Skip to content

Archive for October, 2010


About Ranting And The Term Idiots…


A rant is a speech or text that does not present a calm argument; rather, it is typically an enthusiastic speech or talk or lecture on an idea, a person or an institution. Compare with a dialectic.
Rants can be based on partial fact or may be entirely factual but written in a comedic/satirical form. (Wikipedia)

Ranting is good for the sole, or so say I. Michelle normally gets to the hear the more creative ones, but there are things that frustrate and it’s cathartic to get them out onto the blog. They may not always be fully vetted, and they may ramble but I’m not going to apologize for doing a rant. It gets it off my chest, and I can move on.

Michelle read one of my posts and commented on the word “idiots”, she had a right too. I know better, in fact I know it’s a sin:

Matthew 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[a]will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,[b]’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

The word “Raca” roughly translates to “airhead”, and it’s it’s definitely a sin to call brothers in Christ airheads (at least that’s what I’ve always been taught).

But It Must Be Said that some people in this society have stopped thinking for themselves, they get blown by the wind and the waves. They are looking for anyone, someone to tell them what to think. I run into them on a daily basis and it breaks my heart. It also makes me angry, because so much is at stake, even long time Christians will eschew theology. Which is just silly. We all have theology, we all believe something. That’s all theology is, a belief system, nothing more, nothing less.

Our churches are full of people content to let others guide them around by the nose, they don’t question, they don’t ask. The idea of the bereans is foreign to them, and unfortunately that makes me mad. This isn’t about any one church, I’ve seen it in all of them, even the Catholic Church. It’s sad and disappointing.

I’m not qualified to teach, but there’s such a large hole in our understanding that I constantly feel the call to do something about this situation. It’s why I started taking theology courses, and bibliology and hermeneutics and all the other stuff I’m working on. It’s so I can learn, it’s so I can help.

Amazing things can happen when you start asking questions, I’ve challenged two fundamentalist about anything other than the King James Version of the bible and still have yet to get a decent answer why my old New King James was a heretical translation. It’s why I left the baptist faith, I couldn’t stomach the hypocrisy any longer (that’s another story for another time). We have searched now for a full year, I was mortified with Calvinist theology. And when I asked hard questions, I got bad answers back.

But at least I asked, I will never forget one Pastor who was elated that we wanted to ask him doctrinal questions. He said that he wished more people would choose a church based on doctrine and not the style of ministry. We didn’t stay at his church but I was more amazed that he was amazed. Does anyone care what they believe anymore?

I let me passion get the better of me, I really want the best for people. The gentlemen who asked why he should join the Catholic Church is someone who could benefit from just a little research. I’ll give the RCIA props, every meeting they bring in lots of books about conversion and other Catholic topics to get people interested. Some are, but most just want to be told what to believe. That’s OK I guess, but maybe, just maybe someday I can help :)

Ranting over, I feel better now.




The places where I stand

It’s early in the morning, no ones up yet, and I’m sitting here typing out my heart. Pretty standard for a Sunday morning for me, today I’m weighing whether I should attend Mass or not. I’m still struggling with the Catholic Church, and I can’t seem to get my arms around it just yet. Some parts I find are stunningly beautiful and others make little sense to me, and what frustrates me so much about all of them is that I have no one to talk to about my questions. Yes I’m in RCIA, and I have a sponsor, but I don’t think he understands me and my need to understand before I commit. So I’m left on this road, forging it alone.

I read and study what I can, there are a plethora of conversion stories out there to choose from. Some great resources for research, but research done in a vacuum will always get off track. I’m doing my Bibliology and Hermeneutics with Michael Patton, but he’s fully protestant (and a little Calvinist, but I don’t hold it against him) and of course he thinks I’m making a mistake. So I get little tidbits of things from him like how it’s a Mortal sin if you skip mass, he picked a good topic because I could see his point. His question to the Catholic community was if a Catholic skipped Mass, then died before they could repent. Would they go to hell?

Valid question, and the response on where all over board, while his argument may be a bit of a straw man, it’s still a good question and the answers quite frankly concerned me. It’s just another thing that I’m going to have to resolve before I move much further on this.

Michelle and I have decided that we are pretty much at the end of our ropes right now, there is no turning back to any of the protestant faiths. The more we study the more we realize how far off most of them are, and we are not interested in heading back in that direction. But at the same time we both have deep concerns about the Catholic Church, and to be quite honest it’s take a lot of time and effort to research this information. It’s a slow, expensive process. Expensive in that I probably have 30 books now on this issue and more on the way, we both are reading everything we can find. The council of Trent is coming up shortly, because the protestants that we know all go to trent to talk about why Catholicism is so bad.

There may be an answer to prayer in all this yet, we have struggled with the light nature of the RCIA and Michelle talked with Mary who is running it at Holy Apostles. She has setup an appointment with one of the Deacons to see if he can spend some time and help us come to an understanding of the issues that are hanging us up. At some point I’m going to have to validate what I’m finding and work with someone smarter than I (which should not be hard to find) to figure all this out. I can’t do it alone, that much I know for sure.

I think the core of the issue boils down to this:

I can submit myself to Christ, there’s no question about that in my mind.

But I’m not convinced that the Catholic Church has not been corrupted, added onto the Gospel and setup and institution of man with rules, regulations and extra biblical systems.

Until I or should I say we can resolve that, we will both be out here in the post-evangelical wasteland :)



Humanae Vitae – And Why I Think The Catholic Church Violates It’s own teaching.

Humanae Vitae literally means means “Human Life” in latin, it is the church’s teaching about abortion and contraception, as well as issues pertaining to human life.

The concept here is that Human Life is precious in all forms, Marriage and it’s most private activity are meant for the purposes of procreation. Abortion and any form of birth control that prevents conception are forbidden according to the church. The churches stance on these issues can be found here: Vatican Response, and before I delve into where I think the church has gone astray let me say that they raise some very valid points.

But in their zeal to maintain their doctrine they cross lines that should cause any free person to pause, this week while driving home I heard a conversation on EWTN (Catholic Radio) about contraception and how it’s done so much damage to this society, but here’s the thing: Contraception isn’t a new thing, it’s been around since the beginning, so has abortion. It’s circular reasoning to say that birth control leads to abortion. Because the whole point of birth control is to stop pregnancy in the first place, I’m always skeptical when experts roll out ideas like this. The fundamentalist church is full of people who swear that watching a movie will send you on a path to hell, or that evolution is destroying our society. Study’s have estimated that up to %80 of practicing Catholics are or have used birth control, I’m not saying I agree with that, just that those are the numbers.

Where I start to have a problem is while listening to the radio a gentleman called in and was remiss that he’d had a vasectomy and was converting to the Catholic Church (I’m in the same boat), but he looked into getting it reversed, it was way out of his price range. The host and the “expert” on the airwaves proceeded to offer up information, advice and encouragement to find other ways to have it reversed, I almost crashed my car yelling at the radio. I’m sorry but Humanae Vitae is either about how life is precious or it’s not, PERIOD. To suggest that you should look for cheap surgery to get a reversal or that you really even need one is so far outside the scope of not just common sense, but decency that I can hardly contain my disdain. It’s like saying “Hey Honey, I love you. Now go have this SURGERY that I found on the cheap, don’t worry you’ll be just fine”. To what end does it benefit this man to cut his body up MORE for a *possibility* of having it reversed?, and how irresponsible and BLIND do you have to be to endanger a mans life while proclaiming the virtues of Humanae Vitae…

I thought I was done until I found this on Catholic Answers:

Catholic Answers On Contraception

The first question is from a woman whose Dr has told her that she should abstain from getting pregnant for a year, and her Priest, being a man who obviously cares for his parishioners tells her it’s OK to use birth control. The answer left me stunned, so they are telling her that despite what her Dr said, she would be committing a mortal sin if she used contraception. But if she got pregnant she could lose her life and possibly the life of her Child, is the church so fixated on it’s doctrine that it can’t even stomach grace in a situation like this?

The more I read the church’s position on this issue and the more I hear the acolytes who push this doctrine, the more concerned I become that the Church is violating the very nature of the doctrine they are espousing. Further to use the Mortal Sin card as a stick to get people to follow your doctrine is even more heinous in my view, Joseph Smith (of Mormon fame) would tell woman that if they did not marry him they would go to hell, is this any different?.

I’m not sure right now I can trust the RCC with issues like this, the marriage chamber is a holy institution that to be perfectly honest the Church has *no business* meddling into. I’m not advocating that they radically change their position, but certainly a little common sense might go a long long way. The Humanae Vitae as described by Vatican is not that radical, but the Church has set loose a wave of zealots who would happily violate the nature of the doctrine to force people into submission. From a scripture standpoint the bible is silent about abortion, that doesn’t make it right. But it’s really even more silent about contraception, and you can’t use Gen 38 as your crutch, because if you actually *READ* the story Onan gets a *DIRECT* instruction from God and disobeys that. It’s not about him spilling his seed, it’s about him disobeying God. When you have scripture that is directed at one person, you can’t use that to apply to everyone. The only scripture you can logically use is Genesis 3 where God tells Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply, again a direct commandment. But in this case it could be applied, however the bible is silent on contraception.

One more thought, 2000 years ago the infant mortality rate was incredibly high. So you needed to have 10 children to raise 5, that’s no longer the case and the Church has even forbidden NFP (Natural Family Planning). That matters because today our mortality rate is incredibly low, so odds are very good if you fail to practice some form of NFP your going to be overrun with children. Never mind that you might not be able to support them, the Church doesn’t care. Just don’t violate it’s doctrine.