Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Angels and Demons, Catholics and Protestants, Christ and rubbish

Whassup subscribers? I have officially ended the school year on a wonderful note. I found out I get to keep my money, I passed the first part of my PhD candidacy exams, and I swept the board with all A's in my classes, all praise to God for everything. I was able to get home and spend a great Mother's day with the fam and relax after a harrowing semester. Now that things are settled, my summer begins and you know what that means? That's right, higher, no, no I mean more blogs. So a burning topic has been hounding me to be written over the past week or so on this second movie from Ron Howard, Angels and Demons, based on the book by Dan Brown. I've seen a great deal of people referring to the anti-Catholic sentiment that has accompanied it.  Many Catholics are calling a ban on the movie, similar to the ban on the Da Vinci Code, the first movie in the series. I began to think that Dan Brown had serious beef with the Catholic Church but then I thought about it: the infrastructure of the Catholic church is fashioned in a way that demands control over its followers and their least, papal officials would like to think so. 

If you look at the history of the church, it began from the promotion of Christianity to the official religion of the Roman empire in AD 380 which, in my opinion, was the worst thing that could have ever happened to the gospel. It made it a ward of the state, so to speak, in that no a government would control the faith and how it was to be practiced and interpreted. Then slowly the Catholic church began to take shape under the guise of religion when it was really government control. The same governmental control that guilted or incited European countries to take the Holy Land, the same control that exploited indigenous American peoples to slavery and exploitation, the same control that allowed for the Holocaust to take place, and, most importantly, have allowed a backlash of atheists and agnostics to declare war on God.

It's really a shame and many Protestant denominations are guilty to a lesser degree as well. They have tried to control people's salvation by heaping good works, elitism, and guilt on people to control their relationship with Christ and it can't work. Right living doesn't come by papal authority, good works, fasting, condemning other religions, long monologues on the pseudo-intellectual "mystery of the gospel"; it come from grace. Grace and the recognition of what was done on that Christ 2000 years ago for us to have a personal relationship with the creator of the universe. The physical establishment of the church (both Catholic and Protestant) is not the church contrary to what they believe. The church is the body of believers who have a relationship through Christ with God and recognize that gift of grace covers all our iniquities, not only those done, but any we would ever commit and that brings about right living. 

Oppression in the name of God is the greatest sin because I believe it blasphemes the Holy Spirit who is a witness to the love and goodness of God when we least deserve it. Will physical churches ever realize the truth or reveal it? Probably not, but the Spirit is an amazing thing and can reveal truth when there is nothing by lies around you so I'm believing that people will recognize the goodness of God and desire to know Him who above all else, desires a personal, daily relationship with us. 

Read "The Shack" by William P. Young and "Radical Gospel of Grace" by Joseph Prince to reveal an amazing God that is taught so little of anymore. I'm out.....peace and hair grease...