Friday, October 06, 2006

Gimme a Break

It's no wonder folks today have a hard time listening to religious people. Half the time we seem way too confident about what we think, while at other times we seem to arbitrarily change what we think.

Confidence is not in vogue these days, and some folks have a triple dose of it. Consider for example the groups that make the veins in their necks bulge when they tirade against Harry Potter, only to turn around and speculate about connections between the number 666 and European politics. While I invest years of my life trying to provide my children an intelligible worldview that doesn't divorce faith from curiosity and learning, some of my brothers and sisters in Christ are popping up in a documentary that exposes a sensationalist, propagandizing religion that capitalizes on the malleability of the young. Like the new film Jesus Camp:

www.apple.com/trailers/magnolia/jesuscamp/trailer/

While surfing the web this morning I went from that news item to the next one about how the Catholic Church is debating whether or not they should lay to rest the concept of Limbo/Purgatory. Apparently popular Catholic practice has all but elimated this cumbersome halfway house for the dead anyway, and those who are trying to proselytize Africa and Arabia are finding that Islam seems nicer than Christianity when it comes to the eternal fate of unbaptized infants.

Now I'm not advocating for them to keep this strange medieval invention, but I wonder at the inconsistency in their logic for dropping it. If we ask why they want to lose this long-standing tradition they must either reply that, "Well, it wasn't really biblical anyway"(which I highly doubt they'll say) or else they must admit that public opinion has rendered this belief very unpopular. So like the evangelical churches of America, they are considering adopting the same market mentalilty which follows each new trend for all it's worth. Give the consuming public what it wants.

The world is in desperate need of communities of believers that follow Jesus in simplicity and authenticity, and for crying out loud that use a little common sense! I'm holding out hope that even in this crazy place God will grow some folks who can sense their spirits and follow Him without losing touch with their minds. Reason and Faith need not be mutually exclusive commodities, IMHO.

But then, what do I know? I'm just another guy with a keyboard who thinks he's got something worth saying.

Incidentally, here's where I read the article about the impending death of purgatory:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/5406552.stm


I gotta stop reading the news.

4 Comments:

Blogger J. Samuel Thomas said...

Yea!!!!!

One less tiresome doctrine!


My God, I can just imagine the repercussions of this decision!

So that means it's either heaven or hell right? No more in-between?

I really feel for their "followers".

In all fairness, however, I have to admit that, over the years, I too have shed many previously firmly held beliefs.

As far as I can tell this has been nothing but a good thing.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Mike Morrell said...

I have to echo Johnny here; when people in power drop previously-cherished beliefs, it can engender respect in outsiders. Its not like we supposedly "bible-based" Christians don't have our convoluted beliefs and retractions.

BTW, they're talking about abolishing "limbo," not purgatory. Those are two different things. Purgatory is alive and well. The older I get, the more I believe in purgatory than hell. But that's a whole 'nother conversation...

BTW, how much do you know about Pope Benedict? I don't care for him, but he's brilliant. (Probably one of the most intellectual popes the RCC has ever had; Colson types like where he points his smarts, too. Calvinists would probably like him if he weren't so, you know, Catholic.) If and when limbo gets retracted, it will be for very coherent reasons, and quite satisfying, I'm sure.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Mike Morrell said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Mike Morrell said...

For a decent (and funny) look at the differentiation between purgatory and limbo, see .

11:44 AM  

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