May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pope Benedict- "Love in Truth", The Great Commission, Government and the Church

Recently Pope Benedict published an encyclical and there was much furor over a part of it suggesting there be a world governing body, a “Global Authority”, to balance economics and charity; for a more equitable distribution of wealth globally. It set every conservative’s and capitalist’s mind on edge. Governmental authority with the best of intentions always corrupts and oppresses and has the force of law, man’s, not God’s. I would rather we live according to God's law, natural law, based on a foundation of prayer. Governments have secularized themselves, denounced God, and theirs' is a more dangerous greed than that of capitalist as a result. They have the force of secular man made law we are forced to obey. God at least gives us free will; we ignore it at our own peril.    

The Catholic Church, like the Episcopal Church has, in the West, found itself in a minority. The largest numbers of members are in the southern hemisphere, in “developing” countries, seeing the West as decadent, uncharitable, oppressive and greedy. Protestants, my tradition, has embraced that liberal notion while at the same time often not living up to the giving and sacrifice they espouse; let someone else, like governments, do it by confiscating money from producers. Not so far from what the encyclical was stating.  

I watch to struggle in the Catholic and Episcopal churches between members in Asia and Africa and the Western church. Non-Western churches embrace the traditions about divorce and contraception (Catholic view), homosexuality, female priests and ministers and the rest. Western churches, both Catholic and Protestant are ignoring or jettisoning those traditions. The Episcopal church is on the verge of splitting in two. Demographics show nearly two thirds of Catholics are in developing countries, and I suspect the encyclical was for that audience. Mainstream Protestant denominations have been toying with these Marxist views for awhile, diluting the “Great Commission”. If Protestants would practice the Great Commission they wouldn’t need to be compromising and diluting their Christianity by letting the State do, with much failure, corruption and damage, what they themselves should be doing.

I’ve written on being “radical” in our practicing the Great Commission here. I do have my own personal challenges with walking the Great Commission confessed here

Here’s Fr Barron on this latest encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” 

What's so disturbing about this discussion is Christians are turning to secular, often anti-Semitic, anti-Christian governments to do the work of charity and care that should flow from their own love and hearts. 

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