Skip to main content

Religious Battlelines

I was watching a recent program on TV where the issue of the cultural effort to reduce the term Christmas and replace it with the term “holiday” was the primary topic. The focus of the moderator was on the public position or lack thereof of the Roman Catholic Church in the debate. The moderator who himself was a Catholic had two Roman Catholic priests on as guests to get their perspective on the silence of the Catholic church on this issue.

It was an interesting exchange as I thought the interviews revealed far more about the apparent position of the Catholic Church than just their views on whether Christmas was indeed being subverted by influential secularists, atheists and corporations. First of all, both priests agreed that the Catholic church have indeed been silent on the issue, with the consensus for this being that they had not been given any guidance from the Vatican on how or whether to address the issue. However, just as revealing was the priests’ assertion that the Protestant churches (primarily the Evangelical and Pentecostal groups) had essentially co-opted the role of religious leadership by their constant rhetoric in the public arena not only on the Christmas issue but on others as well. It appeared to be a bone of contention on the part of the priests that the more contemporary denominations had usurped a role that was “never given to them”. They pointed out however that mainline protestant denominations (i.e. Lutherans, Presbyterians etc.) has not been part of the issue.

I thought these interviews were quite revealing on the two issues. What effect can the Catholic church have (positively or negatively) on the fast moving moral issues of the culture, when by their own admission their ability to engage in cultural debates is dependent on the logistically challenging need for constant administrative and spiritual guidance from the Vatican. This position certainly appear to continually put Catholic leaders in being at least a step behind their secular counterparts in the fluid on going battle for the minds of people.

Secondarily, the objection of the priests to the more prominent role being forged by Evangelical and Pentecostal groups suggests a bit of antagonism towards these other denominations. The question to be asked therefore is: is the antagonism warranted? If this observation is indeed correct, this is simply the latest skirmish in a centuries old battle between the Catholic and Protestant communities. To be quite frank, the battle line is centered around the issue of who has the ultimate authority on religious matters: is it the Vatican through the leadership of the Pope or is it the Bible, which conveys virtual leadership on regular individuals through direct communication and guidance from God. Whatever your feeling is on this question, the reality is that the enemies of God has a laser like focus on opportunities to subvert the culture and spread their philosophy of secularism and humanism. Believers in Jesus Christ cannot sit passively on the sidelines or participate in inter-denominational skirmishes and expect that their influence on lost people will not be impacted.


St Jeremiah said…
Biblical Christians will loose the cultural war. We are "in the world, but not of the world." Many Protestants and Evangelical...alarmed by the decay of the Judeao-Christian culture of America...have sought closer ties with Rome by forming ecumenical ties to counteract the slide to Humanism and moral relativism. But it is closer ties to Jesus that Chrsitans need...not closer ties to the Vatican. We need to ready ourselves for His appearing (I John 2:28-3:3). As we live in purity before a decaying and dying world...our witness will be a rebuke on their refusal to accept the King of kings. Even mainline denominations, that have denied the authority of the Bible, will not let us join their moral majority unless we deny or compromise our unyeilding claims to Biblical truth that exposes their lies and hypocrisy against the truth. As Jesus' appearing draws nearer and nearer...we will be marginalized, minimized and then criminalized for our alligence to Jesus Christ!

Popular posts from this blog

Funerals for the Unsaved or Unbelievers

I am not a leader of a church, but I oftentimes wonder how does one lead a funeral service for someone who dies without knowing Jesus Christ as Lord? Admittedly I have not been to many funerals in my lifetime, though they are appearing to come more frequently lately, but the fact is that funerals are held daily throughout the world and as such this is a pertinent question to someone just about every day.

I’ve been to the funeral where the person lived a fairly routine life, taking care of their families and other responsibilities as best they could, paying taxes and doing the average things that we as human beings do on a consistent basis. They however had no visible relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ. When this person dies, the surviving family members are oftentimes left scrambling trying to find a person and a place to officiate the funeral services – generally because the deceased did not have a regular church that they attended. Funeral homes sometimes serve this f…

Scripture: Are You a Wheat or Weed?

(Matthew 23: 24-30 NIV): Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

(Matthew 23: 36-43 NIV): Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered, “The…

Hal Lindsay off TBN

Christian author and broadcaster Hal Lindsay removed his weekly Christian television news broadcast "The International Intelligence Briefing" from the programming lineup on The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) after network officials notified him that his shows would now be subject to pre-screening for censorship prior to broadcast approval. This unusual step was the result of TBN’s disapproval of a Lindsay broadcast in December 2005, which the network said was too inflammatory towards Muslims.

I have reviewed the transcript of Mr. Lindsay's broadcast and I find nothing in it’s content that is not backed up by God’s scripture, nor did I find anything that would be considered overly zealous or purposefully sensational with respect to potential attacks on Muslims. To the extent that TBN, one of the most widely available Christian TV networks would take this position is quite incredulous. One of the reasons for the need for ‘Christian’ TV networks is to enable the presenta…