Monday, September 20, 2010

Which side are you on?

Fred Sanders describes himself as "a deeply satisfied free church evangelical Protestant" and wasn't particularly interested in the events surrounding the Pope's visit to the United Kingdom but he did notice the protests and in that particular context has decided "I Guess That’s Kind of My Pope There":
...Benedict’s leading message has been a high-level critique of the aggressive secularism that has such a death-grip on the British mind. It’s a powerful argument, and he’s honed it very well over the years. I’ve been reading Benedict since he was Ratzinger; since he was just a theologian. Of course he’s said lots of other, capital-R capital-C Roman Catholic stuff, but the main point he’s been driving home has been his sustained, principled critique of the secular ideology of the contemporary world.

It seems to me that my interests are being represented by the Pope. What I mean is, the reproaches that fall on him are also directed at me and mine. When the tribes of village atheists come out to the streets with their postmodern versions of “écrasez l’infâme,” they are not upset about the things that divide my Protestant principles from his Catholic commitments. These semi-literate stepchildren of Voltaire simply hate religion, period, and want it all to go away. They lash out at the Pope because he’s famous, he’s said Christian things in public, and now has dared to come near enough to yell at. That’s mere Christian hate there.

So here’s what I learned from the public reaction to the Papal visit. I have a lot of objections to the distinctive elements of Roman Catholic theology. It occurs to me to blog them, or say them, or bring them up on this occasion. But that would be stupid. The Pope protesters are protesting me and my church as well. He’s using his platform to deliver my message to that hostile crowd, and I’m grateful for that.

Besides, when the last king is hung with the entrails of the last priest, I would rather be found among the blessed dead than in the howling crowd trying to shout “sola scriptura” over the deafening roar of “to hell with religion.”
I Guess That’s Kind of My Pope There » Evangel | A First Things Blog