The food fight

If Protestantism is a Heinz 57 of denominations founded each on their own take of sola scriptura then the blessed Church instituted by our Lord is a filled with cafeteria catholics, each believing they’ve got it right and having the most spectacular food fight since Henry VIII broke with the Rome and set up his own festal table and, I’m probably one of them.

Bravo, Owen. Read the whole post.

Owen’s moving story of his naivete and coming to realize that despite the divisions within, the Catholic Church is still worth converting to, is a good lesson for anyone thinking about swimming the Tiber. My own story is quite a bit different, however. Being the opposite of the artist-type–I’m a maddeningly deliberate scientist–I dove into the world of Internet apologetics, wanting to learn everything I could before making my mind up to convert. The “briny hot water” that Owen describes was for me more like water hot enough to be distinctly uncomfortable, just a few degrees short of scalding. The compelling logic of the Catholic Church drew me in, and when I saw all the nasty divisions within, I almost jumped out of the water and back into the safe confines of Southern Baptist life. On the surface, the bickering over liturgy and apparitions and charisms and who knows what else seemed just like the founding of the New Hope Glorious Holiness of the Spirit Chapel down the street, lately split off from the New Hope Majesty of Christ Temple further down the street. But, when I tried to remain a Baptist, it just didn’t work. I taught Sunday School, but something felt missing. I played in the worship band, but our worship seemed oddly hollow. I realized that there wasn’t a cross in the building. I didn’t mind the utilization of the sanctuary for any old church function because, well, the sense of holiness was missing. So there was only one move to make.

That does not mean that I am happy about the divisions within the Church. I think they water down our witness to the world in exactly the same way as the broader rifts within Christendom do to the people outside. But, sadly, St. Paul was onto something in 1 Corinthians, when he was already warning the newest of Christians about growing divisions. Fissiparousness is in our DNA; however, we within the Church remain in communion. Our divisions are like deep wounds that have not (yet) torn apart. May we stitch them up before they do.
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