…of what I meant when I wrote
Often, I find that indictments of Roman Catholicism are doubly indicting of Protestantism, and indictments of Protestantism are doubly indicting of Roman Catholicism.
Two common charges leveled by Roman Catholics against Protestants:
- Protestants generally allow divorce.
- Protestants generally allow the use of birth control.
Both of these charges are true. But both indict the Roman Catholic church more than the Protestant churches they are leveled against. Roman Catholics do not allow divorce–yet have an identical divorce rate to Lutherans, and only a slightly lower rate than mainline protestants. Roman Catholicism teaches it is sinful to use birth control other than NFP, yet 98% of sexually experienced RC women have used a method other than NFP; and 87% of RC who are sexually active, fertile, and do not want to become pregnant currently use methods other than NFP. Both of these numbers are only 1% less than the numbers for the population at large.
The same is true of common charges leveled by Protestants against Roman Catholicism:
- Roman Catholicism gives the Pope and bishops authority above scripture.
- Roman Catholicism adds extra-biblical teaching, such as limbo.
These are also true. Yet Protestantism tends to give any pastor, or anyone that writes a Christian book, and even the culture in general authority over scripture. For example, the head covering example I mentioned in the last post. And Protestantism adds its fair share of extra-biblical teachings–including the “sin of segregation,” and the “sin of human slavery.”
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. —2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 (ESV)