Michael Coren and Why the Catholics are Right.

This is a good example of the importance of foundational assumptions behind an argument.

In this case, Mr. Coren may be mostly correct. Let us leave aside the Roman Catholic doctrine that non-Catholic followers of Christ are going to suffer the same fate as those who do not follow Christ at all. Supposing for the sake of the argument that they are right about all the other doctrines including the silly ones that they adopted to make it easier for pagans to Christianize. So what? The foundational assumption is that being right is what is important. Maybe it is not. I don’t recall one of the commandments being “Thou shalt be right” Micah 6:8 does not say … what does the LORD require of you? Do the right sacraments, have the right theology and go to the right church”. I also don’t recall a “Blessed are they who believe correctly about God for they and only they will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Christianity is not about being right.

This topic is near and dear to my heart because it is pertinent to the state of the evangelical church today. We are divided because we have so many little Popes who all want to be right. Evangelicals love to point at the Catholics as an example of how to do it wrong and yet we make so many of the same mistakes.

The problem with being right is that we will not really know until we get to heaven. So then what, are we going to laugh at the people who were wrong. Are we going to pridefully strut around? The goal of being right is be able to please God. We study God for the same reason we study our spouse. We want to be able to do those things that please them. With spouses we want to know what kind of gifts or chores are most appreciated. Same with God.

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2 Responses to Michael Coren and Why the Catholics are Right.

  1. Hi Joel,

    You wrote, “let us leave aside the Roman Catholic doctrine that non-Catholic followers of Christ are going to suffer the same fate as those who do not follow Christ at all.”

    I wasn’t aware that the Catholic Church taught this doctrine. Could you provide some (Catholic) reference for your statement?

    Also, I’m interested in whether or not you read Coren’s book or if you are offering an opinion based on the title alone.

    Regards,

    C. Douglas Guy

    • Mr. Guy

      Thank you for your comment: I’m honored.

      I confess my knowledge of Catholic doctrine comes from those who oppose it and often by word-of-mouth at that. If I’m wrong feel free to correct me in the spirit of Timothy 4:2 (Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage— with great patience and careful instruction.) I especially like the great patience part.

      As for the Michael Coren book, No I have not read it. My blog was not aimed at the book it was just a timely title to attract traffic. True, I couldn’t help but get a couple of digs in at the Roman Catholics. It is an old habit, please forgive me. My real targets are the evangelicals among whom I grew up and where I continue to make my spiritual home. I can easily imagine the leader of any of the many flavors of evangelicalism writing a similar book with a similar title but with their own brand in place of the word Catholics. I believe that the foundational assumption is wrong.

      In almost every area of our lives being right is what is most important. The most obvious case is that of science and engineering. Being right about the laws of physics allows us to control them. In economics and politics being right is also highly valued. Being right about what issues resonate with people gets a politician elected; being right about what products and services customers are willing to pay for gets a businessman profit. It is understandable that people transfer this importance of rightness to the realm of religion.

      The Almighty has never spoken to me directly and I don’t think I have ever been inspired by God in the way that the writers of scripture were inspired. I use the word inspired here as a weaker verb than ‘spoke to me directly’. Therefore I rely on the writers of scripture for my information about what God wants of me. There is very little there about believing correctly. It is not zero just very little. But there is a lot there about behaving correctly.

      Thank you again for taking the time to comment.

      Joel

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