Rod Dreher’s case for the “Benedict Option” hinges on going back to a Benedictine spirituality because the Benedictine culture created a Christian culture. That term seemed to hit me wrong, so I’m glad Dreher unpacked it a bit.
The Benedictine spirituality is about developing a Christian cultus (which again is a word that is a bit scary). But that word is a Latin word meaning “worship.”
“A culture is a way of life that emerges from the common worship of the people”
What we need to realize, and embrace, is the minority status of Christianity in our culture now. We are NOT doing that, however, among conservative Christians. For those of us 50 and older, we’re being dragged kicking and screaming away from a time that simply doesn’t exist anymore.
The best witness Christians can offer to post-Christian America is simply to be the church (my emphasis), as fiercely and creatively a minority as we can manage.
Our problem is we’ve created consumer churches. Worship is a consumer activity and we allow parishioners to function without accountability. We talk about “reaching the culture” when we have no culture of our own.
Where Dreher desires to lead us is difficult, especially as “evangelical” Christians. Yet, we need to at least give thought to his proposals.