Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid recently put up some comments via the Envoy forum on my earlier post. Of course, Patrick can’t inform the Envoy crowd exactly where my words were located, because he’s banned links to aomin. To my recollection, Patrick has not explained why, but my guess would be this article from Dr.White has something to do with it (the folks over on Envoy probably wouldn’t read it anyway).
Patrick thinks I’m obsessed with the Envoy forum. I believe he has visited my blog, but perhaps he didn’t notice I link to many Catholic discussion forums (as well as Catholic blogs, magazines, the Catholic Encyclopedia, and the Catechism). I have interest in Roman Catholicism, particularly because of my interest in the Reformation. Since the most vocal opponents of the Reformation are the new breed of pop-Catholic apologists, I keep up with their doings, and they are typically interesting (to put it as politely as possible).
That being said, Patrick fails to realize the Envoy boards tend to provide more humor, irony, and nonsense than any of the other Catholic discussion boards I’m aware of. The Envoy forum is one of those places just to the left of the Twilight Zone. It’s one of those places in which vitriol and insults are allowed (compliments of Dr. Sippo and Jerry Jet) while other people are banned simply for respectfully providing counter information. If indeed the person banned from Envoy that I mentioned was banned for profanity and not for sedevacantism, we can at least conclude at times, Envoy actually has some sort of moral code they selectively use. Kudos to their moderators for actually being able to discriminate between right and wrong every so often. Now, maybe they could take a small step forward and apply some higher moral standards to some of their other participants.
But really, the main point of my earlier entry had more to do with the current way Catholic apologetics understand those (like myself) who are not Roman Catholic. I say current, because historically, the way Catholics previously understood non-Catholics was different. Based on this changing paradigm and the ever-changing decrees from the Command Center in Rome, who knows how non-Catholics will be viewed twenty years from now?
In his debate with Dr. White, Madrid said, “I know that many of you are not Catholic and I know that many of you run the risk of going to Hell if you do not accept the truth that Jesus Christ is offering to you.”
Here is my point of contention: Madrid tells his hearers at the debate that they are in danger of Hell if they do not accept Roman Catholicism. Now, when I witness to someone who is not a Christian, if they reject my message, often they do not believe what I’m saying is true. Hence, they reject the truth by willfully believing it is not the truth. Interpreted this way, when Madrid makes his plea, I assume those non-Catholics in the audience reject his position because they do not believe his position is the truth. Hence, they are not rejecting truth they know is true, they are rejecting Madrid’s position because they think it is false.
Madrid’s recent Envoy post though explains:
“Anyway, I absolutely stand by my comments in that SS debate about the eternal danger of willfully ignoring and/or rejecting the truth of the Catholic Church.”
“My closing remarks in that debate focused on the danger of going to hell that someone who knowingly rejects the truth when he has been confronted with it.”
“As I said, I absolutely stand by those comments I made at that debate regarding the danger of rejecting the truth. And, to emphasize that the fallacious conclusions Swan drew from all this were completely off target (nothing new there)… “
The clarification I would ask of Madrid is simple. I have run into more than one Roman Catholic accepting me as a separated brother (even Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong used to try this line of reasoning with me, in the hopes I would likewise affirm him as my Christian brother). The usual line of reasoning is thus: I am considered to be a separated brother because I do not believe the Roman Catholic Church and her authority claims are the truth. Hence, I am not willfully rejecting the truth, because I don’t believe the Roman position is the truth! Mr. Madrid, I need you to infallibly interpret your statements for me: if I don’t believe the Roman Catholic Truth claims, am I rejecting the truth, and thus doomed to Hell, or am I separated brother who doesn’t know any better, living in ignorance of the truth?
I’m sure some of you have a headache from all this. But Madrid probably affirms that I’m simply an ignorant separated brother, based on his posted citation from Lumen Gentium 14:
“Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it”.
If Madrid’s position is as I’ve explained it, take a moment to contrast this type of reasoning with the Bible:
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! “(Galatians 1:6-8)