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REAL CLEAR RELIGION

Culture, Christianity, Catholic Dogma & The Death Of The West

Culture, Christianity, Catholic Dogma & The Death Of The West

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AMERICAN PROTESTANTS RECEPTIVE TO POPE AND CATHOLICISM AS NEVER BEFORE

I am thoroughly apprehensive and skeptical of all of the silly and nonsensical analyses being produced by the mainstream media about the Pope and his visit to America. On the one hand, there are the irrelevant and outdated lefties who claim that the Pope will be confronted with dissatisfied and disheartened Catholics who strive for woman priests, and who seek to be liberated from all the hard teachings involving birth control, divorce and remarriage, and all things orthodox. Then there are the half-informed, ill-informed or uninformed who attempt to weave earth shattering meaning into everything that Pope Benedict does or says. In the midst of all this, I came across an interesting article by Gerald R. McDermott, that asserts that the pope "may...find less Protestant hostility to Rome and the papacy than at any previous time in American history".

I believe this to be true despite the abysmal shape of American culture. Our world has shrunk due to the internet and globalization, and now faces problems and questions which are unprecedented historically, and often involve the very survival of civilization as we know it. The world needs a voice to counter the lies of the culture of death and the religion of death--Islam.

No single Protestant denomination --no matter how large, no matter how influential-- can match the voice and authority that the Pope possesses when he speaks. No Protestant denomination no matter how orthodox or conservative in their interpretation of scripture, can match the ability to identify and enunciate the Truth as that of the Catholic Church-- which has made it her business to seek and decipher God's truths for 2007 years. It is indeed the only voice remaining in the wilderness that possesses the full truth and delivers it in all of its unpopularity. This is of course no accident since the Catholic Church is the only Church that possesses Jesus Himself --in the Eucharist.

From Mercator.net: In America, "[t]he Protestant market share is shrinking markedly: as recently as the 1980s Protestants were two-thirds of the adult population, but now they are only 51 percent. According to the Landscape Survey’s summary, "The United States is on the verge of becoming a minority Protestant country."

"Another big change is the "homogenous, ageing and diminishing" state of mainline Protestantism. Once the majority of Americans, now these Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians and Congregationalists number only 18.1 percent of American adults."

"They are divided internally by questions about sexuality, biblical authority, and the necessity of Jesus for salvation. "Progressives" regard the biblical restriction of sex and procreation to heterosexual marriage as unenlightened and uncompassionate, and think non-Christians can be saved without Jesus."

This is a direct result of the great divorce of Protestantism from the Bride of Christ. Over time the world and all of its corrupting influences not only eat away at the essential doctrine and dogma of Christianity, but also decay what remains of truth in the hearts and souls of man. Without the Body and Blood of Jesus man succumbs to the wiles of demons, ultimately dispensing with commandments and Truth itself.

"The growing strength of evangelicalism is one reason why the Pope may find more openness from Protestants than ever before. While fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals continue to denounce Catholicism as false religion because they think it teaches salvation by good works, evangelical leaders in recent years have found common cause with Catholics. This began with the pro-life movement, in which evangelicals and Catholics found themselves working together in the 1970s and 80s to fight abortion-on-demand. Then in 1994 prominent evangelical leaders joined hands with Catholic theologians to start "Evangelicals and Catholics Together," a movement that has pointed to theological agreements on the Bible and salvation while at the same time disagreeing about prayer to Mary and the saints, purgatory, and other doctrines."

Another common cause among Catholics and Evangelicals is the growing war being waged by Islam against Christian infidels. Pope Benedict has shown himself to be a voice of reason in the face of this arch-enemy of the Church of Jesus Christ.

"A recent article in Pro Ecclesia, an American journal "of Catholic and Evangelical theology," argues that Jonathan Edwards, the most distinguished American theologian ever and a hero to most evangelicals, held a view of salvation similar to that of Thomas Aquinas, perhaps Catholicism’s greatest theologian.

One of the most noted developments in American evangelicalism in recent years has been the rise of "emergent" and "missional" churches, which are dominated by 20-somethings who are less concerned with doctrine than social action and mystery--which some find in Catholic-like liturgy. Many of these young evangelicals admired John Paul II’s boldness and warmth, and find attractive Catholicism’s devotion to social justice, defence of biblical morality, and opposition to capital punishment."

This attraction to mystery in the youth is also what is driving so many Protestants and fallen away Catholics back to the Traditional Latin Mass. The strident church ladies and those obsessed with proving that the Church is the "Whore of Babylon" are fast disappearing in a culture that breeds "real life" mega churches. These stripped-down mega churches will actually eventually assist in the revitalization of Catholicism due to man's natural propensity toward the beauty of truth, dogma and mystery.

"Latino evangelicals will also be attentive to the Pope’s visit. The Landscape Survey found that most of them left Catholicism not because something negative "pushed" them out, but because the desire for more intimate religious experience in evangelical churches "pulled" them...Many Latino Catholics who convert to Protestantism feel a little betrayed by their previous faith - wanting to know why it took a conversion experience to another tradition to facilitate and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. But they are also less hostile to the papacy than fundamentalists because they admire the positions on family issues which the last two popes have taken."

The loss of so many Latinos and others to evangelicalism is explained by liberalism/modernism, lack of catechesis and the dumbing down of the Faith over the last couple of generations. Latinos and all those who experienced a phony Catholic education where psychology and "spirituality" were emphasized rather than sin, salvation and the sacrifice of Jesus are correct to question what was wrong with the Church.

But these same people who have left for the free wheeling Evangelical churches recognize the voice of authority that is only present in the Catholic Church--and which will never be present in the voice of Pastor Mark or Barney--no matter how mega his church is. The impact of individual Protestant denominations on the culture at large is minimal. They can only watch and weep at the creeping in of euthanasia and all the biological madness that accompanies the loss of respect for human life. They have erroneously turned away from the Body and Blood of Jesus and are therefore unable to identify and annunciate errors to the world.

"Even Baptists, who now represent one-third of all US Protestants and close to one-fifth of the American population, have a "selective appreciation" for the Pope. Michael McClymond, religion historian at St Louis University, says that Baptists, who in 1960 led the opposition to (Catholic) John F. Kennedy’s election to the presidency, now show a growing recognition that John Paul II and Benedict XVI have become the "de facto leaders of world-wide Christianity."

"In short...Benedict will face a new American religious scene. He may also get a hearing that is historically unprecedented."