Monday, September 3, 2012

Membership - Notes from our last meeting

Notes on Lewis' chapter in Mere Christianity, "Membership"

False ideas of belonging
Lewis' statement re: the idea that relig. is to be a private affair in the modern world.
The idea is:
1. Paradoxical - said at the same time when the modern world - with its collective - is trying to exclude privacy
2. Dangerous
a. because the combination of "keep it to yourself" and yet not allowing anyone to be by themselves results in a lack of occasion or place for religion.
b. sincere believers may import the alien sense of the collective into the faith in the name of Christian Body Life or fellowship.
3. Natural: that is, though an error, it is a natural reaction to modern collectivism; the individual matters.  The feeling that we must preserve the individual life is just.
Hierarchy of value/importance:
I (top)        Participation in the Body
II                Private spirituality
III               Collective social experience; exists for our earthly good; of no service to spiritual good
We think of such things (regarding time and life in this world) only so we can be in a position to think of better things.
p. 163; definition of membership
Top, 166: two ways of departing from isolation: a) the collective (where individualism is lost) and b) integration into a body or family, where individualism, personality, and hierarchy is celebrated

False ideas of the individual
p. 167; the paradox of equality
the legal fiction of equality, like medicine, keeps away bad things, but it is not what we are meant to live on.
170 - Rom. 5 heroic death and death for love; our real equality is in his love, not in us.
171 - his delight when the priest stands and others kneel
SUM - Mid 171 - how a single life is defended from the collective.  Not by isolation, but membership in the Body

False ideas of true personality (the eternality and place of the individual)
new side of the matter: the eternality of the individual
172 - we shall share the victory by being in the Victor
175: His 2 main points:
1. the false idea of individual worship alongside collectivism; they aggravate each other; they are natural and of this world
2. Christianity is not really concerned with either one, but a new creation in Christ; this is a matter of the next world

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