Posts Tagged ‘ church ’

In the world – not of it

Fine quote from Archbishop Charles Chaput:

„For forty years, Catholics have heard a steady chorus of how we need to be open to the world, learn from the world, honor the good things in the world, and be more humble in our approach to the world. All of this is true. God created the world, and He loves it, and He sent His only Son to redeem it.
But at the same time, God wills that the world should be converted and sanctified, not worshiped. In his Gospel, Saint John describes the “world” as everything that is aligned against God. Jesus shed His blood on the cross because that was the price of redeeming the world—from its sins and our sins. The cross was real. Christ’s suffering was real. And if the world isn’t a holier place today than yesterday, it’s because we Catholics have chosen the unreality of the world and its distractions over the reality of the cross.
We’ve assimilated. We’ve been too comfortable and accommodating. We’ve listened to the world too politely when it lies about abortion, or contraception, or divorce, or the death penalty, or our obligations to the poor, or the rights of undocumented workers, or the real meaning of pluralism, or our international responsibilities—and we haven’t shouted out the truth.
The world is a powerful and attractive teacher, but while it can often give us what we want, it can’t give us what we need. We need God.“

(from ‚The Church as Mother and Teacher‘)

Protestant Catholic

A brilliant insight from Helmut Richard Niebuhr (American Christian Ethicist and Theologians; 1894-1962) concerning the interdependence of Catholicism and Protestantism:

„The Church is protestant and catholic. This is not only to say that there is much historic Protestantism in those institutions called Catholic churches, and much historic Catholicism in the institutions called Protestant. It is also to say that the principle of protest against every tendency to confuse the symbol with what it symbolizes and the subject with the object, is a constituent element in the being of the community, even apart from the institutional organizations. The Church as the people of God, whether under the Old or the New Covenants, is always the party of protest against religion in the religious human world. It protests against every effort to bring the Infinite into the finite, the transcendent into the immanent, the Eternal into the temporal. The only finite symbol of God it tolerates is the symbol of emptiness—the empty Holy of Holies, the empty tomb. But protest has no meaning apart from what is protested against. The Church cannot be protestant without being catholic. The principle of catholicity—as the principle of incarnation rather than the principle of universality—is as much an ingredient of churchliness as is the principle of protest. Unless the Infinite is represented in finite form, unless the Word becomes flesh over and over again, though only as oral preaching, unless the risen Christ manifests himself in the visible forms of individual saintliness and communal authority there is no human relation to the Infinite and Transcendent. Negative and positive movements—the one in rejection of all that is little because God is great, the other in affirmation of the apparently insignificant because God is its creator, redeemer and inspirer; the one away from the world that is not God, the other toward the world of which he is Lord— must both be represented where the Church exists.“

Sexskandal in der katholischen Kirche

Der anglikanische Bischof von Durham, N. T. Wright, nahm in seiner Osterpredigt kurz Stellung dazu, wie wir mit der katholischen Kirche (nicht) umgehen sollten, bzw. wer uns in unserem Umgang mit ihnen nicht leiten kann:

Just because it is now clear that the Roman Catholic church followed disastrous and reprehensible policies in relation to sex offenders within its own ranks, we should not be wallowing in it in the smug, snide, told-you-so tones of journalists who, having themselves long given up any pretence of Christian morality, love nothing better than pointing the finger at the teachers they once feared. Nor should we be bounced, through the half-truths of media comment, into concluding that all the church’s other teachings on related topics are fatally flawed and should be revised to fit with current secular morality. This is not the way, and the Press are not the people to teach us. Think back to those good news stories from Stockton and many other similar places. The national Press, of course, ignore all that, in order to return, like a sow, to where good mud is still to be found.

(Nur weil es jetzt sicher ist, dass die Römisch Katholische Kirche im Umgang mit Sexualstraftätern aus den eigenen Reihen einen desaströsen und verwerflichen Kurs gefahren ist, sollten wir uns nicht im süffisanten, abfälligen, ‚Ich-habs-doch-gesagt‘ Tonfall der Journalisten darin weiden, die als solche, die schon lange jeden Schein der christlichen Moral aufgegeben haben, nichts mehr lieben, als mit dem Finger auf die Lehrer zu zeigen, die sie einst fürchteten. Noch sollten wir uns durch die Halbwahrheiten der Kommentare aus den Medien dazu hinreißen lassen, darauf zu schließen, dass alle Lehren der Kirche im Bezug auf verwandte Themen nun auch fehlerhaft seien, und revidiert werden müssten, um mit der modernen, säkularen Moralvorstellung übereinzustimmen. Das ist nicht der richtige Weg, und die Presse sind nicht nicht die richtigen Menschen, um uns hier zu lehren. Erinnert euch an die guten Nachrichten aus Stockton und vielen anderen Orten. Natürlich ignorierte die nationale Presse sie allesamt, damit sie wie eine Sau wieder an den Ort zurückkehren kann, wo guter Schlamm sich finden lässt.)

Ein Edelmann…oder?

Keep what is good

The emerging conversation has polarized alot of Christians. Some of that polarisation is good. Some is bad. My idea is, to take Paul’s approach: Test all things, and keep the good stuff. Maybe you’ve heard this line: „Some people say, the emergent church has some good points – but so does a porcupine!“ Well, to be honest, I don’t think that this is the best way to deal with it. What we should do in my opinion is this:

– Differentiate. Between people and their reputation. Between the different ‚lanes‘ within the emergent movement. (For this, I recommend Mark Driscolls teaching from the „Religion saves“-series on the emergent church. Go to, you’ll find it there somehow.

– See that most movements are reactionary. The emergent group reacts to something. What are the bad sides, downsides, weak points of modern day evangelicalism?

– List those things that caused the emerging church to emerge.

– Think about where we need to grow, change, and learn.
If we do that, we will be benefited from this movement. Or we just continue to bash everything we feel threatened by.

Here are some of the topics: dealing with the big issues in the world (war, pollution, corruption, etc.); social responsibility; the humanity of Jesus; different ways to do church; dealing with questions, doubts, etc.; facing the challenges of our culture; Christianity as a ‚way‘; any other suggestions?

I will start do deal with these issues one by one. And I believe it will be helpful and cause us to grow. Let’s face it: even though not ‚everything has to change‘ (Brian McLaren) – some things do! And our attitudes might be among these things…