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Churchianity in the 19th Century.

August 11, 2014

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)

Churchianity or Churchian are terms that have been thrown around on this site and others for quite a while. As made clear on this blog (and I’m sure some others), Churchianity exists when the main function is worship of the church organizations or denominations and not of Christ.

History of the patriarchy.

History of the patriarchy.

This word substitution to denote this difference is not something me, Michael Spencer, or anyone else blogging today has invented. In Google books, they have an interesting little toy they call the “Ngram Viewer”, where you can search a word and get a listing of the books they’ve scanned into their system. The interesting part comes where you can track the history of the use of a word. For instance, you can put in the term “patriarchy” and get more ammunition for the contention that using the term actually puts you in the feminist frame. Searching churchianity nets this:


The term has been used a lot longer than there has been blogs. The interesting part in studying, is that these problems discussed on the blog have occurred a lot longer than just the times we know (a good argument can be made that Phariseeism is in truth Churchianity). In fact, one can compare and contrast and see the same thing.

Another immediate effect of a reference to the Bible is, that it entirely alterns the nature and ground of the controversy. There is no longer a question of churchianity, but of Christianity. We are in the presence of the cardinal truth, that “in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision, availeth anything, nor uncircumcision–neither Anglicanism nor Romanism–“but faith, which worketh by love.” Gal v. 6: That is to say, nothing but personal religion, independently of all churches and all church relations. With the Bible alone before us, the parties whom we address are no longer perplexed by antagonistic persuasions — “Belong to this church,” or “Adhere to that;” the pleadings all go in a different, in a common direction–“Be ye reconciled to God.” There is no longer an interested aspect in our appeal, as while one is endeavoring to gain a proselyte, and another afraid of losing one; our entreaty becomes undeniably generous and influential–“We care not whom you follow, so as you will save your own soul.” There is no longer an assumption, or an appearance of assumption, of authority by man over his fellow; the voice of man is hushed, and the teacher professes nothing but to commend to his hearers the word of God — “Judge ye what I say.” [he then quotes Psalm 19:7-9]
– The Substance of a Sermon by Newman Hall, 1850, page 27-28

A second:

Let us now examine the religion of the Priest, whose language is, ‘Look to me; to me, in some of my formulas, to me in some of my developments,’ if I may use a favourite expression, ‘and be ye saved.’ In one of these he bids you to look to the Church; she, he alleges, is the directress to heaven, the sure way to eternal joy. ‘Hear the Church,’ he cries, and be happy.

Such religion is Churchianity; it is not Christianity. Christianity means the religion where Christ is all; Churchianity, the religion where the Church is all. But what is this Church? let me ask. It is the company of believers, if it be the true Church; the company of the baptized, if it be the visible Church, made up of good and bad, of tares and wheat. But the whole Bible tells us that a church without Christ is a body without a head; a robe, whithout the Divine wearer; the richly-chased cup, but without the wine.

I cannot see that there is any more chance of being saved by a Church, than there is of being saved by a College, or by a Royal Exchange. There is no more connexion in the way of merit between the one and salvation, than there is between the other and salvation.
– The Three Forms of Religion by Dr. Cummings, 1850

And a third:

Thus religion is transformed from a principle into an institution. What should be inward feeling and motive runs outward and freezes into mere profession. Christianity is a business. The divine element evaporates. God is Deus ex machina. The ministry ceases to be a calling and becomes a profession. Men are preferred to this and that sacred office. The clergy are in form servants of heaven, in fact officials of the State. Handling money, controlling patronage, dealing in sacred things for secular purposes, Christianity is hocus-pocused into Churchianity.

In this country we have no State Church. Nevertheless Churchianity is a naturalized resident. Because Churchianity is more than a system–it is a state of mind. Wherever form is put for substance, whenever the medium is regarded as the essence, Christianity crystalizes into Churchianity. We have the religious establishment, but no longer religion. We look for Christ and find–a church. We ask for bread and are given–a stone.

– Churchianity vs. Christianity by Carlos Martyn, The Arena 1890 page 149.

There is truly nothing new under the sun.

  1. Excellent post

  2. In 1890 we did not have State churches.
    A century later that’s all we have anymore.
    501c3/state incorporated whorehouses, trying to serve two masters, double-minded and unstable in all their ways, unequally yolked, taking gifts from gentiles, taking shoelatchets from the king of sodom, an adulteress having taken a new lover while the Goodman is away, eating and wiping her mouth and saying, “I have done no wickedness.”

  3. If anything, the opportunity to pledge fealty to the State in the form of incorporating just fossilized what was already happening otherwise, as the quotes illustrate. The existence of the entity created by men has always been more important in their minds than Christ.

    It’s just another warning sign that those perilous times are drawing neigh.

  4. The late 1800s was a crucial time for churches as well as the State.
    For the State, that was the period in which the Robber Barons overtook and subjugated the State in very real and sundry ways. The electoral process has been window dressing since then.
    For churches, the quotations you cite show the first whinings of the protestant Daughters of the Harlot, yearning for a return to the Roman Mother Harlot.
    There was a last gasp of true protestant watchmen on the wall sounding the alarm at that time, however, as evinced by the flurry of books written by American authors all warning of this. These books are out-of-print and suppressed. If they are ever mentioned by minions of the Mother Harlot today or by her ecumaniacal Harlot Daughters, it is only to vaguely deride them and cravenly apologize for them. But these books are fantastic. They are brilliant, and they are time capsules back to a time when American (and Canadian) protestants were not all so dumbed down as to unite and subjugate their churches to the State, neither to bow down before the Man of Sin as these American Ecumaniacal Evanjellybellies are getting ready to do officially this September.
    Some of the authors of these historically memory-holed books are:
    Samuel Morse
    John L. Brandt
    Richard W. Thompson
    Robert Seller
    Charles Chiniquy
    Justin D. Fulton
    JA Wylie
    Alexander Hislop
    and others.
    I have the book titles as well. I have these books. I have read them. But they are not so easy to find, you have to actually seek them out, and one has to stop watching television in order to read them, neither of which evanjellybellies are likely to do today.

  5. …and yes, I do see that one’s eschatology is inextricably connected to one’s understanding of the church-and-state issue. The late 1800s/all-of-1900s timing of American churches subordinating themselves occurred at the same period when American seminaries were (infiltrated and led into) teaching the Jesuit-authored premillennial pre-trib rapture stuff, or else the Jesuit-authored preterism. The true, trafitional, historicist eschatology of all the original reformers was memory-holed.

  6. Correction: Wylie and Hislop were Scottish.
    European protestants also were issuing forth an urgent last gasp of truth in the late 1800s. I could make a list of those i know of from there and then as well.
    Men like Walter Walsh, Karl Griesinger, Henry Grattan Guinness, etc.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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