The lessons of the Didache

Someone- let's call him A. Reader for now- emailed me with some reading material a little while back and asked for my opinion on it:
I have been meaning to contact you for some time to ask if you've ever read an early Christian work called The Didache. I figure your site name is a reference to Didact from HALO but after reading Ghost Rider and your thoughts on Christianity I wanted to pass it along in case you had not. It's a little red pill in its own right. [Didact's note: that's a serious understatement.] I grew up Baptist but left the church years ago. I stick with my faith for the very reason you stated in the post: it seems the closest. It puts a stop to a lot of things man stumbled over in four previous ages.
...

Churchianity is a blight on God's Word. [Didact's note: Yep. Same guy.] There are very few church oriented people with whom I can have a good discussion about faith or God. All of my male Christian friends seem to be more like indentured servants than husbands. I can't abide it much. They think I avoid them because I am a loner. But they're friends so that isn't the case.
It took me rather longer than I would have liked to get around to reading this, but I'm quite glad I did. It never ceases to amaze me how much wisdom is buried within well-known documents from antiquity.

There is no better cure for the insidious rot of Churchianity than actually, y'know, reading the source material. The odd thing about Churchians is that they seem to interpret Scripture in the manner that they think it should be interpreted, rather than in terms of what the source material actually says. This allows them to perform the most astonishing contortions of reason and logic.

It's a lot like the way Muslims can read the Koran and argue that Islam is a religion of "peace" because it promises that after the world is subjugated through fire and steel, it will be peaceful.

But I digress.

On the subject of the Didache and its contents, I agree with Mr. Reader's assessment. For those who haven't read it, the Didache is sort of like that head-shrinking lecture that a strong and upright man (usually your father) gives you sometime in your late teen years to remind you not only what it means to be a man, but what it means to be a good man. The text starts out with the usual stuff that every Churchian likes to spout- be humble, be meek, turn the other cheek, give without thought of reward, all that stuff which Churchian parents like to din into male children to stop them from being men.

But then, right after the first section, the real point of the text begins to come out, and the bits that Churchians keep forgetting come to light in powerful free verse.

The Didache does not simply teach proper, humble behaviour. It teaches the difference between right and wrong, between good and evil, and between sin and redemption. It teaches of the need of parents to raise their children well. It teaches of the need for children to honour and respect their parents. It frames the basic relationship between Man and God as one between a clumsy and often wayward but still endearing child and a loving, infinitely patient, yet firm and unbending parent. It teaches of the need to see the world for what it really is- a world in sin, flawed and fallen, yet still worthy of redemption if Mankind tries to elevate itself above its most base impulses. And perhaps most importantly, it destroys forever certain lies and illusions that sustain the Churchian- the notion that it is wrong to judge a man, for instance, or the notion that the Lord's patience is infinite for sinners, is dispensed with in quite peremptory fashion in the text.

If you read the Didache- I mean, really read it for what it is- you'll notice that it essentially expands upon the Ten Commandments, and breaks down into the same basic themes:

  • Be humble, be patient, be good to those who have earned goodness;
  • Do not lie, cheat, steal, murder; do not commit sodomy, pederasty, perjury, or adultery;
  • Let your words be backed by deeds, never be a hypocrite, and walk with humility before the Lord;
  • Be a bringer of peace and happiness, not discord and rancour;
  • Start the day off right, and be thankful for that which is good and green in your life;
  • Never listen to false prophets*;
  • Share what you have with those who have earned it, those who are good, those who keep the Word;
  • Above all, respect yourself, respect your teachers and parents, and respect the Lord.
In no way, shape or form does any of this contradict what we in the 'Sphere have been saying for years now. Yet the interesting thing about the Didache is that at first glance it tends to sit fairly uncomfortably with certain sections of the Manosphere (or whatever it is you want to call us weirdos). A lot of the red-pill crowd tends to be either agnostic or Christian, with a very few atheists sprinkled about here and there; there isn't a whole lot of room for hardcore atheists in a group like this that openly rejects the Utopian fantasies of the Left.

The reality is that there is no discrepancy. If you read the Word, and really understand what it says, you'll quickly come to realise that the Apostles of Christ preached many of the same ideas and in much the same vein as modern thought leaders like Vox and Roissy.

The lesson remains the same, throughout time and space: a man who is strong, upright, courageous, honourable, and humble before the Lord, and who respects himself and his masculinity, is a man worth being.

* No, Tempest, not you- that guy.

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