No truth and the consequences
Is it a coincidence that as the Catholic Church has descended into malfeasance, watered-down doctrine, and loss of faith and church attendance that Islam has come alive? Or is there more to it?
There are several ways to look at this inverse relationship between these two belief systems:
- Coincidence, which I don’t really believe in.
- Islam is filling a void left by the Catholic Church
- Islam senses a weakness in the devoutness and will of the West led by the troubles and decline of the Catholic Church
- God enables evil to fill a void created by the unfaithfulness of the Catholic Church and Christians generally.
Focusing on the Catholic Church, the clear evidence of trouble has made the headlines over the last several decades. In recent history, trouble began soon after the Second Vatican Council concluded in 1965. Here are some of the faith destroying events that have occurred since the ‘60’s:
First, watering down of doctrine purportedly to be more “user friendly” to the liberalizing masses was accomplished by the Second Vatican Council.
The Second Vatican Council (Latin: Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum or informally known as Vatican II) addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. The council, through the Holy See, formally opened under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI on 8 December 1965. From Wikipedia
Examples of such “watering down” of Catholic doctrine are provided in the Lumen Gentium, a doctrinal statement created in 1964 contemporary with the Second Vatican Council. Portions of this doctrinal statement declare a semi-universal salvation: In so many words, many may be saved without knowledge of, trust in, or commitment to Christ. The statement appears to minimize ANY threat of punishment or Hell for those who don’t know the Gospel, Christ, or even God of the Bible. All of this is with the intention of being kinder and gentler to win adherents.
More specifically, Section 16 deals with those who have not yet received the Gospel, or the evangelical/missionary message of “how to be saved” or “how to avoid hell” or “how to receive ‘eternal life’”, depending on your religious persuasion. Section 16 is provided in its entirety at the end of this blog, but here is an important excerpt:
“But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.” (underline/italics added)
This statement literally shouts unadulterated ignorance of Islam and the nature of its pagan god. The Islamic god had no son. The Islamic god is not knowable. The Islamic god does not express love. In virtually every significant way, the Islamic god is different or opposite the Judeo-Christian God of Catholic doctrine. Yet astoundingly, this statement declares Islam worships the same God.
Just as amazing, the statement places Muslims above all others among the unsaved for God’s mercy. Why? On what basis? There are non-Muslim pagans all over the world subject to God’s grace. What about the millions of Hindus, Buddhists, and Siks who may inwardly have a better understanding of God than unmaleable, malevolent Muslims? How about the Jews who are at least in the same ball park of knowing the same God? Why were Muslims proclaimed in “first place?” What message did the Catholic hierarchy receive in the mid-60’s that caused that sort of nonsense? Was it a result of Islamic intimidation? Blackmail for as yet unrevealed sex acts by Catholic hierarchy? A deal struck with the devil? Middle East funding for remodeling the West Wing of the Vatican? Centuries of wishful thinking? A bout of extreme political correctness? Nothing else would explain this insane statement.
In any case, here we have it. Not only is knowing Christ and his character and ultimate sacrifice not required for salvation, but Muslims are first in line to receive His grace.
Then in the next decade we begin hearing rumblings about sex abuse and cover-up in the church involving Bishops and possibly Cardinals, becoming full bore headlines in the ‘80’s and 90’s. The Church is still paying out millions.
Related but a clearly a separate and equally serious problem is the so called “gay mafia” within the Vatican hierarchy. These individuals are likely the ultimate proponents of child molestation cover-ups. They are most likely trying mightily to further erode Catholic Doctrine to promote gay marriage and to legitimize their gay lifestyle throughout the church.
Not only were the temporal punishments of the Medieval, Spanish and Roman inquisitions ceased for folks failing to convert to Catholicism removed from Catholic practice centuries ago, now even the consequence of eternal, spiritual punishments have been removed for non-belief. Why bother with religion at all?
And the statistics show it. The result? A precipitous decline in membership, attendance, and faith over the past 50 years.
- The number of priests, graduate level seminaries and churches without a resident priest/pastor declined nearly 50% between 1965 and 2012
- A Gallop poll indicates the percentage of Catholics age 20-29 who attend church declined from 56% in 1963 to 30% in 2003. This doesn’t include the likely decline in those claiming they are Catholic.
- Any modest growth the Church has enjoyed over the past decade is due to the huge influx of immigrants, both legal and illegal, from South of the border. If only longer-term US citizens are considered, those counting themselves as an “active Catholic” would be in significant decline.
Contrast the above with the resurgence of historical orthodox Islam. From Wikipedia:
Islamic revival (Arabic: الصحوة الإسلامية aṣ-Ṣaḥwah l-ʾIslāmiyyah, "Islamic awakening") refers to a revival of the Islamic religion throughout the Islamic world, that began roughly sometime in 1970s and is manifested in greater religious piety and in a growing adoption of Islamic culture, dress, terminology, separation of the sexes, speech and media censorship, and values by Muslims. One striking example of it is the increase in attendance at the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, which grew from 90,000 in 1926 to 2 million in 1979.
From a Western perspective, two of the most important events that inspired the resurgence were the Arab oil embargo and subsequent quadrupling of the price of oil in the mid-1970s, and the 1979 Iranian Revolution that established an Islamic republic in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini. The first created a flow of many billions of dollars from Saudi Arabia to fund Islamic books, scholarships, fellowships, and mosques around the world; the second undermined the assumption that Westernization strengthened Muslim countries and was the irreversible trend of the future.
The “revival” or “resurgence” of Islam has emboldened Muslims around the globe to reassert their orthodox Islamic ideology. Islam’s fundamental doctrines promote not only condemnation of and hatred toward everyone who does not convert to Islam, but requires conversion under threat of temporal death or subjugation. These were maintained below the surface of most of the world’s awareness prior to the 1970’s. And now they have erupted full bore. So now, once again not only does Islam promise eternal punishment for failure to convert, but it metes out temporal punishment for failure to convert. Contrast this with the declining state of spiritual urgency of Christians and especially Catholics.
The result: A dramatic resurgence in Islamic activism, fervor, supremacism, and terror.
The Church is being dealt the consequences of their failure to promote the truths that were handed down to Her from the Apostles as well as ignoring the realities of Islam which are hell bent on washing over the Catholic/Christian millieu with their fascist, satanic ideology.
For an example of the damage that can be done to Christianity and westerm culture by careless, poorly articulated, or downright ignorant Christian pronouncements, see this article about the actions taken by one US Catholic Bishop against a noted Catholic Islamic expert HERE .(http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/03/spencers-treatment-at-the-hands-of-the-diocese-of-worcester-provides-some-insights-into-the-problems.html)
Excerpt of the “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church” known as Lumen Gentium:
16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(18*) In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.(125) On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues.(126) But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*) She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator.(129) Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, "Preach the Gospel to every creature",(130) the Church fosters the missions with care and attention.