Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A Kiss for the Ages

Christian missionaries in some locations live under the threat of violent death. According to tradition, the apostles themselves, St John being an exception, died horrible deaths. Catholics in communist countries live under the foreboding eye of the totalitarian State that demands their loyalty. I assume people have seen the reports of Muslims killing Christian missionaries.

Now click here .

Now given my very positive feelings about JPII on the political level [anybody who despises communism deserves credit], part of me wants to say that he's "doing as the Romans do when in Rome." However, I myself cannot find any justification for doing what has been done here. I've read the Koran, and it is, to say the least, quite polemical against Christianity. In between what is true in the text are statements that should make a Christian who "knows his stuff" cringe. Now one can live in an inconsistent civil peace with Mohammedans, but a Christian cannot in good conscience cast even a remotely approving eye towards those large parts of Islam that contradict or are in opposition to Christianity. Therefore, whether it be the Pope --- the alleged Vicar of Christ --- or whether it be a no-name thoroughly unimportant Evangelical such as the Pedantic Protestant, such an action should be utterly confounding. Kissing the Koran seems to indicate a friendly or, at the most conservative, a non-oppositional attitude towards something that is antithetical to much of Christianity.

Do I mention this in order "to stick it" to Roman Catholics? If one can read the PP's heart, one would see that the answer is in the negative. But, it seems to me that this is a good litmus test for general intellectual honesty: it should, I think, bother a good RC immensely, given that they are bound to see the Pope as [at the very least] a spiritual leader and somebody for whom the greatest attention and seriousness must be paid. And, in my very small and completely biased sample of three RC's, all three of them are thoroughly bothered by it, so a PP tip-o'-the-cap to them for not reducing their faith to a cult of personality. Just to be sure, I consider much of what is particular to Roman Catholicism to be not strongly supported by the Biblical and historical evidence, but, it is cheering to me to see that there are some good RC's who share my sensibilities.

What do I think about the whole thing? I'm scandalized by it. I cannot see St Paul, given his rhetoric in Galatians, nor St John's rhetoric in his letters --- not to mention St Jude --- doing such a thing. If I were to see St Paul kissing, say, some gnostic document, I'd think that St Paul, a person who according to the text was especially called for service by Our Lord, should go back to making tents.

A Pedantic Protestant coffee mug [or tee-shirt, pick one] is on its way to one Dr. Svendsen at Real Clear Theology for beating me to the punch and giving me a picture to which I might link.


Blogger The Babaganoosh said...

I've never seen that picture, and frankly am a tad perturbed. I'm sure JPII had only good intentions, but it's still... off.

Or perhaps he was just spitting on it. That clever Pope!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 7:28:00 PM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

That would be clever, though I'm sure we would've heard about THAT in the news really quickly!!


Thursday, May 05, 2005 6:49:00 PM  
Anonymous 1689 said...

Dr. Brown of Haddington was right! The Roman Catholic Church IS going to team up with Islam to persecute evangelicals!

(the above piece of paranoia is brought to you by the Robert Rainy Institute for the study of Theological Development)

Monday, May 23, 2005 11:43:00 AM  

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