Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The "Success of Protestantism"

Protestantism is competition for Catholics, and for others.

In The Next Christendom, the author predicts that the number of Pentecostals in the world will roughly equal the number of Catholics by 2050, even counting Catholics of the charismatic flavor.

And of course the number of Pentecostals will dwarf the number of Orthodox believers.

Is this a good thing?

Well ... I'm no great fan of Pentecostalism and I believe the "catechism" of Pentecostals such as it is ("accept Christ as personal savior, read the Bible, and wait for the gifts of the Holy Spirit") is defective in a number of particulars ...

But it is competition. And one thing that is very clear is that whenever one flavor of religion has a "lock" on a country or region of the world, that flavor tends to go down the tubes quickly in terms of quality.

Catholicism is the obvious example of that with the Reformation (bad) which led to the Counter-Reformation (good), or the excesses that led to the Albigensians (bad), which led to the reforms of St. Francis and St. Dominic (good).

[Xofezura's offense-giving remark about the Russian Orthodox Church deleted -- ed.]

I suppose in Xofezura's dream world, it would be 100% Catholic in every country, except perhaps Israel and Greece, just for the sake of variety. But in real life how would that world work? Badly, I expect. We would not be getting popes like Benedict XVI, that is for sure.


Blogger atgnatus said...

Russia became the Third Rome after the fall of Constantinople. It magnificently lived up to the epitaph. Christian mysticism thrived and grew under the care of the Forest Fathers. The practice of the Jesus Prayer and spiritual Elders reached an unsurpassed degree of excellence under their humble and austere care. Most of the wilds of Russia were settled as villages sprung up around monks who had moved into remote areas.

Then the militant atheists came to power and the Orthodox Church truly earned the title Church of the Martyrs as millions died for their faith.

Finally, communism fell thanks to Reagan, JP II and Thatcher. What emerged from the wreckage was a society that consisted of an entire generation that had Christianity mercilessly strip from it. That communist influence did not value life. Alcoholism and all the other vices that result from living in a hopeless and dark society were wide spread.

Into this the Russian Orthodox Church has been trying valiantly to retrain clergy, rebuild churches, and reinstitute Christian learning for children all the while having to deal with the legacy of the actions of bishops who were let out of the gulags and appointed to roles of authority in the Church by the communist.

The Russian people have a proud, no, an exalted Christian heritage built around the Church. The inspired insight of the 19th Century Russian monasticism, the bright flame of faith of those who remained pious knowing that gulags would be their earthly reward and the efforts of the Church to rebuild Russian into a Christian nation that values life in the post communist area are wondrous and inspiring testaments to the power of Christ.

Your characterizations of the Church in your post (which you merely parrot from comments on other blog by a clear antagonist) are vile, untrue, slander the Saints and are clearly at odds to purpose of Jesus Prayer and the Church.

I can take no further part in this unchristian activity. Please remove my name from the list of contributors to this blog.

10:57 AM  
Blogger xofezura said...

As you wish, Atgnatus. It was not my intent to offend.

11:05 AM  
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