Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Pope is limited by doctrine

  • From last year: What a pope can and cannot do: Doctrine limits new pope on changes. By George, they've got it.
  • From Roissy: Masculine men and feminine women are happier. Of course. The popular kids develop early.
  • "The problem with progressive churches." "Is we're just so cool!" say the mainliners themselves. All of the churches are hurting as America turns into Europe that way, only "spiritual, not religious" (yawn) rather than out-and-out atheist. But liberal churches are shrinking more; the mainstream doesn't need them anymore. The liberals think the answer to that obsolescence is to become more liberal. You'd think Europe would have remained more Christian because the church has been there longer, while America is free-church Protestant, not even Anglican, but no. Our current round of the progressive vs. conservative steel cage match. "Conservatives, people who still believe what our founders (Hooker, Wesley) did (sticking to the plain meaning of scripture), are a big drag and meanies. Why don't they all just join the fundamentalists with the other idiots who crave certitude?" Got it. If you don't know about or don't accept an infallible church, it might seem mean to you. There’s also a third and perhaps mostly overlooked reason for decline: the lack of ability to create and curate an interesting and compelling community of faith. Part of coolness is real or seeming lack of effort; a try-hard isn't cool. Attempts to "create and curate an interesting and compelling community" flop. Think of natural teen hangouts - the abandoned house or down by the railroad tracks - vs. the youth center. People who try to do what the church has always done - all those Irish, Italian, and Polish immigrants - had and have "community" without really trying. A thoughtful, mature answer from a mainline minister:
    I think I know what he's after. He's after a community with passion for the Gospel and for the mission and community they have been given. But what this doesn't take into consideration (enough) is the simple reality that such passion is impossible to maintain. We get bored in our marriages. We get bored with our favorite TV shows and musicians. Heck, even my beloved bacon double cheeseburger gets dull. We go in and out of times of passion and vigor for all number of reasons. When we will come to understand that it is part of our Christian walk to become bored, uninspired, and even uninspiring? It's not the goal but that long dark tea time of the soul is normal. Somehow in all our understandable need for passion, we also need to afford space for apathy, boredom, and complacency.

1 comment:

  1. Roissy's vulgarity turns me off. Why can't he make his point without it??

    I love wearing dresses, jewelry, and lipstick. Yet I am also a professional woman who would go bonkers as a housewife. Complex human beings defy stereotypes -- both those of the feminists and those of manosphere vulgarians like Heartiste. Just my two cents' worth, as a Catholic woman.


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