What is antimodernism?
There’s a phrase in the religious studies community: “antimodernism” that can help us describe some of what goes on in the fundamentalists mind. Antimodernism can be defined as the rejection of modern technology, ideals, etc. for a “purer” historical or pre-historical way of life. Antimodernism doesn’t just describe religious fundamentalists, but the term does apply in many ways.
In my experience, Master’s Commission held many antimodernist ideals:
- The rejection of technology.
- The rejection of dating.
- The rejection of classical or “secular” education.
- The rejection of the women’s movement.
I’ll explain each of these further.
The rejection of dating occurs in many Master’s Commission groups. Just google “Master’s Commission rules.” You’ll get a return search of several MC groups Information Packets that include amongst their rules “no secular music, no rated R movies, limited cell phone and internet usage.”
In my own Master’s Commission experience, we weren’t allowed to date as a first-year student. As a second-year or third-year “intern” or “support staff,” dating was rare and often forbidden, depending on a person’s choice of dating partner.
Eventually, dating was demonized and courtship was the appropriate way of meeting a partner.
What is courtship? Courtship is a way of meeting a marriage partner. Two people only enter into a courtship when and if they feel ready for marriage and they have “prayed” about their partner being the “one” who matches their “destiny” in life. The two must be sexually pure during the time of courtship, and often are mentored by pastors or church elders who hold them accountable to their purity.
Courtship usually entails rules of no kissing and even no hand-holding. Courtship can also mean group dates or dates that are with family or accountability partners only.
Alone time in a courtship relationship is strongly forbidden, as the couple may “stumble” and “submit to sexual temptation.”
For more information on courtship, see I Kissed Dating Good-bye by Joshua Harris and Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot.
If you’re not following the Facebook page Humans of New York, I highly recommend it for little moments of brilliance like this:
The above is sort of my philosophy on the idea of God, the Church and Master’s Commission. If the truth destroys the image you have in your head of how perfect those three are, then good. The truth has done it’s job. If you aren’t listening to the truth, try opening your mind and letting the truth in. It’s not so scary.
You can find more like this on the HONY Facebook page.
My friend posed this question to me that he’d once heard:
“How much would it change the church and Christians if the pastor worked a regular job like the congregation and what would be different?”
What would our lives be like if pastors went to work in an office, or the oilfields, or as a teacher? Did you know there are bodies of worship who have pastors with jobs?
Another question I’d like to ask: Are church members to be reliant on pastors for teaching and spiritual growth? If so, why? If not, why not?