Stephen Colbert interviews Garry Wills (a professing Catholic, as is Colbert) about his book “Why Priests”
I think it’s important, on this Ash Wednesday, to think about who Catholic’s are. Are the Christians? Are they not? I can certainly say “yes” to both of those questions
At the end of the day (and by “day” I mean “age”) all that is going to matter is one’s place in Christ.
While it’s true that Catholics have a whole lot of extra-biblical beliefs, some of which are quite unhelpful, if an individual places their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, they will be saved.
[To Paul and Silas] “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
[To the Philippian Jailor] “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved
I think that Wills and Colbert’s interchange is helpful. It gives a couple of good examples of how the “traditions” of the Catholic church, rooted in Scripture, have taken on (at times) absurdity.
Do we take the Eucharist? Certainly we should. Is it the Body and Blood of Jesus? No.
Should we baptize people? Absolutly. If we sprinkle water on babies, is that baptism? It’s a meaningful ceremony FOR THE PARENTS, but it’s not the NT practice of Baptism, which is for Believers (which a baby is not).
Should we have Priests? Yes, we are all priests. We do not need men to be a special conduit of grace for us, that is Jesus. He is our mediator between God and men.
Is it good to devote yourself to a celibate life in order to follow Jesus all the more. YES! Realize that’s not a requirement, but Jesus even tells his disciples (most of whom were, at some point, married) this (Matt 19:12).
I am not as “down” on my Catholic brothers and sisters as many Evangelicals. Sure, there are many traditions that I believe need an adjustment to be more closely aligned with the scriptures, but they affirm the basic tenants of Christianity:
- Vicarious Death of Jesus
- Resurrection of Jesus
- Jesus as God, THE only God.
I believe if more Catholic Believers were to pay attention to fellow Catholics like Garry Wills, perhaps more people would be willing to embrace the Catholic Church?
We shall see what the next Pope has to say on such matters…