Tuesday, October 18, 2011


There is a place in the Bronx where one will find the following:

One of the messages that is offered by the leadership at this place of worship or gathering is a non-starter, if in fact the leadership is interested in saving any sinners from destruction and divine wrath. At their website, one will find the following excerpt:

Welcome to St. Mary Star of the Sea Church

What holy thoughts spring to our minds in that blessed name.
O, Stella Maris, stay with us in all dangers of soul and body in life’s calm and heavy seas…

If Rome will insist on encouraging people to petition mediators or intercessors other than Christ to intercede to Heaven on their behalf, then in doing so it creates something which practically runs contrary to faith in God. This is because the human brain has only so much cognitive ability, has only so much of an attention span, and has only so many hours in a day to work with.

Again, there is only so much that the human brain can remain focused on at any particular moment. This is something I have learned in reflecting on my Campbellite years, because the leadership of at least one Campbellite congregation of mine placed such a high value on the act of baptism--you know, the focal point of the salvation of one’s soul in the Campbellite mind--that the continual act of proclaiming the necessity of faith and trust in Christ fell by the wayside. No one preached (in any noticable fashion) the message of trust in God as the occasion of remission of sins--just didn’t happen. That’s because when a person plays up one message he forgets another.

Think about the differences between political leftists and rightists in the U.S. For example, right-wing media tend to explain the 2008 U.S. economic downturn in terms of Clinton-era policies concerning housing and money-lending. On the other hand, left-wing and/or centrist media tend to mention “predatory lending” of financial institutions and the notion of Wall Street derivatives as constituting a house of cards bound to eventually fall apart. But neither side ever mentions the causes that the other side mentions. Most people from any given side probably would not want to address all the causes even if they were aware of them all--it would cede too much popularity capital to the ideology of the opposing side. Moreover, if one side of the aisle spends no time whatsoever speaking of issues X, Y and Z and you notice this, then you have to spend your time doing what the other side will not do: that leaves little or no time to ever address the issues that the other side does mention. So as a matter of sheer mechanics and practicality, it becomes difficult or impossible to juggle more than one message or idea.

Campbellites became aware of some of their particular shortcomings and tried to start emphasizing a message of faith, trust and reliance upon the God who justifies sinners: they did this around the year 2000 as more and more people started using the Internet and interaction between people of differing theologies became more thorough and commonplace. So their preachers or apologists began to play up the lost message,* and in doing so they tried to overcome the problem of time management that we mentioned earlier. However, this sort of thing likely does nothing to overcome the problem of cognitive ability. For if a person is convinced that even just after he comes to a point in life where he trusts God to save him from his sins he still won’t be saved from those sins until he is dunked (if all this is even possible), in some sense he is ultimately relying on the baptizer. Personally, I doubt that I trusted the Son of God before I made a confession concerning the same before a Campbellite congregation and was baptized minutes later--probably no trust in God until after I had fulfilled this one last requirement that I thought I had (i.e., baptism). So, if more people in the Churches of Christ are like this, then no one should be surprised to find they have more false converts among them than among heterodox Christian congregations.

Therefore, back to the initial comments on matters Roman Catholic. If you’re encouraging people to petition dead saints to petition God because you believe that these saints are holier than thou, isn’t there now less of an incentive toward longstanding and perfect personal obedience to God? And do the thoughts of those under Rome’s influnce--both the pious and the semi-pious, so to speak--truly remain focued on God in circumstances such as these?

Such is that which is on my mind right now....


* I am being generous here. Know and remember that semantic variances of common theological terms sometimes come into play when dealing with heterodox groups and individuals.

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