Dear Protestants #2 – Why We Should Fight

It doesn’t help that
it’s incoherent, either. Really?
The long withstanding hatred
between peace and women
needs to be resolved? And “The Bab”
are major players all the sudden?
In this pristine and relativistic world, the hardest part of any decent fight is starting a decent fight. Specifically in terms of religion, we are taught that argument shouldn’t happen at all, that it’s bad taste to believe you are right. Haven’t you seen those cute little bumper stickers demanding that we religions coexist? (Which are wonderful stickers really; liberals finally admit the strength of religion – we are agitated, caged lions. I imagine a certain breathless fear is present whenever someone buys one of those stickers. “Just coexist, please! Just don’t start anything…objective. Don’t offend, don’t fight, please, please, coexist. I don’t want Holy Wars to ruin my brand new Prius.” Pssh. I want to buy a “coexist” bumper sticker in which every single damn letter is a Christian symbol. Next to this I will have a bumper sticker that says “Get at me.” I will do this in defiance of those Chesterton said “who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions.” )
Well that was a long side note. My point is that we humans were designed to fight, and when we don’t, we go one of two ways. We make big pointless wars that would never have happened if Muslims and Christians were allowed to scream at each other, have refined philosophical and theological debates, and otherwise not coexist. (Oh yeah, and if Muslims could drink, that would help.) Or we end up looking something like modern American society. Apathetic, flaccid, wallowing in our own lack of action, and our even graver lack of fun. When really, we should look like this:


Alright, let me get even closer to something like a point. There are two ways of bringing people together, by becoming more specific or more vague. As we speak, vagueness is the fashion. The common definition of the Universal Church is not something specific like, Oh I don’t know, the Catholic Church, but something vague, along the lines of “anyone who believes Jesus is God and isn’t too weird.” If this is the Universal Church then any argument outside of the divinity of Christ is superfluous, and thus any debate between Protestants and Catholics is detrimental to the Church; we really should just be co-existing. Holding hands and singing kumbaya, the only song that everyone can be equally offended by.
But hold up. In the Garden of Gethsemane, our Lord Jesus Christ’ prayer was that they might be one: 

And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth. I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. (John 8-26)

Does Our Lord’s concept of ‘one’ fit with the fashion of vagueness mentioned early? No! Jesus wants such unity in the Church that by merely looking at her, pagans will be impressed with the message of Christ. Now that’s some specificity. The prayer is not, “let them all believe that I am God, regardless of whether they truly believe I am bread and wine, regardless of whether they believe I’ve predestined half their numbers to hell, and regardless of their views on the taking of innocent life.” The Lord wants the Church to be one.

Here’s the deal. The Catholic Church is making the radical claim that we are the unity Christ prayed for. That we are one. That we are the Universal Church. (Spoiler Alert: Catholic means Universal). If we are wrong, then we have made the most presumptuous statement that can be made, and feel free to damn us to hell. As it turns out, we’re right, but never mind all that. The point is that the way to the unity Christ prays that we might have does not lie in vagueness, in making the message of Christianity more and more general until is unrecognizable from a rather hyped up therapy session. It lies in specificity, in unity of action and purpose that can be recognized by the world and bring them closer to God. And I don’t think it’s too much of stretch to say that pagans aren’t exactly impressed by the “unity” of Christians. Why should they be, as we speak there is a church for every idea you can have, and for any interpretation of the Bible you can make? It just ain’t right, ladies and gentlemen. We were meant for much more than vague, watered-down Christianity.

So that is why we should fight. That is why we should never shirk for fear of offending someone. That is why we should not be satisfied in the words “Well we all believe in Jesus so there’s no need for argument.” That’s like saying we all believe in the Vietnam War, so there’s no need for argument. Jesus happened. And he begs to the Father that we might be able to figure that out. So Catholics, have tradition-fueled arguments with Protestants. Protestants, have biblically-referenced arguments with Catholics. It’s what God wants. For the love of peace, fight!

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