I frequently browse ChristianPost.com to stay attuned to the evangelical world. I would liken the site to the evangelical version of the Huffington Post, both in its focus on controversy and frequent guest contributors. Today I saw an article that may make Catholics chuckle: a group of Protestants, disheartened by disunity, are starting another movement (denomination) in search of the “Old Church.” The groups founder said, Mainline churches have no options. They must reconnect with the roots of Christianity or wither as divided branches. And that imperative applies to all mainline bodies regardless of denomination.” Neither the Catholic Church nor the Eastern Orthodox Church are mentioned in the article.
Before anyone laughs, let’s remember and consider three things.
1. These people are sincere. Many who call for a return to first century Christianity viewed through an evangelical lens, whether it’s Francis Chan or Steve Timmis, are beyond sincere. They’re not hypocrites, they serve the poor, and they help broken people. We should not be dismissive but encouraging of them to have many of their questions answered in the Catholic Church.
2. As Catholics, we can have a “too big to fail” mentality. The Church will not cease to exist because of Christ’s promises, but that doesn’t mean we should be disengaged as parishes close and people of all age groups leave the church. Some of the zeal of members of these groups could be replicated.
3. Local communities are important. When I first became a Catholic I started seriously wondering if it was the Catholic style to be unfriendly and unwelcoming. Neither the pope nor the bishops can live out the Christian faith for us in our parishes–we must take the initiative.