Thursday, January 03, 2008

Another Catholicity moment

I have long been critical of most things going on at Reformed Catholicism including its basic premise that an honest dialogue can exist between all groups such as Romanists and Reformed as one example. Denominations exist for the most part because of serous divisions that often go to the very nature of the gospsel. Take for example the differences between Calvinistic churches and Armenian churches. They disagree on at least the nature of man’s sin, whether faith is a work, Christ’s work on the cross and what that did, whether God controls all things, man’s role in salvation, and the security coming from salvation. These are fundamental. I am all for dialogue, but not dialogue that pretends such difference are not at the very heart of the Christian faith. Reformed Catholicism thought at first that such things and other controversial issues such as the role of Mary and Images could be discussed in a helpful non-divisive manner. They have been proven wrong as many writers have now split to form Evangelical Catholicity. The split seems to be because of a growing difference between writers like Kevin Johnson and the more Mercersburg oriented group like Jonathon Bonomo. This can be seen in heated exchanges about a wide range of topics in the comment sections.

This brings me to my point about Catholicity or Ecumenism. It is the dirty little secret of Catholicity. It is actually an intolerant movement and spews venom at those who disagree with their Ecumenical or ‘Peaceful’ goals. One only has to look at history to see that what happened between Evangelical and Reformed Catholicism happens every time a movement claims to be about Peace and Ecumenism. In my own personal denominations history one can look at the Peace Movement that tried to bring about reconciliation between the Mercersburg Party and the Old Reformed Party. Those who did not want to participate and still did things like bring people up on trial for heresies were branded as crazies. Just look at James I Good’s take on the German-Russian ‘Kohlbrueggians’ in his History of the RCUS 19th century. Good is a staunch Old Reformed Man, but he has nicer things to say about the Mercersburg group than the intolerant German-Russian group, which would eventually not follow the rest of the denomination into the merger with the Evangelical Lutheran church. The Presbyterian Church also serves as a wonderful example. For years the Princetonians had been fighting to get the Liberal who signed the Auburn Affirmation out of the church. They had some small success then in 1925 a Princeton Professor known for his ecumenical or a peace attitude was elected moderator: Professor Charles Erdman. It was under his leadership that the cause of biblical orthodox ground to a halt. He placated a group of ministers who denied the virgin birth by creating a committee to discover the problems within the church itself. That commission interviewed men like Machen, but rejected their view of the problem. The very next year the appointments of Princeton were held up and the institution was soon destroyed. It was under the guise of Peace that the ‘intolerant’ view of Princeton was eradicated. One could go back further in time to the Counciliar Movement and the Council of Pisa, which was supposed to settle the dispute between the Avingion and Roman Popes, but instead created a third pope. Ecumenism is not a peaceful movement. It never has been. The latest split in Catholicity blogs is just further proof of that.

2 Comments:

Jonathan said...

Lee,

Honestly, I expect more from you than this. First, you ignore what I say in the post to which you link about the issue which led to the starting of a new site NOT being about any doctrinal disagreements, but rather solely about the tone of dialogue we desire in a site. Second, you ignore what I say in that same post about Kevin, myself, and other still having a desire for unity and that it was not a "split", strictly speaking. Third, you assume that I and the others at the RefCath and EvCath sites want to pretend that differences don't really exist, which could not be further from the truth, and it never has been the truth. Actually, we want to acknowledge and discuss our differences with the hope of greater understanding and unity.

Oh, but I forgot... trying to understand others and striving for greater unity is really sectarianism in cognito. Of course, it couldn't be that those who are opposed to unity are actually the divisive ones, and that their millitant rejection of any attempt at concord in the historical examples you mention here is really what has increased division, could it? Nah. Couldn't be.

franciscanmafia said...

It's Arminian, not Armenian.