Call Me an Evangelical Charismatic Liberal Conservative Progressive Traditionalist…

…or call me Catholic.

One of my life slogans is the dictum by F.D.Maurce that “A man is most often right in what he affirms and wrong in what he denies.” I realize that my own prejudices and background incline me towards what seems to be a more conservative viewpoint, but I reject the title and kick against the walls of any box I’m put into.

So here is what I affirm: I am an Evangelical because I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is the message for the world’s salvation. I believe the mission of the church is to proclaim the gospel of God’s love and redemption to a needy world, and I believe the old, old story of sinful humanity in need of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation. That love is granted to the world through the sacrificial death of Our Lord Jesus Christ–Son of God and Son of Mary, and it is ministered to the world through his Holy Church. It is my mission and the mission of all the baptized to go out into the world and share this good news with love, power and passion.

I’m a charismatic because I believe we cannot do this without the infilling power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of individuals and the whole of Christ’s body the Church. I believe the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit for healing, reconciliation, forgiveness and transformation are alive in the world today and are available through prayer and the sacraments of Christ’s Holy Church. I believe in the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit which empower and enliven individuals and Christ’s church. I believe it is the Holy Spirit who charges our hearts with the power and grandeur of God and lifts us from merely being human.

I’m a liberal in the classic sense of the word–meaning I wish to have an open mind and an open heart to the viewpoints of others–seeking to embrace and affirm all that is beautiful, good and true in every philosophy, culture, group or perspective. I wish to have an open heart to those in need–to have a preferential option for the poor, to be suspicious of hypocrisy, cant, croneyism and the establishment powers. I want to be liberal in the administration of God’s love for the lost, the needy and the disenfranchised. I like the radical call of the liberal–I admire the maverick and the rebel amongst them. I follow a table turning Jesus.

I am a Conservative because I wish to conserve all from the past that is beautiful good and true. I believe if a thing ain’t broken you don’t need to fix it. I am a conservative because I trust things that have stood the test of time more than that which would replace it. I’m conservative because I want to conserve and repair something old and precious rather than junk it and get something new. To put down roots and grow deep and strong I want to value all that has been tested through generations of thinking people. I’m conservative because I want to make sure those good things from the past continue to live and be relevant and dynamic in the world today.

I’m progressive because I believe God’s Spirit is always doing something young, new and fresh in the world. God’s work is ever creative, ever new and ever bold. I’m progressive not because I believe that the progress of mankind is inevitable, but because it is possible. I’m progressive because all creation is groaning for redemption and God is working his purpose out as year succeeds to year. He is not dead and he is not done. He is not done with me and he is not done with our beautiful world and he is not done with the human race. I am progressive because I believe in his loving providence the best is yet to come.

I am Traditionalist because tradition provides the roots whereby the new work of God can blossom. Tradition is the trellis on which the vine can grow. Tradition gives the structure, the discipline and the wisdom which instructs and channels the powerful work of the spirit. Tradition treasures the beauties of art, music, architecture, literature and drama which echoes from the past into our age and gives us inspiration and guidance on how to go on. Tradition on its own is dead, but tradition with the power of the spirit is a dynamite that can transform the world and transform me.

I refuse any particular category and will kick out of any box, and I encourage readers who wish to be fully Catholic to do the same. Read More.

 

 

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