Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Loss of liberal Christianity.

I was just at a meeting and, even though I know it's dangerous to publicly criticize nowadays because it may be offensive, I will risk it because of larger implications. I'll at least make an effort not to unveil the group with whom I was meeting.

The point of the discussion, basically, was that liberal Christianity was the way to go. Why? Because conservative Christianity is bad. Of course, I kept thinking the whole time that if both liberal and conservative christians hadn't left the Catholic church, almost all the issues our speaker was addressing would be solved.

What is really at issue for liberal catholics, according to this speaker, is that we need a "broadbased coalition" to bring together "disperate viewpoints" and allow for multiple "truths". I may know that there is truth in Christianity but that doesn't mean that Christianity is the only truth. I was on board with him until here.

There is where, in my own opinion, he oversteps his authority. He basically asks how he can be certain that others aren't saved. He says Christians need to allow that others ARE saved in following their own path. That's a game I like to call, "not my job." I didn't die for your sins, Christ did. I didn't open the gates of heaven, Christ did. I get really frightened when any Christian for whatever reason believes he or she can tell others that they know they are or aren't saved. We don't know yet. We have hope, don't get me wrong. But, I can't honestly turn to a Buddhist who may or may not believe in God and say that I know you are saved.

Ultimately according to this speaker, we are judged by what we do, ironically the complete antitheses from what Luther and Calvin had as their reasons for leaving the church. It's sola fides, faith alone, by which we are judged, right? Not any more. Now it's sola labora, works alone since we don't want to condemn the non believer.

I give thanks every day to three people for making me catholic: Jesus Christ and Jim and Jean Miller. If I wasn't Catholic, I might actually believe this dribble. As it was, I walked out of the room and banged my head against the wall out of concern for the lost souls that believe this.


Sharon said...

The undercatechised laity are often taken in by snake oil salesmen such as these. I thank God that somehow I received an orthodox Catholic Education and so can distinguish between Truth and a lie and I grieve for those who have been given stones for bread in their Catholic in name only religious education.

Chris said...

"As it was, I walked out of the room and banged my head against the wall out of concern for the lost souls that believe this."


It is unclear to me from your posting whether you are attacking liberal Catholics or the fact that the speaker is resisting essentialism. Perhaps both?

It seems to me that you are in the business, at least in some point, of making judgments on who is or isn't 'saved'.