Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pearls Before Swine: Magisterial Teaching & the Herd

I've caused another fiasco in our Newman Club on campus (this time it was for something beyond informing them it wasn't "The Newmans Club" or that John Henry Newman was actually English and never established any clubs). No once again it seems Magisterial Teaching has been "offensive".

That to me, seems to be the problem with EVERY religion, in my arrogant opinion. That people do not listen to their authorities. The Enlightenment has been so successful in demolishing authority that we are stuck in this hyper-individual scenerio that just breeds relativism. This is normally where Catholic bloggers blame Luther. The problem with this is that Luther actually believed things. Lutherans following him actually adhered to the book of Concord. Catholics have been able to come to much agreement with Lutherans who follow their own authorities.

So Protestantism isn't the issue (though I would say Anabaptism/Baptists/Pentecostals are, and I would say they aren't truly Protestant). It's the fact that Biblical and Historic Christianity is dogmatic, it's based on authority, and you have to follow that authority. The other problem is that people are too lazy to investigate, so they follow the authority blindly, I do occasionally when it comes to things like Marian apparitions because I haven't investigated them (although it's a little different as the Church hasn't thrown their authority definitively behind any).

This is why I got angry with a Calvinist the other day who didn't know what active Reprobation was and didn't know the Calvinistic doctrine of infant baptism, etc. If you're going to give your soul to the gospel according to Geneva (or Rome, or Wittenburg), KNOW what they teach!

So ya. this is my frustration with my generation, open ignorance cloaking itself as tolerance cloaking itself as 'virtue' or 'love'. And as Papa Benny has just reminded us with "Caritas in Veritatem", the TRUTH is necessary for love.

Here are some true articles of historic Christian faith / Catholicism / Thomism being denied on campus almost daily:

-all people are born sinful, and that apart from God's grace they can in no way merit salvation on their own, and that apart from Christ, no person can be saved. (This was an issue because I said Ghandi was in Hell, because he rejected Christ. Everyone freaked out because of my "judgment". The issue is - and I KNOW this as a Protestant convert - Catholic soteriology states that the ONLY way works can be meritorious, is if they are linked to Christ's ultimately meritorious work of salvation. Thus to be outside Christ - as a rejection like that of Ghandi's would put a person - means that NO WORK has ANY merit in the eyes of God. As the Protestants love quoting, it is a Menstrual rag. (See Isaiah). So before God, all of Ghandi's 'good works' were filthy rags, because they were not Christ's works within him. Unless of course he secretly believed in Jesus, etc).

-one ultimate reality exists and humans by divine aid can access it. Postmodernism is not a heresy per se, RELATIVISM is a heresy. As my friend Lance says, the best Postmoderns are most Premodern. Postmodernism can be a great way to attack the heresy of Modernism (that man can understand the universe/nature without God), BUT must be enforced with the belief that, with God, we CAN have some understanding of Reality. This is Thomas, Anselm, Augustine, and all of traditional Dogmatic Realism. The Protestant Reformers were Nominalists which is another heresy (though as some Presbyterian ministers have pointed out, many in the Reformed community view those opinions of theirs as heretical and have a more Thomistic Realist stance).

-the Bible is to be understood as Literally true in many areas. Catholics never learned traditional Erasmian biblical interpretation but they seem to have learned the deadly historico-critical interpretation from someone (probably just English class). Their first claim is that the greatest mistake in exegesis is to understand something as 'literally true' (now the widespread denial of Transubstantiation makes more sense). It is true that sometimes the Bible is not speaking literally, but in certain areas it is. I actually can't think of a single passage or book of the bible that a Liberal Catholic could not come up with some kind of exegetical gymnastics to get out of: ex. Oh we all know that the gospel of John is unreliable, or that all the Old Testament was corrupted by Babylonian influence, etc. I've heard it all, and it's all crap. There I said it. I prefer Conservative Evangelical Exegesis to Liberal Catholic exegesis. This is why I listen to Chuck Swindoll, James MacDonald, and Alistair Begg on the radio. They're all great exegetes of the bible. Papa Benny of course is an amazing exegete himself.

So these are all the problems. In the end, I still haven't heard what my comment was that angered people. It might've been when someone angrily disagreed with Church teaching on divorce and re-marriage and asked if they were a bastard child and I might have told them "according to the Roman curia, you are" or something to that effect. Or it might've been when I told them that Ghandi -as far as we know- is in Hell. Or it might've been when I told them that infant baptism actually exists because babies are born sinful.

But hey, if they kick me out for teaching them their own doctrine, the Lutherans or Evangelical Anglicans would probably welcome me with open arms. (though it would be problematic as the only area I think they MIGHT be right which I'm obligated to believe they're wrong in (and I do in obedience to authority) is Concupiscence as actually being Sin. The famous line in Trent about "while St. Paul says it's sin....he's actually wrong', etc. But other than that I'm a Papist)

1 comment:

  1. Rock on, Andrew.

    Re: the widespread ignorance of history of one's Christian tradition: I couldn't agree more, and I think God has called me to help educate people (Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic) on their history so that they might learn whose authority they have been implicitly accepting.