Ichabod

How soon the glory has departed. The streets department in Philadelphia has barely collected the porta-potties and barricades after Pope Francis’ glitch-proof visit (minus that Kim Davis ambiguity) and Father Dwight is embracing the suck:

Why are there so many Catholics who are down on Pope Francis, biting their nails over the Synod on the Family and searching the skies for signs of the world’s end?

To be sure we live in uncertain times.

Read history. When were the times certain?

To be sure the church seems to be under threat–undermined by corruption and heresy within and attacked by persecution and infidels without.

Read your history. When was it otherwise?

To be under attack, to witness our church’s life as “the long defeat” is par for the course. It’s the default setting. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.

Its a sign of our authenticity, or were you forgetting that?

Where is the faith of the faithful? God is with his church. Did you really think the gates of hell would prevail against her? Did you really think she would be forgotten by the Holy Spirit? Did you really think he would abandon his bride?

Are you upset that Cardinal Kasper and others burble away on the fringes of heresy and schism? There have always been disputes in the church. Are you dismayed that a “liberal mafia” may have pressured Pope Benedict from office, schemed to put Pope Francis on the throne and is planning a progressive coup in the church? So it has always been. There has never been a time when the Vatican was free from political machinations, corruption, deceit, human pride and ambition.

So the reason to become Roman Catholic is, we suck as much as Protestants do? Now that’s audacious.

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23 thoughts on “Ichabod

  1. Are you dismayed that a “liberal mafia” may have pressured Pope Benedict from office, schemed to put Pope Francis on the throne and is planning a progressive coup in the church?

    But how, on V1 principles, would we ever know when this has actually happened? Is it really just the fideistic belief that the pope cannot formally declare error, and how do we know when the pope has made a formal declaration if he doesn’t say, “Hear ye, this is infallible”? And if He doesn’t say this, is the lay RC justified in ignoring the statement?

    My head hurts. What matters, the papacy or the dogma? If it’s the dogma, then how is one doing anything different than a Protestant by selectively following what the pope says, and if it’s the pope, how is one justified not doing everything he says when he says it even when he doesn’t say “Thus saith the Lord.”

    And this is better than Protestantism how?

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  2. Fr. Dwight should not sell his communion short — they suck way more than prots, so they must still be that much better. #winning

    Now, if only a Fox News Catholic Renaissance (Pope) Man who doesn’t go to confession or mass would chime in and set us straight.

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  3. “So the reason to become Roman Catholic is, we suck as much as Protestants do?”
    Now that’s an apologetic I could really get behind!

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  4. “Roman Catholicism, committed to the principle of visible and symbolic mediation, is convinced that any church lacking the full sacramental, hierarchical, and dogmatic structures, including the papacy as defined at the two Vatican councils, is institutionally deficient.”

    Isn’t that what Coke says about Pepsi?

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  5. Why Scripture sucks less than episcopacy:

    Because Christ gave us a Church founded on the Apostles rather than a book in order for people to believe in Christ they must first of all trust the Apostles, the bishops are the successors of the Apostles. Perhaps the saddest development in the Church has been the break down in trust between the faithful and their bishops and maybe equally important the paralleled break down in the trust between the world and the Church, to the point, in the West at least, where the idea of the Church was on the verge of becoming toxic.

    The child abuse crisis was certainly one important contributor contributor to this toxicity. . . .

    The centrality of Peter is essential to the Church, it is Dr DeVille points out at the service of ‘unity’. After the lio Pope Francis has to re-establish trust not just in himself but in but in the bishops in the Church as he has done outside it in his Papacy, because trust is an essential to faith and mistrust of the Pope and Bishops is seriously damaging to the Church’s integrity and ultimately to individuals’ faith. Unitatis Redintegratio is clear that not only is disunity a scandal but it is also detrimental to faith. Speaking for myself the shifting sands of the build up to the Synod has hardly strengthened my faith.

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  6. “There has never been a time when the Vatican was free from political machinations, corruption, deceit, human pride and ambition.”

    Oh, hell to the no. That was the holy spirut moving upon the hearts of cardinals who were deep in prayer and meditation and Francis was completely surprised by the whole thing. Oh ye, such are the mysterious ways of gad.

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  7. As a not-too-long ago recipient of a sermon on 1Sam 4, the title alone makes the post. Also your opening sentence makes me think of a new word I learned today, “kipple”

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  8. Scripture might suck less than the Roman Catholic adminstration of water baptism, but Scripture alone is not enough just like faith alone (which is never alone) is never enough. Scripture alone is never alone is never enough when you are trying to live in community with those who have no regard for Scripture alone (or even for Scripture in part with natural law added).

    http://confessingbaptist.com/dg-hart-on-general-revelation-contrast-brandon-adams/

    How could glory REturn where glory never was?

    I Samuel 4: 17 The messenger answered, “Israel has fled from the Philistines, and also there was a great slaughter among the people. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are both dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” 18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off the chair by the city gate, and since he was old and heavy, his neck broke and he died. Eli had judged Israel 40 years.

    19 Eli’s daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and about to give birth. When she heard the news about the capture of God’s ark and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband, she collapsed and gave birth because her labor pains came on her. 20 As she was dying, the women taking care of her said, “Don’t be afraid. You’ve given birth to a son!” But she did not respond or pay attention. 21 She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” referring to the capture of the ark of God and to the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 “The glory has departed from Israel,” she said, “because the ark of God has been captured.”

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  9. CW,

    Good catch! Looks like Father Dwight has some work to do if he is going to be as dedicated to unification as you.

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  10. The good old glory days when Catholic and Reformed cooperated with magistrates in an ecclesiology of glory…..

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  11. So the reason to become Roman Catholic is, we suck as much as Protestants do?

    No, Protestantism is exponentially more fractious, so much so that everybody knows what “Catholic” means but “Protestant” means little more than “not-Catholic.”

    Some Protestants still tried to call themselves “catholic” for awhile there, but eventually gave up the fiction.

    http://americancreation.blogspot.com/2013/ll/those-bloody-papists-even-term-roman.html

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  12. I kings 19: 3 Then Elijah became afraid and immediately ran for his life. When he came to Beer-sheba that belonged to Judah, he left his servant there, 4 but he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness. He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. He said, “I have had enough! Lord, take my life, for I’m no better than my fathers.”

    5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. Suddenly, an angel touched him. The angel told him, “Get up and eat.” 6 Then he looked, and there at his head was a loaf of bread baked over hot stones, and a jug of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 Then the angel of the Lord returned for a second time and touched him. He said, “Get up and eat, or the journey will be too much for you.” 8 So he got up, ate, and drank. Then on the strength from that food, he walked 40 days and 40 nights to Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 He entered a cave there and spent the night.

    Then the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Hosts, but the Israelites have abandoned Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I ALONE AM LEFT , and they are looking for me to take my life.”….

    17 Jehu will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Jehu. 18 But I will leave 7,000 in Israel—every knee that has not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 19 Elijah left there and found Elisha son of Shaphat as he was plowing. Twelve teams of oxen were in front of him, and he was with the twelfth team. Elijah walked by him and threw his mantle over him. 20 Elisha left the oxen, ran to follow Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and mother, and then I will follow you.” “Go on back,” he replied, “for what have I done to you?” 21 So he turned back from following him, took the team of oxen, and slaughtered them. With the oxen’s wooden yoke and plow, he cooked the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he left, followed Elijah, and served him.

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  13. “No, Protestantism is exponentially more fractious” Of course it is, because it does not pretend that institutional unity is a must. Otherwise Catholicism is every bit as fractious. But more demoralizing, because it creates the impression you must solider on and trust the Vatican in some sort of daily sense. Which you cannot. Only time it is reliable is in epochal, declarative moments. Otherwise, it’s Catholicism is good for sacraments, which is essentially what Protestants in saner moments hold as well. But not much else, especially not teaching or consistently reliable explication of the Creed (Ratzinger is great if you are determined to distill his orthodoxy amidst his unending contingencies and compliments to modernity) or, heaven forbid, accessible fellowship. Prots have the freedom to regroup when the preaching gets absurdly heretical or lame, or the community so petrified that growth seems impossible. Whereas Catholics are stuck with Francis, or the gay priest and nuns on the bus, or the Bingo and ‘Theology on Tap’ at the parish down the block. Having experienced all of the latter, it can be a lot harder to understand and a little more grim than typical Evangelical antics, IMHO. The amount of cognitive dissonance you must process as a contemporary Catholic seems an awful hard providence. Meanwhile the giddy Francis rallies continue apace with obliviousness. Except in Kim Davis’ house, where she too must be wondering what the hell is going on ad why the blessings feel so much like shoves.

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  14. Joe M., “Catholicism is good for sacraments”

    Too many.

    Not available to all Christians. So much for one faith, one lord, one baptism, niche sacraments.

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  15. So much for the papal visit afterglow:

    What we are living through is the late portion of the epoch that began during the reign of Pius VI. These are the aftershocks to the earthquake of revolution and “enlightenment.” The current tension between the secular state and the Church — and between the whims of society and the transcendent truth — wasn’t born in the 18th century, but it took a new form them. The debates going on at the synod on the family are part of a period that witnessed a complete collapse of the earthly power of the papacy and the emergence of a new understanding of papal power and the role of the pope. It was a divorce (if you’ll forgive the word) between church and state, and one whose time had come.

    The point here isn’t just to say things were worse once (cold comfort) or to look at the origin of the issue (useful as that may be), but to put things in their proper perspective and to give Catholics a better way to sort reasonable concern from mere hysteria. Those saying that this is the worst crisis the Church has ever faced, or that we are in uniquely dangerous times, are simply wrong. They’re scaring people needlessly. It’s creating anxiety and tension in a world that already has too much of both things.
    Relax. The Church has been through worse.

    This may be a rocky period, and it could get even rockier (never underestimate the destructive energy of the German episcopate), but it’s not the looming catastrophe we’ve been hearing about. It’s just the Church working out things in its usual dysfunctional and messy way. It’s like the old cliché about sausage: You may enjoy it, but you never want to see it being made.
    The Church is always in some form of turmoil or another; sometimes great, sometimes minor. Powerful people may try to drive us to the very edge of schism. The faithful will continue to be confused. It was ever thus, from the first day James and John argued about who got to sit in the places of privilege. We were given a divine institution, and we handled it with our usual mix of glory and corruption.

    The Church survives. It will always survive. Jesus Christ promised us that much.

    Called to conflict.

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  16. Ezekial 10: 17 When the cherubim stood still, the wheels stood still, and when they ascended, the wheels ascended with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in them. 18 Then THE GLORY OF THE LORD MOVED AWAY from the threshold of the temple and stood above the cherubim. 19 The cherubim lifted their wings and ascended from the earth right before my eyes; the wheels were beside them as they went. The glory of the God of Israel was above them…

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  17. “Some Protestants still tried to call themselves “catholic” for awhile there, but eventually gave up the fiction.”

    Nope, wrong as usual, TrulyVainlyDeceived. I know many Lutherans that do call themselves (the real) catholics. And they are (and many others are) as we hold to one faith, one Lord, one baptism.

    Roman Catholic is an oxymoron.

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  18. Wilson
    Posted October 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
    “Some Protestants still tried to call themselves “catholic” for awhile there, but eventually gave up the fiction.”

    Nope, wrong as usual, TrulyVainlyDeceived. I know many Lutherans that do call themselves (the real) catholics. And they are (and many others are) as we hold to one faith, one Lord, one baptism.

    Roman Catholic is an oxymoron.

    Well at least we admit “Roman” Catholic is a bad term.

    As for Lutherans calling themselves the “real” Catholic church, if you say so. They’re certainly theologically far closer to the real Catholic Church than they are to many or most of their Protestant “brethren.” The irony is thick.

    But with only ~70 million Lutherans in the world, their claims to being the “true church” are in with the other also-rans’. I don’t even know who is “Lutheran” these days. Unlike “Catholic,” which is a definitive term, “Lutheran” seems to be at best a descriptive term at best, like “Presbyterian.”

    http://theaquilareport.com/elca-has-biggest-split-in-american-church-history/

    [Not a very clever slime on my name, Brother Wilson. Lutheran wit seems to be even more witless than Calvinist wit.]

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  19. [Not a very clever slime on my name, Brother Wilson. Lutheran wit seems to be even more witless than Calvinist wit.]

    You worship Mary and adhere to many other heresies so we’re not brothers. I’m not Lutheran, I’m Presbyterian therefore my wit stands.

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