Monday, December 8, 2014

Now the fundamentalist paranoia begins

Yes, buildimg one world religion, because we're commanded
to do so by Christ (Mt 28:19-20).
The image to your left is from a site titled Now The End Begins, a fundamentalist site pretty much dedicated to hating the Catholic Church as the "whore of Babylon".

It's no particular secret that Evangelical megapastor Rick Warren is a fan of Pope Francis. Warren recently met Pope Francis at the 2014 Vatican Conference on Marriage and Family, and spoke along with Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore at a colloquium led by the pontiff.

This wasn't bad enough. Although he's given no indication that he's about to "cross the Tiber", Warren is advocating closer ties between Catholics and Protestants.

"We have far more in common than what divides us," Warren said in a two-minute video. "When you talk about Pentecostals, charismatics, evangelicals, fundamentalists, Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, on and on and on and on. Well they would all say we believe in the trinity, we believe in the Bible, we believe in the resurrection, we believe salvation is through Jesus Christ. These are the big issues."

However Warren lines up the priorities, other Protestant leaders find it more important to maintain doctrinal separation from the Church rather than find any grounds for union or cooperation. Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry actively called for Warren to "repent". But that's mild salsa compared to the magma-hot mess of hysterical obtuseness poured forth by Now The End Begins:

There is a hardcore, full-court press happening right now to unify all Christian denominations under the banner of the Roman Catholic Church, and the charge is being led by none other than apostate pastor and Chrislam founder [???] Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California. Warren has a purpose-driven [wink-wink, nudge-nudge] plan to break down and destroy the Christian church, and unite the pieces with Rome.

In the above video, Rick Warren is seen slyly referring to Pope Francis as "our pope", and then going on to brag about what a great job he is doing. He wants you to blithely assume that of course Pope Francis is the "spiritual head" over all of Christianity and not simply over the Roman Catholic corporation. He slips it in like that’s what everyone already thinks and believes. This is nothing more than mental conditioning. A bible-believing Christian under no circumstances ever would acknowledge that any pope in the Roman system had any sort of rule over them of any kind.

There is a sect that's been dubbed "Chrislam"; but Warren didn't found it. Known also as "The Will of God Mission", Oke Tude or "Ifeoluwe Mission", it's a syncretic religion that numbers around 1,500, most of whom live in the area of Lagos, Nigeria. Other than that, the word's only purpose is to blackguard any Christian leader who tries to maintain interreligious dialogue with Moslems; Warren believes in the Qu'ran no more than does James R. White.

With friends like this, who needs an enema? So anxious are these people to condemn both Warren and the eeeevul Catholic Church that their fulminations almost deny any need or desire for Christian unity. The image refers to a "one world religion", in a deliberate echo of the "one world government" often said to be desired by secular humanists, as if the "one world religion" weren't implicit in the command to "go forth and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19).

Of course, the whole point behind Jesus singling out St. Peter was to establish a visible head and source of unity within his Church. St. Cyprian of Carthage explains it perfectly (On the Unity of the Church 4, AD 251):

The Lord speaks to Peter, saying, "I say unto you, that you are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." [Matthew 16:18-19] And again to the same He says, after His resurrection, "Feed my sheep." [John 21:17] And although to all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power [John 20:22-23] ..., yet, that He might set forth unity, He arranged by His authority the origin of that unity, as beginning from one. Assuredly the rest of the apostles were also the same as was Peter, endowed with a like partnership both of honour and power; but the beginning proceeds from unity. ... Does he who does not hold this unity of the Church think that he holds the faith? Does he who strives against and resists the Church trust that he is in the Church, when moreover the blessed Apostle Paul teaches the same thing, and sets forth the sacrament of unity, saying, "There is one body and one spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God" [Ephesians 4:4]?

The tragedy and irony of Christian fundamentalism: it places so much focus on the Bible that it frequently loses sight of the gospel. The Bible was not crucified for us; nor were we baptized in the name of Scripture. "A tree is known by the fruit it bears" (Luke 6:43-45; cf. Matthew 7:15-20); rooted in the sin of Pride, the fruit of sola scriptura has been error, division, intellectual vanity, lack of fraternal charity, and dilution of the evangelium. Wherefore St. Vincent of LĂ©rins, writing in the fifth century, said:

But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church's interpretation? For this reason—because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters. ... Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation. (Commonitory 2:5)