes on a certain shape, can have a variety of forms. There can be people who have totally destroyed their desire for truth and readiness to love, people for whom everything has become a lie, people who have lived for hatred and have suppressed all love within themselves. This is a terrifying thought, but alarming profiles of this type can be seen in certain figures of our own history. In such people all would be beyond remedy and the destruction of good would be irrevocable: this is what we mean by the word Hell[37]. On the other hand there can be people who are utterly pure, completely permeated by God, and thus fully open to their neighbours—people for whom communion with God even now gives direction to their entire being and whose journey towards God only brings to fulfilment what they already are[38].

46. Yet we know from experience that neither case is normal in human life. For the great majority of people—we may suppose—there remains in the depths of their being an ultimate interior openness to truth, to love, to God. In the concrete choices of life, however, it is covered over by ever new compromises with evil—much filth covers purity, but the thirst for purity remains and it still constantly re-emerges from all that is base and remains present in the soul.]]]]

Did you see that? The part where the Holy Father mentions the concept of being "utterly pure" in this life? What do you make of that?

God bless,

Deacon JR

Paul Stilwell said...

And what does Benedict posit as the opposite of this being "utterly pure"?

This: "There can be people who have totally destroyed their desire for truth and readiness to love, people for whom everything has become a lie, people who have lived for hatred and have suppressed all love within themselves."

So, this utter purity has to do with more than "being able to look without lust", never mind being completely defined by "being able to look without lust".

And that's what West always, always does: whittles it down to the sexual sphere, fixing this sphere as the first determinative locus for everything else.

West's "mature purity" is not even on the table of what Benedict is referring to.

This being "utterly pure" is not beholden to West's "mature purity".

This purity can drink death. It exercises modesty and custody of the eyes. And it laughs at stupid negotiation situations that try to take it hostage by saying it's only mature when it is able to do this or able to do that, in the same way that the devil told Jesus to throw Himself from the cliff to prove the worth of His claims. It does not negotiate with terrorists.

But above all, this purity does not regard itself as utterly pure.

Paul Stilwell said...

Which is what West does. He subjectivizes purity. It becomes a self-declaration. He places the first notion of purity in a dualist context, where natural shame is interpreted as being dirty. And so the relieving of this shame must equal mature purity. It is horse apples.

jvc said...

I see that a year has passed and the West fans have not gotten any better at defending their guy.

There isn't the faintest connection between what the Holy Father wrote and what you and West call "mature purity."

The Holy Father's writing could likely be summed up by saying, "holiness exists." And it does.

What the Holy Father did not say, was that purity was perfectible in this life. He did not say that such a perfectibility excused a person from the moral obligations of some lesser beings. He did not describe perfectibility in sexual terms, something the Pansexualist does each time he speaks. He does not describe an Eastern, nirvana like state of perfection featuring both a release from the existence of sinful temptation or the ability to sanctify sin.

As far as I can tell, as the awe-shucks non-theologian around here, holiness is exemplified by humility. That seems to describe the people I know and view as holy. It does not describe West or his band of super-human (sic), "perfected" followers. Certainly not when the latter disavows mortification. Certainly not when the latter fails to ever, ever mention Confession.

DeaconJR said...

Paul--I find this completely interesting.

I can only presume that you must fundamentally disagree, then, with Kevin, who says "none of us is pure" and claims that "That's just Church teaching on fallen man."

Because it's clear that the *Pope* believes and teaches that some people actually *are* "utterly pure." Right?

That is, the *real* Church teaching is that we human creatures have the capacity to move across an entire spectrum of "purity" ranging from actual or virtual "zero" to "utterly pure"?

And now your response is that, well, "mature purity" isn't even "on the table" with the Pope's "utter purity"???

Paul--please tell me that you *do* realize that the term "mature purity" does not originate with West--but originates with JPII....

Is the pope's term "mature purity" "on the table" with the pope's term "utter purity"??

God bless you,

Deacon JR

Paul Stilwell said...

I'm not talking about the origin of the term, or the way in which JPII used it.

I'm talking about West's use of the term.

Do you think you're surprising me by bringing up Kevin's excellent post? No, you're not.

I completely agree with him. All of us are fallen. Not even someone like Padre Pio would make claims to perfect purity. Not even St. Thomas Aquinas in his later years. Heck, the saints don't even make claims to purity per se, but regarded themselves the least worthy, the least pure, the closer they came to death. Yet they trusted ever more greatly in God.

Yet it is these very kinds pf people (they can be very ordinary folk) that Benedict is referring to when he says, "...there can be people who are utterly pure, completely permeated by God, and thus fully open to their neighbours—people for whom communion with God even now gives direction to their entire being and whose journey towards God only brings to fulfilment what they already are."

Nowhere in that statement do you read that these people cease practicing the early disciplines or that these people cease confessing the same sins over and over again or that these people cease having to pick themselves back up again and again.

But nice try.

DeaconJR said...

Thanks, Paul--I'll be replying to your thoughts here over at my blog...But in the mean time if you can supply direct quoted evidence from Christopher that you think supports your as-yet-unsubstantiated claims, I'd be interested. God bless, Deacon JR