Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One More Proof of the Need For A Magisterium

The Why I Hate Religion video continues to be a dynamic example of  modern American Christianity without an anchor,  Christianity without roots,  Christianity without a history, Christianity without a brain- a theological decapitation, if you will. Yes, I understand what Jefferson Bethke is trying to say at some level. But guess what? Many of his co-non-religionists followers don't. If you read just a few of the comments on his fb page, he has encouraged an entire new generation of people who are very quick to adopt the "Outback Steakhouse Theology of Christianity" No Rules Just Right!  Some of the comments on his fb page will reveal the extent of this "rule-less" culture of Christianity. Jefferson has simply taken an age-old technique of mis-labeling  institutional Christianity (AKA The Church) in favor of a "all you need is Jesus" non-religion. In the process he has denigrated 2000 years of the Holy Spirit's action in the hearts and lives of holy and faithful men and women who in and through the Church change the course of peoples' lives. Bethke attempts to paint religious "rules" such as no divorce (which Jesus taught I might add)  as something "old school" by creating a false and misleading non-sequiturs. "Tells single moms God doesn't love them if they ever had a divorce...."  Huh? My religion doesn't do that. My religion opens homes for single unwed mothers and provides food, clothing and shelter for them (Mary's Shelter, Reading and Bethlehem, PA)
     Sincere Christians already know that one needs to have a relationship with Jesus, but historically that relationship with Christ never came at the cost of severing the head from the body. Jesus established His Church to be a visible, real, entity against which he promised to never let the gates of Hell prevail against. This Church is also known as the body of Christ, the scriptures tell us. One can't say to this body, "I have Jesus, therefore, I have no need of you!" St Cyprian in the third century (258 AD) said  that "He cannot have God as his Father who does not have the church for his Mother."  Obviously, the early Christians saw there was not to be a separation between believing in Jesus and being part of his Church, part of the Christian religion of which there was only one at the time.

Partly because of this emerging view of Christianity (we only need Jesus, not a messy bunch of restrictions), many American sects are poised precariously on the precipice of total theological relativism. One needs to look no further than the ELCA, the PCA the Methodists, the Anglicans, the new evangelicals (emergents) to realize this. They are voting out the "rules" of religion to keep up with the changing mores in our society, rather than trying to stand against them. 

Who can oppose these attacks on orthodoxy? Who can reel in the errant prophets? Who has the authority to get a hold of our latest hip YouTube Prophet and tell him he is wrong and hold him accountable? If his own church attempts to rein him in, guess what? He will go out and start a new religion, oops, I mean non-religion and the _____thousandth new protestant sect is born and history repeats itself again.  Without a magisterium, these churches that hold themselves separate from the Church of antiquity will continue to splinter and produce teachings that satisfy their itching ears but sadly bring no healing to their  soul.

 "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."


Blogger Just another suburban mom. said...

Something's got to give doesn't it? How much longer can this go on? You hear about groups of Christians meeting in bars to talk about Jesus because they're sick of the whole church thing. I guess if I had the choice to go to one of the more contemporary protestant services or a bar I might go for the bar myself. Then you hear of the guy who started it say that he's not the pastor, so don't look to him for authority etc... But people unconsciously still look for a leader in these situations. We're predictably wired so it just happens. People are looking to this young man as if he's speaking for God. I came across a comment on one of the counter arguments videos where the person wondered if people were really saved because they didn't agree with the I hate religion guy.

January 18, 2012 2:08 AM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

People are looking to this young man as if he's speaking for God.

That's the exact problem sub mom!
Our American celebrity focused culture is always looking for the next one to hang onto. Unfortunately, this young guy squandered his opportunity to give them the fullness of truth,yet they hold to every word. the comments on his fb page are chilling.

January 19, 2012 9:30 PM  

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