Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Evangelical Parents - Could This Be Your Child?

I was disturbed to read this article (link) about a young lady who is, in her words "Exploring Catholicism all on my own." Although the young lady claims, toward the end of the article, "I'd never become one of you Catholics, though," still one notes that the young lady doesn't appreciate the true problems with Catholicism and has horrible reasons for not joining that communion.

Consider her reasons: "Your faith is still far too exclusive overall for my taste. You seem to condemn too many actions, and my opinions don't really match the church's on issues like birth control, abortion, stem-cell research and even the transfiguration of the bread and wine."

Even leaving aside that this young lady has used "transfiguration" in place of the word "transubstantiation," the reasons are terrible.

a) "Your faith is far too exclusive"
Any true religion is going to be exclusive. It must needs be. There are valid criticisms of Catholicism, but this is not one of them. In fact, if anything, Catholicism is much too inclusive (as demonstrated here), not much too exclusive.

b) "for my taste"
There is no room for "taste" in religion. One's religion must be based on the truth. There is a valid reason to reject Catholicism, and that is its lack of agreement with Scriptures, not its contradiction of one's taste. Tastes change: the truth does not.

c) "You seem to condemn too many actions"
It may be that in some areas Catholicism condemns "too many actions," but this young lady hasn't provide an epistemological basis upon which to render that judgment. The way to determine whether Catholicism condemns too many actions is Scripture. Once Scripture is brought in, it may be discovered that while Catholicism condemns too many actions in one area, it permits too many actions in another area. One senses (although the young lady is not explicit here), that the young lady would like to see a church that doesn't impose very many rules on her.

d) "my opinions don't really match the church's"
Again, this standard is an invalid standard. It doesn't really matter what one's opinion is. What matters is what the truth is. The way we have access to the truth is through the Scriptures, not through our gut feelings about things.

e) "on issues like birth control, abortion, stem-cell research and even the transfiguration of the bread and wine"
With respect to the first three issues, I think it is fair to state that the young lady's objections are not principled objections. For example, while Catholicism may be wrong in generally condemning all forms of artificial birth control, Catholicism is right in identifying the intentional taking of the life of an unborn child as homicide. Since the young lady has not even found the correct word to describe the Romanist view of what happens at the consecration of the "host," it stands to reason that the young lady cannot provide a valid rebuttal for the "physical transformation" error associated with the Romish doctrine of transubstantiation.

Here's my question to Evangelical parents out there. Could this be your child? Is your child unaware of why he believes what he believes? Would your child willingly attend a "Mass" and report back that he "really enjoy[s] Mass"? Have you explained to your child, before sending him off to college, the fundamental principle of Sola Scriptura? Or have you left your child with relativist values that leave your child having as his strongest argument against other religions as being that they don't match his opinion or fit his taste? Is your child grounded in the concept of Absolute Truth?

-TurretinFan

3 comments:

Nick said...

I am a Catholic and I consider this post a proper and genuine response. Conversion should be primarily based on investigating both sides as thoroughly as possible (including official sources of teaching). Unfortunately, the attitude of most today is to convert based on emotions and friends and such, which is unacceptable.

I wanted to note that some people convert to Protestantism on less than sufficient grounds as well*, so this is not simply true of some (not all) Catholic converts.

*In my experience, the great majority who leave Catholicism didn't know what the Catholic Church really taught.

Anonymous said...

You hasve to admit the possibility that by birth control she means something benignly preventative rather than the morning after pill or abortion and that perhaps also she means witihn the context of marriage. Tis at least remotely possible.

luvvom said...

There's nothing like good ol' catechism teaching of the WCF!