Saturday, May 25, 2002
Agents in Place-I missed this bombshell from earlier this week, but Mark Butterworth has packed it in as a Catholic, upset at the unresponsiveness of church leadership. I'm praying that he and his lovely family find a good Bible-preaching church to go to. They need to be fed something more than the cynicism of being an ex-Catholic, as there are few things more cynical than an ex-Catholic. Well, ex-Anglicans come to mine; I had a near-ultimate cynic in a British finance prof at MSU. The current Situation has caused quite a few other devout Catholics to ponder leaving. They have a different dilemma than do Protestants in that they believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the primary address of the Body of Christ. It is more than just one of many interchangeable denominations, it's The Church. To get someone to throw in the towel on the concept that Rome bats 1.000 will leave the person in a spiritually vulnerable position, bringing into question other teachings as well. My fear is that people with weaker faith than Mark Butterworth's will walk away from God as well as the Catholic Church when they head for the exits. Remember that the Vatican has had some losers at the helm over its history and has survived despite them. John Paul II isn't a loser. He may be physically feeble, but he's one of the good guys. Unlike this batch of mutant 7th-Day Adventists, I think John Paul is pro-Christ, a blessing to the world in his quarter-century at the helm. Things are moving, albeit slowly, in the right direction. Showing Weakland the door is the first of many steps to clean house. There's a lot of grime left over from decades of institutional inertia and sexual/spiritual liberalism to clean up, so it will take time to do the job right. As much as I'd love to have Butterworth be part of a good evangelical church, he could also be useful showing God's love in his old Catholic church. There are any number of Catholic bloggers who I'd love to have worshiping with me at whatever evangelical church I wind up at in Florida, but God may have other plans for them. I'm not a big fan of a some parts of Catholic doctrine, but we evangelicals need to remember that there are lots of people who find a saving faith in Jesus within the confines of the Catholic church. Even if the Catholic Church does leave a lot to be desired, we need agents in place, proclaiming the Gospel where it's needed in this very hour. So, my Catholic brothers and sisters, don't gripe if God keeps you in there, you may be there to warm a heart and guide a soul to Christ in an hour where it needed. If we need to get rid of the bad apples, we need some good apples to fill in the gaps, and St. Blog's Parish has a bountiful orchardful of 'em.
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