Monday, July 05, 2010

A Question

I just read a new article on Berean Beacon called "Papacy Set to Recapture England". If you want to read it, you can download it by clicking on the title at the top of the website. While reading it, a question occurred to me: If one disagrees with the doctrines of justification and regeneration as taught by the reformed churches, as Cardinal John Henry Newman did, why does that make it necessary to run to Rome and swallow all the errors of Roman doctrine and practice, such as the Papacy, transubstantiation, Mary worship, etc.? Why not study the Bible and fellowship in a local church that teaches Biblical doctrine? No one has everything completely correct, but committing spiritual adultery with the Papal system is not an option. Their history is full of violence against God's people, and their so-called 'history' is full of outright forgeries, quotes from the Fathers taken out of context, and dependence upon the uninspired writings of mere men, rather than dependence upon the inspired scriptures interpreted by the Holy Spirit. And it seems that it is very important to some Catholics for you to admit that Mary is the 'Blessed Virgin' and 'The Mother of God' and to try praying to her. Why is that, I wonder? Because their religion is at heart a religion that places Mary between people and God, or in some cases replaces God with Mary. Again, why swallow poison mixed with a little goodness? Why do we have to choose between two corrupt institutions, when there are true churches right down the road from all of us?


Moonshadow said...
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Moonshadow said...

why does that make it necessary to run to Rome

One word, Romanticism. The counter-Enlightenment. This book may explain it.

I think Romanticism is worth understanding because I sense that the American church is entering a new time of Romantic sensibilities. European intellectual trends tend to hit our shores a hundred and fifty or two hundred years later. The hangover of the rationalistic Enlightenment is wearing off and today's Christians are hungry for a religion that doesn't only feed the mind but also satisfies the senses.

Jennie said...

But trends, while interesting, aren't 'necessary' things; trends are just people following the crowd after something 'new'. And religion is not what people need. We need Christ to transform us; only then can we really be satisfied in any way.

Moonshadow said...

Except, in this case, it isn't "something 'new.'" (Eccl. 1:9)

The basic reason humans switch from one thing to another is a sense (even fear) of missing something ... or losing something. If "no one has everything completely correct," then you can appreciate the pursuit of equilibrium: Romanticism sought to revive the medievalism that the Enlightenment had endeavored to dispel.

Medievalism wasn't all bad, you see, but it took the humility of an intellectual movement subsequent to the one which immediately followed (i.e., Romanticism and the Enlightenment, respectively) to recognize that. We are in those times again.

You see, people can get heady and unreflectively dismissive. Lewis called it "chronological snobbery" - I've mentioned it here before.

Jennie said...

Here's your man G.K. Chesterton on the new and the old:
"I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid." - ILN 6-3-22

Trends are always 'stupid' to those attached to the former one, but they really don't mean much in the long run; only God's word stands forever and never changes.

Moonshadow said...

I'd like to see the larger context of the Chesterton quote from the Illustrated London News (1922) but I suspect the journalist's remarks pertained to political theory specifically and not to philosophical worldviews in general. Besides, this may not be Chesterton's personal opinion but he may be relating the prevailing attitude of his day.