Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

The Long Hallway

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis paints a picture of a long hallway off of which are many rooms. The hallway represents the Christian faith, presumably as it's been enumerated in the great creeds of the Church. The rooms, then, are analogous to individual denominations or traditions. 

Every Christian denomination has a claim to a room on this Hallway. Anglicans, Baptists, the Reformed—we all have a deed to a certain chamber along this ideological corridor. That said, the line has to be drawn somewhere. At some point, representatives of the Great Tradition must refuse to grant contracts to groups who, for some reason or other, don’t belong on the Hallway. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Unitarians, for example, would find their applications denied by the witness of the Church, for they cannot subscribe faithfully to the Nicene Creed (or several others, for that matter). The issue of Christ’s divinity is a line in the sand, and fairly so. 

But this is not the only line in the sand which merits a swift denial of Hallway privileges. Some might rightly say that a spurning of Christ’s Second Coming would get you booted from the Hallway, or perhaps a repudiation of the Resurrection of the Dead. Of course, it’s fairly easy to recognize these ideas as contrary to the Christian faith. They’re terrible hide-and-seek players; one need not look under the couch and behind the door to find out where they go astray. 

Blatant refutation of orthodoxy is always easier to deal with than a more subtle form of heresy. As time goes on, and as the Church lowers Her shields in complacency, the very same aberrant ideas which were once not at all subtle approach the Hallway’s leasing office, speaking smoothly and promising that the massive default on every loan it’s ever taken out was simply “a poor investment we made with a friend once.” Knowing full well that this excuse is less than satisfying on its best day, we remember that we ourselves are not perfect, and that the Lord of Glory will likely have to correct pieces of our own theology on the Last Day, and convince ourselves that these ideas seem harmless enough—they drive the right cars, wear the right clothes, and use the right jargon—so why not give them a shot?

The problem is that we’ve lowered the shields and we don’t know it. The problem is that when we finally find out that there have been noise complaints levied against this new room, we don’t investigate. We don’t ask the questions. We don’t do anything until it’s much too late. What we thought was simply some cranked-up volume turned out to be a fully functional ideological meth lab, churning out condemnable heresy by the minute.

The Church dealt with Gnosticism once. But after 1600 or so years, She got comfortable. We got comfortable. We let it back onto the Hallway.

When we see our parishioners, church members, and, God forbid, maybe even our pastors marching in Charlottesville, we think, “Oh, that’s just crazy ol’ Greg, running around with some weirdos because he likes his guns.” We don’t see the heretical Gnostic influence in the heart and the mind asserting that only white folks have some special standing, not only in society but also in the body of Christ, some unique gnosis one can only possess by having pale skin. 

Not only does this Gnostic white nationalist perversion of Christianity suppose a gnosis that only some are born with, but in vintage gnostic fashion, it puts forth a blatant denial of the doctrine of creation. This Gnosticism denies that all humans are created by God as His Image-bearers, and thus denies the Imago Dei as well. It says to us that certain humans are undignified, as if mankind in general were not the crown on God’s Creation. In this way, it denies Scripture as well. 

Never mind that Jesus was a Palestinian Jew with darker skin than the average Caucasian. The first fathers of the Church were African: Augustine, Athanasius, Cyril, Cyprian, Clement, and Tertullian among many, many, many others. Many of these saints provided us with the vocabulary used in the Hallway’s lease agreement. There’s a very real sense in which (what we would call today) white Christians were some of the latest folks to game, and we only arrived after our older African and Middle Eastern brothers and sisters brought us the Gospel. 

Any form of Christianity tinged with white nationalism is a sect without a room on the Hallway. It’s not simply in violation of its lease agreement, it’s been evicted. Please read me clearly: White nationalism is completely incompatible with biblical Christianity. If you identify as a white nationalist, white supremacist, or anything from this kind of ilk, I feel personally responsible to tell you that you in all likelihood stand condemned before God (cf. Gal. 2:11). In the New Heavens and the New Earth, there will be a “great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9). If you deny the Imagehood of many in this great multitude, how could you enjoy being numbered among them? If you deny that we “are all one in Christ Jesus,” (Gal. 3:28) repent and turn to Christ. Run from this sin of Gnosticism and arrogance toward Christ who clothes all of his people in the same blood and water of His perfect sacrifice. 

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