巡礼者の小道(Pursuing Veritas)

聖書の真理を愛し、歌い、どこまでも探求の旅をつづけたい。

Crying with my broken-hearted Catholic friends and with my fragmented Protestant friends

Image result for green tree in the rain

 

I believed and got baptized in the Presbyterian church and I had been a committed Bible-believing Protestant Christian until recently when, by reading and encountering some very strong historical/theological/philosophical argumentation written by Catholic/Eastern Orthodox friends, my Sola Scriptura belief along with some other core Protestant beliefs' got crumbled at its foundation and consequently, I've got into a serious paradigm crisis.

 

By reading articles of br. Bryan Cross (a former reformed theologian who became a Catholic), I started to doubt that we could/should possibly believe in the visible Church as he suggests? That's because in order for me, as a Protestant, to believe in "one church" in Nicene Creed, it was necessary to interpret it to mean "invisible" church, though I know deep inside that to do so necessarily involves some kind of "ecclesial docetism" in my ecclesiology.

 

And it is at this very moment of my personal crisis that this Catholic Church scandal shook the world.

 

 

As I was listening to the above message of Fr. Barron, tears rolled down my cheek and I cried uncontrollably. I was crying with my broken-hearted Catholic friends worldwide and I was crying with my fragmented Protestant friends near and far, being split over countless doctrinal issues. 

 

In tears, I realized that I had never actually believed the Nicene confession: "We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." How can I confess with good conscience that I believe in one church when in fact it is hardly ONE at all? Even a little child could tell that some 40, 000 denominations are not seen ONE. How can we? 

 

For all of my Christian life, I have been in a spiritual house(s) where there has always been divisions and split over major/trivial issues. it seemed to me that the more we are faithful to Sola Scriptura, the more we would be divided decisively and bitterly. 

 

I felt like (in a spiritual sense) I have been a street child who has desperately been seeking for this One church, a safe refuge where there is an united Family. O Lord, I am tired of divisions. I miss my brother and my sister. The more we face divisions, the more we have to "spiritualize" the Bible truth/dogmas in order to camouflage the unbiblical reality and thus go down the dark valley of ecclesial gnosticism in one form or other. 

 

Endless theological disputes without referee stir hermeneutical chaos and interpretative anarchy, and the more I've tried to make sense of all these things, the more I realized that maybe I myself, as a Protestant with all of my good intentions and efforts, have been part of the problem. And this realization made me despair.  

 

Dear Catholic brethren, I want to share with you something. When I see and feel your utter sorrow and lament over the Church scandal, it gives me both deep sorrow and hope. Sorrow in a sense that it really gives us impression that we can no longer trust anybody, any ecclesial office; on the other hand, your genuine devotion and love (+lament) to your Church gives me a sense of hope that indeed, there might be such thing as "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." 

 

I don't cry for the scandals of church(es) of mine or theirs because, after all, there are plenty of other church options and the solution is simply to change my church to a better one (ones). But you are crying bitterly and with lamentation because you don't have any other option, do you? You truly believe in "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church," don't you? Tell me, is your Church the Church which Christ founded? Can I, too...believe that with you? The fact is I think I want to believe it with you truly and desperately. I want to hope in Christ and His Church. O Lord, have mercy upon us!