Making it up as you go Along

Dedicated readers will know that my primary objective when I write on the topic of religion is to argue, hopefully persuasively, that the underlying premise is untrue. I understand that people like the sense of belonging to a community, that the idea of a continued life of some kind after our physical death has some appeal, or at least makes the prospect of death less horrible to contend with, and that praying to a loving paternal figure for succor may be soothing. But the claims made by the three Abrahamic religions are just not true, and in this post I will enlist the aid of his Holiness the Pope, to provide further evidence of my position.

The Catholic Church’s theology is based on Scripture, which is based on Divine Revelation. The Church believes it is guided by the Holy Spirit which protects it from making mistakes on matters of faith. Their tenets are encapsulated in their Creeds and the official Catechism. In other words, they are in tight with God, and know what His Most Enormous wants from us. The central theme of Christianity is that through Jesus, one can be saved from sin. The death of Christ was an atoning sacrifice, which took away the sins of the world. In order to make sense of this, we have to backtrack a bit to the origins of this sin Jesus died to remove.

In the Garden of Eden, the first humans went from a state of innocence and obedience to God to one of guilty, sinful disobedience. This is considered the Fall of Man and this fall brought sin into the world, corrupting human nature and creating a state of sinfulness that prevents an eternal life with God, unless God’s grace allows you to be cleansed. The Catholic Church believes that the sin from Adam and Eve was transmitted to their descendants and all humans are born with it. God then sent His son as a Savior, to take away the sins of the world. The Church goes on to state that outside of the Church, there is no salvation.

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.” ¹

With this brief and admittedly incomplete background, we can move to current events which I argue support my claim that all of this, every shred of it, is complete fabrication. The Church deems itself responsible for evangelizing to all people their sacred mission of spreading the Gospel and bringing everyone to Christ:

“The missionary mandate. “Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be ‘the universal sacrament of salvation,’ the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men”: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age.”

The origin and purpose of mission. the Lord’s missionary mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity: “The Church on earth is by her nature missionary since, according to the plan of the Father, she has as her origin the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit.” The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.”¹

That leaves the Jewish people in a rather awkward state, since they don’t acknowledge Jesus as God’s son and the Savior of mankind, so according to the Church, they will not be saved from sinfulness and will not receive God’s grace. In 1965, after publicly praying for their release from spiritual blindness, the Church tried to make amends with the Jewish people:

Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel’s spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.

But that doesn’t really “save” them does it? The Church still maintained their sacred right to keep bringing Jesus to Jews, but perhaps doing it with more delicacy. The Church has now updated their language to reflect this kinder and gentler approach to evangelizing to Jews:

 The Church is…obliged to view evangelisation to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views. In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews. While there is a principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission, Christians are nonetheless called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews, although they should do so in a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God’s Word, and particularly in view of the great tragedy of the Shoah [holocaust].

The Church is really going out of their way to clarify that they are sensitive to the Jewish people, who according to the book the Jewish people wrote, are God’s Chosen People. But they still haven’t given them God’s favor and allowed them into Heaven, since the only way to Heaven is through faith in Jesus. Finally, we get to the juicy part:

That the Jews are participants in God’s salvation is theologically unquestionable, but how that can be possible without confessing Christ explicitly, is and remains an unfathomable divine mystery.

And there you have it Faithful Readers. The Catholic Church, trying to make peace with the Jewish people and allowing them into their Heaven has just declared them eligible, even without Jesus. How can that be? They don’t know; it just is. They can’t figure out a way to square that circle, so they just made something up and stuck it in there. At least they admit that it makes no sense. It’s a real mystery. In fact, it’s an unfathomable one. Well of course it is.

 

¹Cathechism of the Catholic Church

 

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One comment

  1. The modern Catechism is somewhat problematic on this and other traditional teachings. (Limbo, etc). Older writings and official prayers of the Church are much clearer in calling for their confusion.

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