Doing Religion with the Leftovers

This post pointing out that the liberal Presbyterian Church of the USA has been funneling loot to the corrupt ACORN organization for years makes me stop to ask why such a thing could be going on. We can’t hold our head too high. The Catholic hierarchy have been shoveling loot their way too it seems.
This is the inevitable result of modernism in the church. At its core, modernism denies the supernatural in religion. For modernists the Scriptures are not inspired. They are a collection of human religious texts. There are no miracles. They are the product of a fervent and deranged religious imagination. God (if he exists) does not intervene in the world. There is no such thing as answered prayer. Sacraments are no more than symbols. The Church is merely a human institution. The incarnation is no more than ‘Jesus was the most fully human being who ever existed and in that way he shows us God’. The Virgin Birth is a pretty fable and the resurrection is ‘the beautiful fact that Jesus’ teachings continued to live even after his tragic death.’
This is the creed of the modernist Christian, and it is only the end result of the core denials of Protestantism. (As a side line, ask your conservative Protestant Evangelical friends which of the above statements they would agree with. You’ll find that they agree with about a third, and will have no good reasons why they do not deny the others.) This same modernism, of course, has infected the Catholic Church too.
The result is that Christians have to do religion with the leftovers, and what is leftover after the Christian faith is robbed of any supernatural element? Good works. When you no longer believe in the reality of the next world the only thing left to do is work to make this world a better place. So religion becomes a campaign for peace and justice. Religion becomes a campaign for equality and tolerance. Religion becomes a campaign to eliminate poverty and raise the standard of living for all.
Of course, these are laudable objectives and ones that all Christians should endorse, but they should be the fruit of religion, not the main point. The terrifying thing is that once changing the world becomes the main object of religion the devotees soon shift their attention away from the worship of the immortal invisible God to the devotion to a mortal visible god.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17821971426359725229 Tom in Vegas

    This is the most reasonless, slackwitted, doltish buffoonery that I have ever seen in American politics. Who do they think Obama is? Who are these people? What God do they worship? More importantly, WHAT planet are they from???

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11740482509910163332 Gail F

    Have you read "The Lord of the World" by Hugh Benson? It's an alternate future in which the socialists have taken over much of the world and are bringing it universal peace… but as one of the priest characters says, it's peace without Christ and not the peace that Christians should have brought, and that's not the same thing at all… The whole world ends up worshiping a formerly obscure American politician. Oh yeah. Read it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    Doesn't it say somewhere in scripture(I already know it does,so why am I even asking?)that there will come a time when people won't abide sound teaching,but will gladly give themselves over to any old thinking that feeds their ego? Words to that effect anyway.I better go find the scripture,it will only bug me otherwise.Hang on……..Found it!Paul says to Timothy,2 Tim 4:2-42 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Tim 4:2-4 KJV).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02761676705455430009 Jason

    Father:To be fair, I think the people in the video are saying "deliver us, o God" not "Obama."I don't disagree with most of what you've said about Modernism and religion, though.Pax.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12746127431922685446 JD Curtis

    It sounds like, in the beginning, they're all saying 'Obama' and towards the end, some in the crowd are beginning to realize the heresy that they are spewing and the word 'God' seems intermingled with 'Obama'.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17284905121465747077 Steve

    Are you certain they're not praying, "Deliver us, O Father?" I know what the caption says, but the caption was placed there by someone with an agenda.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04315105493443923507 Paul

    What Maritain called "immanent apostasy": abandoning the teachings but refusing to leave the Church, and trying to hollow the teachings out in a desperate attempt to see nothing wrong with that. I'm noticing more and more of it, but there was enough of it about in 1966 for Maritain to be denouncing it as the greatest threat to the correct implementation of Vatican II's reforms.As to the video, when I close my eyes I don't hear "Obama".

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18310501516675300767 Minkykat

    I agree with JD in that the first two times, they clearly state OBAMA and then some veer off to use the name of the God they have forgotten while others stick to their new god with a small g.For more great reading that will make your head swim go and get "They Thought They Were Free" by Milton Mayer. Mayer, an American Jew, goes to postwar Germany to interview the typical German man who went with the Nazi party. He goes in thinking this is purely a German thing.He leaves knowing that this kind of enslavement could happen to any race at any time…even America. It is chilling to read now.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15725423840111655020 francis

    Are you sure they weren't saying, as in the contest with Elijah, "Hear us, O Baal"?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06229240762758469267 Martin Tohill

    Mark Shea is backpeddling after posting this video. It seems they are praying to God…for the wrong things certainly but to "the" God nonetheless.

  • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ romishgraffiti

    Mark Shea is backpeddling after posting this video.Actually, Mark did more than backpeddle. He flat-out admitted he was wrong, that he didn't check it out carefully, and apologized for it. Commonweal responded by using the apology to steal bases as Mark put it. That is, they said Mark was wrong (true), but then said creepy adulation of Obama was a right-wing invention (false).


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