Monday, December 16, 2013


Learning? From a Pope!?

A post at Out of Ur ended this way:
I never thought I’d say this, but I hope more and more of us American pastors can begin to be more and more like the Pope.
I am grateful to see the author of this post "coming around" as it were, but really, "I never thought I'd say this"?!?!?!? As I have spent the last few years deep in the bowels of religious bigotry in this nation, anti-Catholicism has been the one that has most surprised me. I honestly did not understand how many Americans find the Roman Catholic Church not merely theologically wrong, but evil and an enemy. Lord have mercy, it has been 400 years since the Reformation, is it really so hard to come around to the fact that maybe, just maybe, that church has grown with the rest of us.

Much of my shock has come as I have discovered the Evangelical side of things. I have always been a mainliner. Yes, quite active in the parachurch, but always viewed that as adjunct to the church, yet in Evangelicalism I have discovered that the parachurch has become, in the eyes of many, the church. Within the mainlines I never really experienced the kind of blind disgust towards all things Catholic that one finds in the Evangelical church. I guess I never really knew a lot of baptists, nor do I think they are really mainliners.

The thing that bothers me is that this seems really to be about a simple power struggle. Which church will "win?" And what I find most distressing in that notion is that we seem to rely on our distaste and disagreement more than we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to convince and the ability of God to make what we think is wrong right. Going back to what I talked about yesterday it is more as if we are concerned with God validating our flavor of Christianity than we are with saving souls and improving lives.

I wonder what God is more concerned about.


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