Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
A Few Roman Catholic Notes (and...Other Stuff)
01/31/2007 - James WhiteTQuid (James Swan) has a fascinating post here. I would like to suggest another scenario that is more likely than the one TQ mentioned. I would suspect that one of the regular RC readers of my blog contacted Hahn. I doubt he reads my blog anymore than he has to (i.e., when he is mentioned, or when a relevant topic is addressed). In any case, you cannot help but chuckle a bit at the language of conversion. I've seen it for decades now. If a young man, a student even, who has read some Reformed theology (and has even listened to some Greg Bahnsen tapes!), apostatizes, all of a sudden that young person becomes one of the most brilliant thinkers of our age as a newly minted RC. Of course, had he stayed where he was, he would not have been a brilliant thinker at all. You truly wonder if those who use such language don't chuckle a bit as they are typing.
I may just have to get TQ to join Team ProsApologian. If I could convince the Calvinist Gadfly to come over, too, we would definitely have the firepower to take out ol' Team Pyro in the Calvinist Blog SuperBowl X (I haven't a clue what happened in the previous nine, but X looks so much more impressive than I).
I likewise noted this paean to sacramentalism from another writer, a "re-convert" to Rome. My sacramentalist critics (both Roman and non) attribute my views to ignorance of the "beauty" of the sacraments. I have to apologize to them all, but you see, I truly do seek to bring all aspects of my thinking under the lordship of Christ. I find Him speaking with clarity in His Word. I do not find Him speaking at all in the mumblings of Rome, or the ever-self-contradictory ramblings of the traditions of men. So those things that arise from those non-divine sources hold no attraction for me. But beyond even this, when they become self-evidently contrary to divine truth and pure worship, they cease being simply items of irrelevance but instead they become objects of disgust. When God's glorious gospel becomes encrusted with layers of human accretion in the form of "sacraments," I find it hard to find any "beauty" in them at all.
Join with this reality the fact that I find most sacramentalists to have a higher love for their activities and rituals than they have for the divine truths of God's revelation, and you can see why I really am in no position to find much common ground with these folks. Inevitably the human-originated religiosity over-powers the divine decrees concerning purity of worship, and the results are predictable. In the case of Rome, even the gospel itself is lost, forced out of the realm of proclamation by the bloated self-importance of an allegedly infallible, unreformable hierarchy.
So the person trusting in the grace channeled through the sacraments of his church, who has been willing to trade in a finished work and a perfect Savior for the endless treadmill of sacramental obligation, will not find me traveling that road with them. Nor will I find any basis upon which to embrace the exaltation of these unbiblical, human inventions. When you've found the real thing, all these baubles and bangles just seem so...cheap. It was like the Papal Treasures exhibit I visited in 1993 in Denver. Gold and silver and diamonds and crowns and clothing---all utterly worthless in my eyes. Repulsive, actually. But that one piece of papyri from the beginning of the third century written by a fellow believer long, long ago (seen here), well, that was true treasure. Likewise, all the gaudy gold and jewels of the Vatican, adorning all the monuments to man and his religiosity and his power---utterly cold and empty. Do forgive again (I know I offended many when I made that comment on this blog when I was in Rome), but marble monuments to man's self-absorption and perversion of God's truth are not attractive to me. In comparison, this martyr's cross, which speaks to the suffering of God's people at the hands of communists and Muslims across the world today, is far more attractive to me than all the gold and silver and relics and tombs and religiosity and fanfare and sacramentalism anyone can offer. Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder. One's sense of beauty is trained by one's world view, one's heart. My heart still breaks when I see people abandoning the truth for a lie. Yes, I know that probably means they never knew the truth in the first place. But I do pray that I will never become accustomed to seeing people moving away from truth and toward destruction. God help me to not become jaded to such things.
Finally, I could really stretch things and make some kind of connection between Pete Ruckman and Roman Catholicism...but I will leave that kind of humor to the experts. Since everyone else has just recently discovered Tom Slawson, I thought I'd link to this article. I have been insulted by Ruckman many times. I get to laugh about it.