Author Topic: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?  (Read 5997 times)

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Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #135 on: April 02, 2016, 12:28:05 AM »
One thing that a lot of these "countercultural Christians" seem to have in common is their stated belief that a smaller, "pure church" is preferable to a broader, middle-of-the-road "society church". The same thing can be found among the Neo-Calvinists (whose activities have resulted in denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention hemorrhaging members; the Neo-Cals argue that this isn't a bad thing because it means the church is now "purer" despite being smaller).

It's hard not to see shades of Donatism (or its Early Modern cousin, Puritanism) in all this.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 12:28:38 AM by Minnesotan »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #136 on: April 02, 2016, 01:29:54 AM »
How do you figure Puritanism is a cousin to Donatism? ???
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Offline William T

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #137 on: April 02, 2016, 01:58:10 AM »
How do you figure Puritanism is a cousin to Donatism? ???

I think the best buzzword to associate Donatism with is "rigorism".  There was also a streak of anti-clericalism, anti-sacramentalism, and some kind of disdain for secular authority / laws / religion I think (?).  Maybe that's what he is driving at. I think some of these tendencies are older than the Donatists, but they are certainly an early and prominent heresy in Christianity that reflected this mondset.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 01:59:52 AM by William T »

Offline William T

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #138 on: April 02, 2016, 02:09:14 AM »
One thing that a lot of these "countercultural Christians" seem to have in common is their stated belief that a smaller, "pure church" is preferable to a broader, middle-of-the-road "society church". The same thing can be found among the Neo-Calvinists (whose activities have resulted in denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention hemorrhaging members; the Neo-Cals argue that this isn't a bad thing because it means the church is now "purer" despite being smaller).

It's hard not to see shades of Donatism (or its Early Modern cousin, Puritanism) in all this.

I don't think I ever saw the division in those terms ("society Church" vs "counterculture church") but if someone sets up the dichotomy like that it probably will result in a toxic atmosphere and set up for failure a lot of people right from the get go.  I guess I always just tended to notice the sectarianism of these kind of groups* and noticed that such groups tend to be hyper critical of things.

*I can't comment too much on what Calvinism "is", other than every time I've heard about it from a child to the present day I tended to find it highly distasteful.  I could be dead wrong on Calvinism, it really isn't on my radar of things I have ever actively studied, engaged with, or found interest in for it's own sake.  And I highly doubt my disposition on that will change anytime in the near future.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 02:15:53 AM by William T »

Offline Agabus

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #139 on: March 09, 2017, 04:18:38 PM »
Rod's book is dropping soon; tangential discussions about this are popping up in my FB feed.

So here's the deal with the Benedict Option: I don't really see how it is terribly different from, say, Fundamentalist — by which I mean the specific religious movement, not the general pejorative — withdrawal. The hallmarks of focusing on religious community, homeschool/classical school, intentional media consumption/avoidance, etc., are the same, but with liturgy and patristics. So what's left, not voting? That would just make it the tails side of the coin occupied by the New Monastics hipsters of 10 years ago.
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Offline Gunnarr

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #140 on: March 11, 2017, 07:14:08 AM »
Will many of the self-isolation aspects not occur naturally?

How did the Jews,  who reject Christ, survive to this day, once spread across the world?  They formed communities with themselves, isolating against others. Marriage only with other Jews (even many Christians did this until very recently), forming communities where the people you speak with are often of same belief.

It is a natural self preservation.

If you take away the inventions of: television, newspaper, radio, and internet, one might go most of their lives in a local community of those with similar beliefs and values.

But with those inventions, these communities are greatly diminished in effevtivness, unless there is constant watch.

The end times is not getting further away. To me, for Christians to be a more and more rejected and diminishing community is not a surprise. If anything, it was a promise.

In the early Church, there were few Christians, and society as a whole rejected Christian viewpoints of society. Is that so different to today?


I wish to say, that it seems to me it is the natural future of the Church, if Christ does not come back soom, or that if the trend of society does not change.

For this reason, I do not see self-isolating communities as necessarily WRONG, because they have always existed in history naturally in self preservation, as a need.

Go ahead and continue toeducate in public schools and reject any private education. The trend of apostasy will continue regardless,  and self-isolation will be the inevitable result, as it is the only way communities has ever survived once they become small in number.

If the Amish did not form communities within tjemselves, they would have surely perished.

I don't agree with much of what was said in the OP,  but many of the communication aspects of it will occur naturally in self preservation , in my opinion
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Offline Gunnarr

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #141 on: March 11, 2017, 07:26:14 AM »
' take another example of immigrants

When coming to the US, many nationalities settled near those with the same.

This created form of self isolation, which allows the culture, language to survive naturally. It was social engineering which did this, it was a natural isolation.

Those who did not join such communities quickly lost their original identity in later generations.

Those who completely reject any form of isolation face the same future.

It essentially makes this whole idea of creating these communities artifically, a pointless discussion, because the non-isolating communities die off regardless.



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Offline Gunnarr

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #142 on: March 11, 2017, 07:37:51 AM »
One other thought:

For most of history, self-isolation occured without really any desire for it, it simply happened because it was not easy to not be isolated.

Most people lived in their village, many perhaps never traveling far. Again, a small community which is isolated.


Tv, internet, all forms of mass communication destroy most of this, and make isolation difficult.

That causes huge problems with preservation of even the naturally isolating communities. Technology has made preservation so much more difficult.

To me, technology does not actually have any spiritual value. It's advacement does not progress humanity in any way spiritually. So to reject these forms of communication is not inherently unchristian.


Again, if they are not rejected, it is very possible the community dies as a result of inability to preserve their unique culture/religion/characteristics.

An Amish community where everyone speaks and reads constantly all day with those the community rejects,  Will certainly have trouble surviving, just like any other group wishing to preserve itself
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 07:39:05 AM by Gunnarr »
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #143 on: March 25, 2017, 07:50:26 AM »
Why not advocate whole families becoming monastics like the good, ol' days?
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #144 on: March 27, 2017, 01:05:54 PM »
A critique that says Dreher misunderstood the source material that supposedly inspired the idea.
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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #145 on: March 28, 2017, 06:42:33 PM »
I grew up with a fundamentalist upbringing and I hated it then. I don't think repackaging it as the "Benedict Option" makes it any more palatable.
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #146 on: March 29, 2017, 12:07:00 AM »
I grew up with a fundamentalist upbringing and I hated it then. I don't think repackaging it as the "Benedict Option" makes it any more palatable.

"Now, more Orthodoxy!  But wait!  There's more!  If you purchase one Benedict Option, we'll throw in antidoron crumbs..........ABSOLUTELY FREE."
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Offline Eruvande

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #147 on: March 29, 2017, 09:46:27 PM »
From the little I have gleaned on this I would say I have been there, done that, bought a pinafore and headacovering and raised chickens and homemade washing liquid for the Lord. Heck if we could have been self sufficient enough to get away with a cow in the back garden on our suburban semi we probably would have, and our children would remain as 'unworldly' as possible.

But we eventually decided it was better to live in modern Britain like it wasn't the prairie, and trained our kids to engage with the culture and yes, enjoy some of it because it isn't all bad, and we haven't yet disintegrated like that Nazi fellow at the end of The Last Crusade. Maybe that comes next week, I don't know.
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Offline William T

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Re: Do people take this "Bendict Option" seriously?
« Reply #148 on: March 30, 2017, 02:46:52 PM »
A critique that says Dreher misunderstood the source material that supposedly inspired the idea.

That sums up a lot of my thoughts on this.  The guy  is selling snake oil.  And frankly, the way of thinking about communities like this is  probably toxic.

He also seems clueless that most Catholic and Orthodox immigration in America  has done quite well forming local communities and integrating into the culture at large. It has been successful and doesn't follow his little schemes and theories. Life is better than anything cooked up on some philosophers head. The man is a hack.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 03:17:53 PM by William T »