No One Expects the Puritan Witch Hunt

Some contemporary critics are debating whether Christians are experiencing something closer to a witch hunt or an inquisition. Turns out, the inquisition is worse:

By contrast, the purge of traditional Christians and Jews is a heretic hunt, an Inquisition, whose objective is to isolate and punish individuals who actually profess opinions contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy. There can be some overlap between an Inquisition and a witch-hunt, to be sure. But today’s liberal Inquisitors are not searching for individuals secretly in communion with God—yet.

This is a critical distinction. Witch-hunters eventually discover that burning a few old hags does not prevent cows’ milk from souring. Inquisitions, by contrast, usually succeed: The Catholic Church succeeded in stamping out broadly held heresies, as in the Albigensian Crusade of 1220-1229, which destroyed between 200,000 and 1,000,000 inhabitants of Cathar-controlled towns in Southern France. In many cases a town’s entire population was killed, just to make sure. For its part, the Spanish Inquisition eliminated all the Jews, Muslims, and Protestants, although it sometimes drove heretical opinions underground, with baleful consequences for the Catholic faith. (From David P. Goldman via Rod Dreher)

So, converts to Rome want to identify with all of THAT history? And were the glories of Christendom all that glorious?

But if you can defend that part of the church’s history, the recent past is easy peasy.

2 thoughts on “No One Expects the Puritan Witch Hunt

  1. If you are “Reformed and Reforming”, you are attempting to reform tradition by identifying with tradition. You not only accept the water praxis of inquisition (when it comes to those born in family) and its Christological creeds, but also reach your hands down into the toilet trying to save “catholic continuity”.

    Such reform is like saving the too big to fail capitalist banks in order to save small business I think one of the reasons to learn history is in order to repent and to flush. I think we need stop calling ourselves “evangelicals” in order to reform “evangelicalism”.

    If exile from reforming this present age until Jesus comes means still trying to reform ” mother church”, what are your prospects for conserving and reforming “mother church”? Or is it your duty to try, so that “the visible church” does not get worse as it would if you did not try?


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