Friday, February 10, 2012

The Roman Catholic Church Is Right This Time

baby bentrup
Photo by paparutzi; photo license here.

First, a couple of disclaimers:
  1. This isn't basically a political blog, and I don't intend to make it one. The solutions to my nation's problems are mostly spiritual, not political.
  2. As most of you know, I'm not a Roman Catholic. A number of their beliefs are un-biblical.
Now, let me begin. In the Roman Catholic Church's recent controversy with President Obama concerning contraception, the President was wrong--and still is wrong. If the government can compel Roman Catholic organizations to pay for contraception under every health insurance policy they buy (pay for it, whether directly or as a part of a package), then the government is forbidding them to practice their religion freely. I'm scared of the Roman Catholic Church's doctrines, but I'm more scared of having a government that tells me that I'm free to practice my religion, but only if I don't do it in public; don't do it in my daily life. Christianity is, by its very nature, a religion that requires actions in public. It requires living in righteousness. It requires exposing evil.

As for contraception itself, the Lord said to be fruitful and multiply. He didn't say to "be prosperous and limit your offspring."

The religious laws of the Jews didn't keep a woman pregnant all of the time. The prescribed waiting period for sexual relations after a birth would have kept a couple apart during some of the most fertile times of her life. Now, I don't believe we are bound by all of the uncleanness laws, but I believe that (at the very least)  people (and churches and religious organizations and leaders of NON-religious organizations) should be free to follow their consciences on this matter.


dfish said...

Amen. The second Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law regarding an institution of religion. Under the constitution, only Congress is authorized to make laws. The administration's job was to administer those Laws, and the Judiciary was to ensure that those laws were in accord with the Constitution.

Since Congress has no authority to pass laws regarding churches, then neither the administration or the Judiciary have authority to impose laws on them. When leadership deliberately makes decisions that are in violation of the laws they are to enforce it is quite troubling.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Forgive me, brother, but I don't think that the Roman Catholic Church taking a stand on this matter has any real meaning. Within itself, that church contains a majority of people who no longer follow Christ, let alone biblical doctrine, but conform in private to the world while they make a show of mouthing Christ.

This is the same, though it may look different, as when Orthodox people feel so wonderful and proud because one million Muscovites line up for hours in freezing cold weather to be able to kiss some old so-called miracle-working ikon.

All this is just religion throwing its weight around.

We serve a godly King, a King who is actually God Himself who has descended to our depths to free those of us who hearken to His voice. Nothing in this world, not church, not state, can make any pronouncements weightier or more powerful than the decision of a single believer to follow Jesus at all costs. And as much as we wish other people would follow the commandments of our living and only God as we try to do, nothing we say or even do will change anyone but ourselves and those closest to us, and even that, only by His grace.

It may seem that darkness has descended on our nation and on the Church by the edicts and pronouncements of wicked and godless rulers, but those seven thousand who bend not their knee to baal take no notice and continue to shine like their Lord, who shone, who shines, and who shall ever shine, though the world be in all darkness, uncomprehending.

All we need do is follow Jesus, and wherever we walk, there peace is brought, and salvation, and light, and truth in the hearing of those called and chosen for faith.

America is an idea, not just a country, and it is an idea born of the holy gospel of the Son of God, our savior and liberator. That's why wherever that real America is preached, those who are called according to the good news of Jesus Christ rally to respond.

This is what I found among the Christian youth of Indonesia where I lived for three weeks between Christmas and Epiphany. They knew they were oppressed by the ruling powers where they live, not just the government, but even Christian institutions that fall before it, but they didn't realise that they could stand up for the Truth. They know that the idea of America is not just for us, but for them too, and now they are beginning to understand that they don't have to surrender through fear. They too can carry out the only revolution that matters, the only one that really can change the world.

It is, simply, follow Jesus.

Jim Swindle said...

dfish, yes, our Presidents have been making laws for a long time now. That is, they make policy decisions that have the weight of law, but are based in no law. The courts are as bad.

Romanós, your comments are one of the best things about this blog. Concerning this particular comment, I agree with you about 75%. A church organization is no more godly than the people who comprise it. Far too many Roman Catholic leaders are merely religious, not really in Christ. The same can be said of far too many Orthodox leaders. The same can be said of most leaders of some large, liberal Protestant denominations. I've heard (live, with my own ears) a founding leader of a staunchly evangelical denomination proudly describe his ungodly motivation for a decision he'd made a decade or more earlier. I've heard a leader from a different (staunchly evangelistic) denomination give a sermon in which he did NOT say one of the most obvious things that needed to be said. One lady in the choir seemed to realize what he was not saying. She never returned to that church.

Still, I think it's important for us to speak the truth about the advancing darkness in our society--knowing that our activism won't change things, unless by the Lord's special grace.

It's also good and right to celebrate the correct decisions of leaders and of organizations, though we rarely know all of the motives behind the decisions.

As you say, the only revolution that really matters in the end is following Jesus. To follow Him means we'll walk a path that will never be understood nor applauded by most of this world's leaders. Our approval comes later, from the Lord himself. When we see him, we'll see what unprofitable servants we've been. Yet, by his grace, he will reward his people--his true people.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Ameyn to your comments and response, brother, one hundred percent!