Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How Not To Become Catholic

This was funny because it's true. If you are a Protestant reader and are looking for ways to avoid becoming Catholic, James Tonkowich has some advice for you. He's a convert and ex-Protestant minister, so he offers some good insight on the things that really set him down the path to Rome. My wife, a non-denominational convert who flirted with Orthodoxy for a long time, heartily endorses his views.

The main points are:

Assume that all Catholics are idiots.
Get all information on the Catholic faith second hand.
Avoid Being “Deep in History”
Do Not Read the Church Fathers
Affirm “The Great Tradition,” but Don’t Ask What’s Included in the Great Tradition

These are invaluable to anyone who wants to stay Protestant.

Make sure you read both installments because they are quite enlightening, as well as timely. I especially enjoyed this:

Which brings up another inconvenient truth. The Reformation allowed the rulers of Europe to achieve what generations of kings yearned for: the total subjugation of the Church to the state. As long as the Church was one and centered in Rome, it served as a counterweight to the domineering aspirations of the state. Controlling the Catholic Church proved exceedingly difficult. But once the Church was reformed and shattered into bite-sized bits, controlling the bits was child’s play.

Cuius regio, eius religio (“Whose realm, his religion”) meant that the princes of Europe could and did make their churches into departments of government and their clergy into government bureaucrats. Membership in the national church became a mark, if not the defining mark, of patriotism. Kings appointed bishops and other church leaders who became his ecclesiastical lap dogs. And dissenters, be they Catholics or free church Protestants, were persecuted and/or treated as second-class citizens in some cases well into the nineteenth century.

Unfortunately, we're probably about to have a pretty hardcore revisiting of this lesson very soon.

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