Okay, so I visited the blog/website I said I wouldn’t visit again. At least I didn’t read the comments. That would have been too much. But the blog is promoting a book to “fix” your relationship with Christ. More Salvation by knowledge. I need a better definition but it comes down to reading as many books about Christianity and the faith instead of focusing on Jesus, prayer, the Bible, and the Sacraments. Now, I understand the desire to read to help but this blog seems to read books in excess. Forget talking to Jesus or getting to know Jesus personally. I’ll just read about him and that will save me. No, it won’t. It’s sad at how many people will choose smoke and shadows over the real thing.
This is something I’ve “defined” in the last few days. It seems to me, an observation more than anything else, that Protestantism (not a good term but I’m talking about a movement, academically and socially rather than necessarily theologically) (still not a good definition) on the Internet is becoming, will become, intends to become, has become, is different, is the same as, is something I’ve made up that is different than “real life Protestantism.” What I mean, is that people who call themselves Christian on the Internet seem to hold entirely different beliefs than their real life counterparts. Moreso, they engage in behaviors and postings that most people would refrain. I guess I see Internet Protestantism as a digital playground that doesn’t adhere to the rules previously decided on by Protestants or common courtesy in the real world. Online behavior is deplorable, as evidenced by the blog I mentioned in my last post and other blogs and even “official” websites belonging to apologetic organizations and churches. It’s an anything goes mentality that is incompatible with Christianity. What I mean, is that online Christian posters are more willing to malign, condemn, degrade, belittle anyone who does not agree with them and feed these posters to the wolves. If on Blog A run by Poster A, poster B posts a comment that is in disagreement with Poster A, poster A will resort to name calling on Blog A and run a smear campaign against poster B and if poster B has Blog B, then a smear campaign against the blog. There is no discussion. It’s just a free for all and no body is safe especially other Christians. Poster A and Blog A are also pretty willing to engage in digital damnation that is setting themselves as God and declaring others as saved or damned, all based on a single post or belief even if they do not know the poster or what they believe. Pretty much, they see monsters under every rock and retaliate rather than taking a good look at the monsters in their own heart. They would rather play the victim than accept that there are other people out there who do not agree with them and would rather treat those people with hatred and contempt than love and acceptance (though they don’t have to accept their beliefs).
The concept of my truth is the only truth again comes from the bit on Internet Protestant”ism” and behavior of Christians toward people who don’t accept/can’t accept/don’t understand Protestant Christianity. I specify Protestant Christianity because it’s members are more likely to adhere to this concept in a negative and derogatory way and Catholicism, while there are definitely members who act and behave in the same way do so more towards other Catholics and adhere to schismatic or heretical groups rather than Catholic teaching, but mostly because I’ve seen this behavior and attitude among Protestant posters. Now I know some very charitable non-Catholic Christians who are willing to engage in dialogue with other non-Catholic Christians and Catholics even though they don’t share the same beliefs and do so very well and intelligently. However, there are other non-Catholic Christian posters who see anybody who doesn’t agree with their narrow and incomplete version of the truth as damned and not worth talking to. Like the the blog I mentioned previously.
There was a post on a Calvary Chapel “pastor” blog that covered dealing with someone who doesn’t believe the same as the “pastor.” I qualify the word pastor here because he has no real training, seminary work, or background to preach and pastor a congregation since anybody can become a Calvary Chapel pastor as long as they believe the distinctives and worship Chuck Smith as their “pope.” No education required. This “pastor” mentioned having a conversation on Facebook about truth and God. The “pastor”, who called the poster “Sue,” argued that truth is absolute and that his truth is the only truth one needs to believe. Well, there is absolute truth. What he gets wrong is whose version of the truth “Sue” “needs” to believe. He questioned “Sue’s” questioning of God (how else are you going to learn, to know God except through questions?) and told her that she needed to accept “his” (the pastor’s) truth or she was lost. He doesn’t allow her to come to grips with the truth on her own. He pushes and pushes her to accept his definition and version of the truth, trading on the fact that he’s a “pastor” so that means he knows the truth and is the only one who can help someone find the truth. Wrong. As Catholics and the Catholic Church has said, faith and reason are not mutually exclusive things. Faith can lead to reason and reason can lead to faith. We can use logic to learn the Faith and to understand what we believe. Non-Catholics (especially those groups that have formed in the last 50 years or so) abdicate and reject reason and logic as a means of understanding. You aren’t supposed to use your brain because that means you don’t really believe and aren’t really saved. But they’ll read books to help them find “faith” and to “fix” their relationship with Jesus. I just don’t get it.
What really annoyed me was the post by the “pastor” that said that someone who commits murder isn’t a murderer (argue that in court, I dare you) but because someone is a murderer then they commit murder. Okay, post hoc ergo propter hoc, and therefore because of. B happened therefor A must of caused it. A logical fallacy, a bad argument. Someone chooses to commit murder otherwise, by his reconning, we couldn’t prosecute anyone for murder because they were always going to commit murder and therefore there could be nothing done to stop it. That didn’t fly before and it ain’t gonna fly now. Why would we need a Savior if God was always going to save us? Why did Jesus have to suffer, be scouraged, and crucified if it was going to amount to nothing? Because that is what that “pastor” is saying and it doesn’t make a lick of sense. We wouldn’t need God at all if we were going to be saved or damned regardless of what happened on the Cross. If were born to be murderers and God knows this, why send His Son to rescue us from damnation and an eternity separated from God? Why make us in the first place if the effort was going to fail? Sounds like a god I wouldn’t want to follow. It’s also a really badly twisted understanding of the Fall and Original Sin.