Wednesday, April 07, 2004

One of our friends from our Methodist church tried several times through voice mail and personal contact to ask our Methodist pastor how to apply what she's reading in the Bible to her daily life, to her family, to her job. It is, perhaps, a decent reflection of the state of the church I left that she gave up trying to get that answer from that pastor. You can say that I gave up trying to get that answer from the Methodist Church.

I have, however, run across several Catholic sources during my conversion that I've found interesting, even if they are rather large. Pope John Paul II's "Familiaris Consortio," for example, describes a family as "The First and Vital Cell of Society." I like that, especially now with all the news of Terrorist cells... JPII describes the social and political roles of families. It's good reading, worthy of much more study.

Another place which has some practical value to parents is "The Domestic Church" -- though what it has to do with the Ken's Men (World War II Bomber Vets), I don't know.

And, of course, the Catholic Catechism has large sections devoted to Family Life, the development and use of your conscience and morality.

The Methodist teachings on morality are all outward looking, focusing on people in society, while the Catholic teachings are inward, focusing on a person's relationship with God. Perhaps this a reflection of the "faith and works" vs. "by faith alone" conflict between Catholics and Protestants. An example from the Methodist "Book of Discipline:"

"Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes
us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to
respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother,
for whom devastating damage may result from an
unacceptable pregnancy."

A self-centered statement of belief, where neither conscience nor God has a place.

Aside: speaking of Protestants. I often see Baptists lumped in with Protestants. I don't think Baptists agree with that... here's one of many sites that take exception.

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