There are likely some who look at the above title, “Metalization of the Faithful,” and wonder what this could mean. In the previous part of this series, I spoke about how as we gradually discovered how the human body works, and what it is made of, we also continued to drift as a society toward a view of the human person as a cog in a machine rather than a person deserving of love and care.
With the combination of the growth of scientific knowledge, along with the lessening view of the human person, we may start out with great medical advances that help the material health of humanity; but the temptation of those same scientists to use those same people as medical experiments grows over time, especially when pushed by politicians and public opinion. This line has been crossed many times in the past centuries, with some horrific consequences.
For a much more expansive look at some of the causes and consequences of the situation this creates both in society and in the Church, I would point one to the widely heard of (but little read) encyclical Humanae Vitae. Though this encyclical is concentrated on contraception, abortion, and their effects on the faithful, how accurately it predicted our current situation simply by the use of Church Doctrine and Dogma, along with philosophy and an eye to what was already happening in Paul VI’s time, will likely shock you. This piece, though, is much shorter and broader than that. Included in that is something that I would like to note before we continue.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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There is this odd dichotomy in which, on the one side, many believe that truth is nothing more than opinion; yet, on the other, they also believe that scientifically provable things are fact but not opinion. Although I began to touch on this in my last piece on the faithful, in which I noted the gradual transition from a modernism many times based on scientism to the beginnings of a postmodernist mindset, this transition really begins to show itself when our ability to physically alter ourselves grows.
As a note, the phrase “metalization” is intended to describe a gradual transition from existence as a natural creature to a mostly artificial one. I say “mostly” due to the likely reality that even if we were able to fully transfer the brainwaves of a person to an artificial body, the soul probably wouldn’t follow, simply leaving a computer program that falsely believed that it was alive. But I digress.
There are many directions one could go regarding the faith and morals of the faithful in such a world. We see this already with some of the intense back and forth battles between those in the Church. We see conflict between those who follow the doctrine of the Church in believing that life begins at conception, making abortion an act of murder, going against those who believe (or at least want to claim to believe) that human life doesn’t begin there (never really defining where it begins, aside from the occasional person who will say at birth). For various reasons, many of them selfish, some see these supposedly “pre humans” as nothing more than spare parts when the need arises.
We see conflict between those who follow the Faith in believing that from the point a child’s life begins to the point of natural death there is a moral duty out of love to take care of them, versus those who see it as compassionate to allow people, whether elderly or in some way disabled (whether they really are or whether it is only in their head), to commit suicide to avoid a painful life. The less compassionate can, at times, again see them as nothing more than spare parts to be used by the living and healthy.
One could keep going with this, including the moral issues with so called human-animal chimera; that is, in our case, to say those in which non-human DNA is added either as an embryo, or at a later time. But this all concentrates a bit much on the material.
What about the spiritual realities that are being struck at? An interesting place to look in regard to this is the concept of marriage. We see today, with the growth of this view of a person being nothing more than the sum of their parts, the expansion of those who seek to alter the definition of marriage.
If people are interchangeable, then why not say that spouses are too? If I don’t like the spouse I have, why not get rid of them and get a better model? If I don’t like the options for spouses in the opposite sex, why not get one in the same sex? If I like my options in the opposite sex but not the sex I am, why not make myself into one of the opposite sex? Why limit myself to only one spouse?
The number of questions begins to grow as the societal definition changes, moving the concept of marriage from being one of a lifelong Covenant union of two people of the opposite sex, to a contract written by any number of people of any sex for however long they want to be contractually connected. These questions grow even more once one decides that redefining marriage isn’t enough. Then they begin redefining the meaning of sex itself, leading to an endless number of “sexes” in their new system.
Clearly, something more fundamental than biology is being rejected here, but what is it? While there are a few directions one could go with this, the simplest is the reality of Christ and His Church, marriage being a direct reflection of that reality in a form that we can more easily understand.
The simple definition of marriage is the exclusive and lifelong union of one man and one woman with the purpose being both the mutual support of the spouses and the having and educating of children. This is a good place to bring up the definition of a Sacrament: an outward sign of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification. When the vows are validly received by a validly ordained priest, one receives a Sacramental Marriage. With each of the Sacraments, God is communicating some truth about both us and Him. In the case of a valid Sacramental Marriage, one is living, in a special way, the reality of the union of Christ and His Church.
To show the reality of this, one could point to many passages from both the Old and the New Testaments. In the New Testament, we see this in many places, including Ephesians 5, 2 Corinthians 11, Romans 7, and directly, but not as clearly, in a few places in Revelation, those being chapters 3, 21, and 22. To understand the references to the New Jerusalem, one needs to look at the use of marital language to describe the first Covenant in the Old Testament.
While one could point to the marital language used during the acceptance of the Covenant by the people of Israel and Mount Sinai, the clearest use of the language is in the Prophetic books, where Israel as a unit is described directly as a bride in breach of its Covenant with God their spouse, including the mention of a coming New Covenant after the Old one was broken, the New Covenant being the Covenant of the Christian with God.
Using this basis, one can see the problem of redefining marriage, as doing so is not just altering a human contract; instead, it (unknowingly or not) is making a theological statement about the relationship between Christ and His Church. If one believes that leaving a marriage is ok, one is rejecting the permeance of the union of a faithful believer to God. If one believes that another bride would be acceptable in place of Christ, then not only is one rejecting the need for Christ, they are also committing idolatry (also called spiritual adultery) by placing another in the place of Christ. If one believes that a man can replace the Bride, then one is placing one as equal to God, rejecting His leadership and ultimately His Kingship as one has, in another way, committed idolatry, making an idol of oneself and the other.
I could go further, but you see the point. A huge theological statement is being made when one rejects the true definition of marriage, though few ever realize this. We are far more than just a collection of parts. We are material beings whose life and world are signs of greater spiritual realities. Tweet This
We are far more than just a collection of parts. We are material beings whose life and world are signs of greater spiritual realities. We can either seek to faithfully grow within those realities of beauty and godly Truth, or we can seek to fight an eternally losing battle against them, the fiery metal of our own perverse mind being our eternal undoing.