Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Contra Locdog

There is a Protestant blogger who occasionally slums in Catholic blogland, by the name of Locdog. Yesterday he posted a list of thoughts on Catholics. The list is quite long, so I am only going to focus on one or two things.

4. rome isn't the great whore of babylon those of you who've read chick tracts know what i mean. those of you who haven't are probably better off that way. actually, some of his older ones are great, but he seems to have gotten more dogmatic with the years and his dogma has gotten more and more bizarre. the theory is that the whore talked about in Revelation is actually the roman catholic church, who will eventually succumb to ecumenical currents and dilute the message of the gospel to accommodate all other faiths. the unitarian/universalist crowd is doing that right now. maybe it's them. rome denies no essential of the Christian faith and as long as that's the case then we should look for whores elsewhere. times square around midnight would be a good place to start.

I am somewhat disappointed that Locdog doesn't believe I belong to the great whore of Babylon. I think that if one is going to be a Protestant, one needs to have a good reason not to be Catholic. The supposed apostasy of the Catholic Church would be a good reason. Without such an apostasy, I think you need to be Catholic. I think every Protestant should have to re-enact the Reformation in his own mind and decide if it was justified. Here's why:

The Catholic Church is clearly the Church founded by Christ. If you look at history, no matter how far you go back, you find the Catholic Church, complete with bishops, priests, deacons, Marian devotion, the Eucharist, and intercessory prayer. If you believe in the Trinity as described by the Nicene Creed (God from God, Light from Light, etc.), you should know that everyone at the council of Nicea was Catholic. They were bishops of the Catholic Church. This is a historical fact. So if you believe in the Trinity, you get it from us.

Look further back, in the writings of Ireneaus and Clement and Justin Martyr, and you will find again that these Apostolic fathers are Catholics. They too were members of a Church complete with bishop, deacon, priest, and the Eucharist. Justin gives a description of the liturgy of the Christians in the second century that is almost identical in its details to that which Catholics celebrate every day. As far back as we can go, to about thirty years after the New Testament was written, we find only Catholics.

So, but for that thiry year gap, there is clear historical continuity in doctrine and practice from the ancient Church to the current Church. If I were to be a Protestant, I would have to come up with some time or some incident that made the Catholic Church an apostate, satanic Church. We must have gone terribly wrong at some point; otherwise, why aren't you a Catholic?

There is a myth, current even in Catholic circles, that there was a pure community of believers in New Testament times, a pure church that has been covered over by all sorts of ecclesiastical accretions. But if you study history, you will find that there is no evidence of such a church. No matter where you look, there is the Catholic Church. So either come up with a plausible apostasy and betrayal, or join us!

P.S. Locdog, the correct term is Catholic, not Roman Catholic. The Catholic Church contains about 21 individual churches, such as the Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Melkite, Maronite, Chaldean, and Roman churches, all in communion with the Pope. "Roman Catholic" refers only to one of the 21 churches.

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