Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I need to apologize for a potentially hurtful lack of clarity on my part. You see, it has come to my attention that my “resolution” post has upset a few individuals. Of course when one uses descriptions such as “demoniac”, “diluted idiot”, “dangerous liar” and “utterly deceived fool”, it is obvious that the one doing the writing trying to provoke thought and a reaction. I was trying to do that. But I think what needs to be made very clear was that, if you read what was actually wrote, I was speaking about a relatively small group of people.

I was not referring to the vast majority of devout Roman Catholics.

If you read the post again you will note that I was taking aim at devout Roman Catholics who have done unbiased studies of both Scripture and Christian history…clearly a small minority of any group or denomination (sadly).

I was not referring to the vast majority of devout Roman Catholics.

In my mind I thought I was being clear, but I was not and now looking back and hearing some of the feedback I’ve got, well, I wish I would have thought longer and been more careful in articulating who it was exactly I was trying to provoke.

Let me give you some more context.

First, I have studied Roman Catholic dogma ad nauseam. I have debated a local Roman Catholic apologist, publicly, three times. I have watched countless hours of debates between Dr. James White and various Roman Catholic scholars. I understand Roman Catholic dogma’s. They claim to be Christ’s One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic Church. They claim to have an unbroken chain of Vicars who go straight back to Peter who gained his authority from Christ Himself. And they deny she (the Roman Catholic Church) has ever contradicted herself…that her teachings are the same today as they have always been.

Second, I had spent the majority of the day buried in Church history. I’ve been slowly working my way through the history of Christianity and had the great displeasure of combing through the disgusting mess found in the Middle Ages (along side some very beautiful things as well I must add in fairness). Reading of how, under the sanction of the Catholic church and specifically the Pope(s), western Catholics brutalized and murdered Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, men, women…in ways that are unfit really to describe. As that age continued they became more brazen in the disgusting Inquisition where “heretics” where hunted down like animals, arrested and tortured…all at the instruction of “the Church”. Keep in mind…Roman Catholic theology is clear, the Catholic Church is the same yesterday, today and forever. I came out of my study outraged at men such as Hildebrand, Pope Urban II and Pope Innocent III...I was furious that educated Roman Catholic apologists can continue to insist THAT was the Church being led by the Vicar of Christ Himself. I’ve always been amazed at the logical gymnastics modern Roman Catholic apologists go through in order to defend this area…but now that I got a taste of it in my mouth…I was totally outraged that they would dare down play it! In my mind I sat here asking myself, “How can anybody who understands what the Bible teaches about what the Church is and is to be doing, and who understands the history of Christianity and be devout Roman Catholic at the same time?”

And so I listed out every possible option that I could think of to explain how someone could have done unbiased studies of the Scripture, Christian history and yet still be devout Roman Catholic all at the same time…and those were the only options I could think of.

I was not referring to the vast majority of devout Roman Catholics. Most people in general have done very little true unbiased studies of Scripture. For example, if you are a Baptist you probably read lots of Baptist material, if you are a Pentecostal you probably read lots of materials produced by Pentecostals, if you are an Eastern Orthodox you likely read much of the their official material…it’s human nature…and that is only speaking of those who read anything theological in the first place. Then by further qualifying the target to those who have also done unbiased studies of Christian history and you can see…I’m basically speaking of the professional apologists and scholars. A very small, yet influential, minority of devout Roman Catholics. And believe it or not...there are a few of those apologetic types who I know lurk here...they email me but don't comment much if at all...and so I was trying to provoke a reaction from one or two of them, to no avail (that I know of...God only knows...)

But that was not clear and I am sorry. I really should have given FAR more context with that post instead of just letting it rip. The purpose of this blog is to challenge, provoke…yes…even offend. Offend? Yeah…I open it up to hard hitting comments from all sides and this is full contact…and if a dearly loved belief is unceremoniously kicked, it hurts. But the purpose of the infliction is to drive us to prayer, study and meditation. Having someone screw up your tidy belief system hurts…but I’m sure my post was more like a blind sided punch and that was not ok. I didn’t give any real context and I “punched”…there are rule in boxing and there are rules in forums like these and I didn’t follow them. At the very least I should have been far more clear before launching that nuke of a post. One of my mentors in the faith, Martin Jones, gave me a healthy earful about not causing other “brothers” to stumble…and as I told him…that was a point well taken. I will be far more cautious in the future. I run on a fine line because I am a provocateur but I am a Christian first. The readership around here has grown to far more than my five buddies who like to argue about theology and I need to be more mindful of the broader spectrum of our readership. My five buddies would have understood much more of the context of that post, but people who don’t really know me wouldn’t and shouldn’t be expected to. I apologize and I will be more responsible with “the nukes”.

Of course, none of this matters if you believe that labeling any group regardless of size, as either “demoniacs”, “diluted idiots”, “dangerous liars” or “utterly deceived fools”, is unChristlike. I spoke with a preacher friend of mine today who asked me if I thought Jesus would say things like that. I think it was clear that he was very surprised to hear me say,

“Yes, I think He would…and I think He did”.

You can read His loud, hard and harsh public rebukes of false apostate religion (and people)
here , here, and the Prophet John the Baptist flipped out, publicly, here. Of course throughout both the Old and New Testaments false religion has been called out in the most severe of terms by preachers called of God.

Our tolerant society is not used to that kind of full blown confrontationalism …but rebuking and calling out apostasy, publically, is part of the role I believe God calls pastor and preachers to fulfill…and I believe it is sorely missing in the ‘evangelical west’. All religion is not ok...all "Christian" religion is not ok either...and people who have a false faith will burn in hell, I believe that. Throughout Biblical history and Church history hard words have been publically and righteously shouted as severe warnings to the leaders of these groups and to those faithful involved.

We are at war after all...

Top all of the pure brutality which flowed from the Papacy with the simple facts of how Rome has clearly abandoned both the faith of the ancient Church and ones head is left spinning. The doctrines of the Papacy, Purgatory and the Immaculate Conception of Mary were all unknown in the early Church...doctrines they somehow amazingly claim are NOT newer theological developments! Um...yes they are.

So anyway…I do apologize for not giving clear context in that post and I am sorry if I have caused any of my family to stumble, I really am. Feel free to call me…and for those of you on our emailing list who would like to be taken off just email me and let me know, that will not be a problem and I will understand. No hard feelings, ok?

No matter what…you have to love me and forgive me…even if I am dead wrong here…

God bless…

...then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:14-16 niv


Anne said...

I hope you continue breathing fire! I come here to be challenged and I have learned so much from you and Zac. This blog is a blessing to me.

Community Gospel Church said...

Okay, okay, YOU WIN...You are officially "Qualification King" for the day.

You qualifing stud!

Naomi said...

Good job, hun!

irreverend fox said...

thanks everybody!