Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pro-Catholic and Enjoying It!

The astute reader may have noticed that no one on the highly-trained (and highly-paid) Beggars All blogteam regards the gospel that the Roman church preaches to be a Gospel that saves. We also find numerous Roman dogmas to be heterodox, blasphemous, and/or heretical. And we spend most of our blogging time defending these views in argumentation with various opponents of various stripes.
I ask you now to grant that we firmly believe this and firmly believe it to be defensible, just for the sake of argument.
Why do we spend our time blogging about these things? It is but one poor and humble outreach to practitioners of Romanism, whom we believe in general to be lost, apart from Christ, without the Gospel of grace. We hope to persuade and convince some or many to come to Jesus. It is an act of love and compassion to the lost. We do it because we love them and want them to see the truth.

There are some who label us as "anti-Catholic". I would like to submit that we are, rather, pro-Catholic. We are merely anti-Roman CatholicISM. We believe that one of the best things that could happen to a Romanist would be to come to Jesus and leave the Roman church, because we don't believe the Roman church has the Gospel. And we want them to! We want them to come to know Jesus! Because of this, the label "anti-Catholic" is completely wrongheaded. If we were truly anti-Catholic, we would do our best to assuage the troubled conscience of the Romanist: Yes, I know you are questioning why it is that you can go to Mass faithfully for 30 years and yet never be perfected and die in mortal sin and go to Hell, but that's OK. Just trust the Pope. He's a great guy! He's respectful, he kisses Qur'ans and stuff. He kisses babies. He loves you, and really, isn't love all you need? Yes, I know you wonder about all the emphasis placed on Mary, but it works! She's the Queen of Heaven! Jesus would never refuse His mother. So don't worry about it. The Church has been around 2000 years - you really think it could be wrong?

Now, all of that would be with forked tongue because we would know in our hearts that we would be encouraging our Romanist friends to go further into darkness. But that would be what we would want, because we're really anti-Catholics! We'd want them to go to Hell. We'd want them to spend their entire lives and eternity apart from Him, because we're anti!

It's like something my pastor likes to say, in discussing the 2nd great commandment to love one's neighbor as one loves oneself. Today's culture and liberal-leaning members of Christian and formerly-Christian traditions like to remind us that "if you don't love yourself, you can't love your neighbor, so you need to have good self-esteem", and so "love yourself" becomes a de facto 3rd great commandment. My pastor points out that love of oneself is assumed in Jesus' command (not to mention the various passages that tell us a sign of evil last times will be "lovers of self"). The person deceived by the culture's arguments thinks, "I don't have a good self-image and don't like myself enough. I need to be healthy and think good things about myself and make sure that I'm secure in how good I am before I can even think about loving others". Pastor goes on to say, "If they really hated themselves, they would want to have low self-esteem! They would want to destroy their self-image. They would never go to therapy to get better, not if they really hate themselves!" It's counterintuitive to today's culture, but it makes perfect sense if you think about it a little.

But of course, that's not our goal or our desire. We are pro-Catholic because we are anti-Roman CatholicISM. Our Romanist friends and readers will surely disagree with our anti-Roman Church stance, but I'd ask them to consider the wrongheadedness of calling us anti-Catholics. At most, we are unintententional anti-Catholics (if you're coming at it from the Roman side of things), but the hyperbolic language thrown around by some goes well beyond that, and fails to take into account the real state of our hearts.