Monday, March 28, 2011
Christianity Too Complicated To Communicate
I really do have sympathy with those Liberals who suggest that Christianity is too complicated to communicate, I agree with their analysis but disagree with their conclusion. Their conclusion is that it all so complicated therefore we shouldn't really bother. It is complicated because they complicate it. Liberals present the faith as a series of propositions, all of which may or may not be accepted, it is a relativist approach, which inevitably ends up with an ultimate, "I have doubts but on balance I accept most of what has been presented".
Traditionally Catholicism is much simpler, it is matter not of propositions but simply, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ and His Church?" or maybe more simply "Do you believe in the Church of Jesus Christ?"
The object of belief is not propositions at all but in the Person of Christ, who lives and teaches in his Church and is really and truly present in the Sacraments.
The methods of evangelisation of former times seems to be the teaching of the "Our Father", and a few other prayers and some quite clear moral teaching such as keeping the 10 Commandments, attendance at Mass, that leads to Heaven, not keeping the Commandments etc leads to Hell. It is simple, ultimately: Heaven or Hell: Life or Death. Living a Christian life, conversion, is the real sign of embracing the Faith. As in the Gospels right "doing": loving God and one's neighbour was the sign of right believing.
An old priest friend, quietly, late at night suggests the same thing about the Mass, now it has all become so complicated in the past it was simple to explain: here is Jesus our Saviour, really and truly present under the form of bread and wine.
Yes, we can add details and depth, we can answer questions and indeed in the past the "doing" was supposed to provoke questions but ultimately the Catholic faith isn't about complexity but simply an encounter with the Risen Lord.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake