Monday, March 03, 2008

Comings and Goings

This is a response of sort to an American article.

One can tell from my name that I am Canadian, however I think much that is said in the article applies.

Evangelical churches are scooping up Catholics at an alarming rate. Just how alarming?

As one who once dabbled in evangelicism, and then discovered the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, I know what the attraction is (or was at the time). Warning...the peanut butter I ate for breakfast has stuck my tongue firmly to my cheek.

It is entertaining. There's some pretty girl standing up front wiggling and singing into a mic while a band of sorts plays behind her. She's singing choruses; short songs that are catchy and easy to remember. Emotions begin to run high. Oh yes, one can just FEEL the Holy Spirit moving in this place.

Once the music slows down, you know that it's time for Pastor X to come out and start expounding on his favourite bit of scripture. Or perhaps today it's expounding on his favourite shortcoming. Maybe (and many denominations seem to be founded on this one) he will give his views on the Catholic Church. He is anointed (if not always accurate).

The pastor's anointed status lasts until he hits a sore point with someone, who promptly leaves this gathering which he now feels has lost the Spirit, and finds another where he finds the Holy Spirit has taken up residence. Interestingly, the Holy Spirit will here condone whatever weakness or belief that causes M. Pewsitter to find himself at odds with his previous congregation. Perhaps M. Pewsitter decides HE has the spirit...and starts his own church.

The pattern is so predictable.

This year I have the privilege once again of helping people who wish to become Roman Catholic. Last week, someone made the comment that he thought he knew quite a bit about the Church when he started coming to meetings. He'd learned it from the other churches he'd attended. Now he knows that most of what he thought he knew was wrong.

Does that not sound like what Archbishop Fulton Sheen said?

There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church—
which is, of course, quite a different thing.
Radio Replies (1938)

Earlier in the evening, the same fellow made a comment that maybe the Church needed to do more work to get its actual teachings made public. I truly hope that someday this fellow will join the ranks of catechists, apologists, evangelists who do their best to teach the Catholic faith!

I think Pope Benedict XVI, who does not seem to be one to back away from genuine Church teaching...even that which does not sit well with society or certain members thereof, will inspire many to confidently proclaim the Church.

I hope that B XVI may actually inspire some dissenters within the Church to leave it in peace. They can go and start a denomination built upon their pet belief, weakness, desire, or sin, as so many have before them.

I suspect that if one really analyzed the demographics of ex-Catholics in evangelical ranks, one would find that many are there because of a sin that the Catholic Church does not accept: Divorce and re-marriage, the use of artificial birth control. Or perhaps this new church lays out in black and white a teaching that the RC church leaves to the informed consciences of its followers. M. Pewsitter may desire the support that a clearly defined teaching can give.

I wonder if we have statistics concerning the backgrounds of people entering the Church, or perhaps re-entering the Church. How many come back and bring friends and family with them?

We have been promised that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the church. Neither will public opinion.