Thursday, March 8, 2007

Help, I think I'm becoming Catholic!?!?!

Last night I just couldn't get to sleep. So what did I do? I decided to read something I thought would be tedious and boring. Apparently I chose the wrong book.

I picked Three Treatises by Martin Luther (obviously in an English translation).

Before I go further, remember back to what you have been taught. Why did the reformation happen? What was Martin Luther really beefed about?

Did you answer MONEY?

I wouldn't have.

Seriously, the book is page after page Ad hominem attacks on the pope whom he refers to as "The Avarice". And complaints because the Pope was asking the German people for money. Then he was sending Cardinals in to rule the German monasteries, and these cardinals were being paid money that had been going to the previous leaders. So as he saw it, Rome was taking over Germany by taking advantage of there piety and asking for money and submissions. Luther claimed then that Rome was using its power to live lavishly on the pains of others.

In actuality, at the time Rome was pretty much bankrupt. The reason is that the pope had waged wars that were far more than he could afford. This is why he asked for more, and this is why he allowed the sale of indulgences to occur.

It all seemed so petty that by page 50 I was in tears.

Don't get me wrong, I know there was a lot of worldliness in the church at that time which needed to be dealt with. Furthermore, the pope had clearly gotten himself into a quandry by becoming overly concerned with political things.

But to split the church over this? Not for all the truly legitimate gripes that I had previously heard (maybe those come sometime later in the book, I hope?).


Coming soon:

What is sola scriptura?
Misconceptions about the Immaculate Conception
Assumptions about the Assumption

I am hoping that all of you whatever your beliefs will tune in and help me out with these weighty topics

In the meantime, you can sit and ponder another deep (or not) question:

How do you respond when your three-year-old matter-of-factly tells you "Mommy, all of the girls' leotards are more fancier than mine, aren't they?"

I said "yes" But I am doubting this answer remains satisfactory forever.


Dave said...

Probably you will soon know more about Catholicism than I do. If you do come to join the Church, I'm sure you would make an excellent apologist to other Evangelicals. I imagine there are many misunderstandings on both sides about basic beliefs and practices. I hold out hope that one day the Church will no longer be divided.

Kathy said...

If I remember from my history class, Luther's initial desire was to bring about reform to the Catholic Church as opposed to breaking away. Luther's supporters were German princes who wanted to not have to answer to the Church. That whole money and political power issue.

Shae said...

Perhaps it's not a good idea to trust the public school system to teach us correctly about matters of religion?

Shae said...

That's a remark against my own education.

M LO said...

The Catholic Chruch certainly had some major house cleaning to do around the time of the Reformation. And I am compelled to side with Dante's assertion that many popes now exist in a far hotter place than Rome, though I know no one can say that for sure. Most importantly, I agree that there are many misunderstandings that come from both Protestants and Catholics trying to valorize the actions of their "side" during the Reformation.