Friday, January 30, 2015

Real Thing vs Counterfeit

Father Longnecker spells it all out with regard to the real divide with clarity. Excerpt:

“You believe the old, old story of a loving God and a rebellious humanity. You think the church’s main goal is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, to heal the broken hearted and set the prisoners of sin free. You believe in the saving, precious blood of Jesus and the threat of hell and the hope of heaven. Right?”

“Of course” he grinned.

“Well, those other people don’t believe in all that. They think the Christian faith is simply about making the world a better place. They believe no one will go to hell because God is completely merciful. They therefore do not think it is necessary to preach about repentance of sin and salvation of souls. Consequently, their religion is one of social work and political activism. They are passionate about inequality and see people as victims rather than as guilty souls.”

“So the argument is theological?”

Every argument is theological.”

“We’re really believe two different forms of Christianity.”

“It is more true to say that you believe in Christianity. They believe in something else which they have mistaken for Christianity.”

The facade goes so deep in the world that the counterfeits appear to be actually more real than the real thing at times.

What a lot of people don't realize is that when bishops like Cardinal Burke try to keep Catholics like Nancy Pelosi from receiving communion, what they are attempting would primarily redound to these Catholics' own good. There might be secondary effects which would be prevented, like the scandal caused by a pro-abortion politician acting like it's no biggie what they support. But scandals aren't eternal — hell is. I'm not the first or greatest person to suggest this.

If traditional bishops and priest keep their intentions pure, they can truly state that they are "loving their enemies", even if they are portrayed in the media as grouchy old men with a penchant for fancy clothes. Whereas these others who do not truly believe are using the Catholic religion in a most disingenuous way, and are almost always idealized as the best representatives of their "faith traditions". They are the nice Catholics. Volumes have been written about this phenomenon, and there are many times a place for prudence and suavity in the proclamation of the truth. But my main point is that some grouchy old dude might be the guy that saves your life—or your soul—and that smiling, attractive person might alleviate your conscience but take your soul straight down.

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