Wikipedia is a great time-waster. You start looking up one thing and then click on a link and the next thing you know, hours have passed.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been venturing far down into the rabbit holes of the theology, particularly the various Christian heresies.
This got me thinking about the current state of Christianity, particularly the familiar liberal calls for the Catholic Church to stop being Catholic but instead become like the Methodists, Anglicans, etc.
One the one hand, the Protestants have been doing this for, gosh, 499 years. Next year it will be half a millennium. Despite all that time (and not a few wars) there are still people who think that somehow their blog post or article will be the one that brings Rome to its senses.
As they say in the South: “Bless their hearts.”
Anyhow, one of the things that these appeals always seem to ignore is that the denominations that seem to adhere most closely to the liberal “wish list” for the Catholic Church are also the ones most riven by faction and rapidly losing members.
I’ve hit on this before, but it never ceases to amaze me that people keep insisting that if the Church wants to grow and flourish, it needs to adopt the practices that have all but wrecked every other denomination that has adopted them.
Let’s take a simple example: Women clergy.
It seems to me that there’s an iron law about ordaining female clergy. If a church ordains women, no matter what their theology, sooner or later they will become wholly owned by the progressive left, which will then require them to dump their existing doctrine and (as a result) lose a lot of their membership.
I’m trying to think of a case where this hasn’t happened. Perhaps in the comments someone can enlighten me.
The examples of it happening are many. The United Methodists are a prime example. Recall that these were once some of the most upright denominations out there. I mean, the followers of Wesley were all about holiness and clean living (not to mention sobriety).
Almost all Protestant branches emphasize the primacy of scripture and the importance of its study, and yet after the Methodists started creating female ministers, things headed south. They got soft on abortion and the next thing you know, they were performing gay marriages.
Oh, it wasn’t immediate, nor should one expect it to be. It takes time for a critical mass of ‘new thinkers’ to emerge within the hierarchy of the organization. But that’s what happened.
The Presbyterians are in a similar situation. I recall attending a wedding where the presider was a rather attractive middle-aged woman who wore an above-the-knee skirt and black hose. Okay, it was in Ann Arbor, but it still struck me as odd for a minister of Christ to be showing some leg for the service. I mean, I wouldn’t expect a male minister to be in a shirt tailored to show up his biceps.
I’ve already documented the madness that has settled over the Anglican Communion. It should be noted that priestesses (you know, the correct term for a “woman priest”) are permitted on a region-by-region basis.
Funny, those areas that have them (like the US) are the farthest off the theological reservation. A schism seems inevitable. Heck, the Lutherans already had one.
Correlation is not causation, but when you keep noticing the same effect following the same action, it’s hard to write off as coincidence.
It seems to me that at this point the relationship is clear: ordain women and basically turn into MoveOn.org at prayer.