I ain't Catholic: Part II
I hadn't really planned on doing this, but the spirited discussion that was spurred by the other topic was certainly thought provokin'. Things got pretty murky there at the end, with about 4 distinctly different topics all being discussed at once. It's my blog dammit, and I don't want anyone reading all that mess and wondering where I stand. What's the point of having one of these things if ya don't speak your mind plainly anyway?
So here goes. In a general sense, I want my religion to be scripturally based. The smaller the deal, the less I am going to scrutinize it. The bigger the deal, the more so. In other words, if we're talking about a salvation issue, then I am going to expect the Bible to spend a lot of time on it, and to be very clear on it. If we're talking about an intergral part of the Christian Lifestyle... Like giving for example, I am also going to expect to see some serious Biblical backing.
In the case of giving, the point is hammered home again and again.
In the case of various miracles performed by Christ and others, the Bible is also very explicit. I don't doubt for example that Christ walked on water. The tradition of the Church, and scripture both agree.
So what's my point?
In the Catholic doctrine, confession is a big deal. Yet I see not one example of anything like this in the scripture, and the explanation of the practice... Well... Just seems totally hollow to me. Sure, I can follow the logic, but if that's what was intended, then why was it not communicated as clearly as say... Our instruction on giving?
The Last Supper to me is pure symbolism. "Is" in that case means "Think of it as". This is as clear as day to me. It makes no sense to see it any other way. It's amazing to me that I can speak to priests who argue that the resurrection is actually a metaphor, but the Last Supper is not. Are you kidding me? Now clearly this is not the Catholic doctrine, and I've had protestants also claim that the resurrection didn't really happen. Still... it all strikes me as silliness.
I guess what I'm saying is... Christ may have built his Church on The Rock. But the rock then chose to relocate the thing to a beach. The justifications for the institutions of the Church are by no means concrete or easily reached.
After reading the explanations given by TZ, and the checking the references he kindly provided, I can honestly say I understand why simple people would reject all this. I can't blame them for saying, "To heck with all this nonsense. I'm just doing what the Book says."
I see Biblical minutiae exploded into global bureaucracy.
The Church, and I mean the whole Church, faces some serious issues. Seminaries are losing credibility. Harvard Seminary... Once home to John Calvin himself, has now slunk into the pit of humanism. Priests and Ministers are no longer prepared to serve the Lord, as much as they are prepared to forward some agenda of the World of another.
Why... at mass on Saturday... We were asked to pray for world peace. World Peace? Christ himself advised us not to consern ourselves with such things. War is just a natural state of the world. What are we doing being led to such a prayer? Bizarre.
To sum up... The Catholics have a communication problem, or a dogma problem, or both.
But the Church... The Church has a much bigger problem to deal with.