Is one of Christianity's flaws that it never theorized power?


I looked up Jan Hus on line and found your article was helpful for me. By the way I don't think it appropriate to say the Catholic Church "despised". The metaphor doesn't work and is not correct. Rather one could say that the Catholic church found his ideas anathema and expressed this in their condemnation, etc. Or that his ideas ran afoul of the Catholic church ( as you know, priesthood is a sacrament, and therefore not an "idea" etc.)

However, what I really want to thank you for is the way you have articulated the idea of church order and church form. I have contended now for a long time that one of the fatal flaws of Christianity is that it has never theorized power: not its own - whether Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, nor that of the secular powers. While it has shared power with Caesar, and more so in Protestant countries than the Caesaro-Papism of the Eastern Roman empire, incorrectly named Byzantine (but I won't go into that here), in the West, it has chosen to leave the question of power as power not dealt with. From what I can understand this is one of the reasons that we have a complete disconnection between power and morality. I think the other reason is Pelagianism.

If you have any comments, time or inclination, it would be interesting to hear from you, but most definitely do not feel obliged in any way.


I've always found it amusing how Roman Catholics will object to the wording of a statement and then turn around use synonyms for the same concept. You would think that if there was a true objection there would be an attempt to show that the Catholic church did not look down on Wyclif. "Despised" means "treated with contempt," which is what they did in condemning Wyclif. And you agree that it is historically true, though you prefer other wording.

Jesus and his disciples did teach on the concept of power. It's just that it isn't what most Roman Catholic expect to hear. "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave -- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28). Christians have no desire to rule this world -- never have, never will. This world is passing away. The very fact that you entertain the thought that Christianity is flawed leaves you and I at opposites ends of the spectrum. God's work has never been flawed (Matthew 16:18).

Morality is the distinction between good and bad conduct, between right and wrong. Such is what is taught in God's Holy Word. "For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:13-14). Earthly powers do not define what is moral. God has done this.

According to Wikipedia:

"Pelagianism is a theological theory named after Pelagius (AD 354 AD 420/440). It is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without special Divine aid. Thus, Adam's sin was "to set a bad example" for his progeny, but his actions did not have the other consequences imputed to Original Sin. Pelagianism views the role of Jesus as "setting a good example" for the rest of humanity (thus counteracting Adam's bad example) as well as providing an atonement for our sins. In short, humanity has full control, and thus full responsibility, for obeying the Gospel in addition to full responsibility for every sin (the latter insisted upon by both proponents and opponents of Pelagianism). According to Pelagian doctrine, because men are sinners by choice, they are therefore criminals who need the atonement of Jesus Christ. Sinners are not victims, they are criminals who need pardon."

Pelagius' opposition to Augustine's false teaching was correct. God has never taught the concept of original or inherited sin. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20). Though you disagree with Pelagius, it does not follow that his teaching leads to a lack of morality -- quite the opposite actually. His teaching requires people to become more moral when they understand their responsibility for their choices.