Si tibi erat sacerdos, vel simil quae sacerdos. Quod erat tibi ante quae fides abandonavat?
I run into lot’s of Ron like “Christians” There are three Protestant, or as they call themselves “Christian” Book stores within a five mile radius of my home. One associated with Fuller Seminary, “Evangelical Protestant” another that is associated with a Seminary that has a whole series of classes on anti-Catholic and anti-Protestant rhetoric, and an independent dispensationalist owned bookstore that has some of the hardest to find Puritan books you have ever seen. They like me there because they sell used books, and have very few people interested in Catholic books. I also help them when they get antiquarian books in Latin, and Greek, because while they proclaim that the KJV and the Greek texts of the Septuagent are the only acceptable Bibles, they can’t read greek. It all started when they asked me to look at a set of books that they told me they wanted to burn, to rid the world or “Romish” propoganda. I went into the office, and looked over the books, returned to the front counter laughing, telling them to burn the books, I’d supply the matches. Looking at their shocked and confused faces, I let them know the books where indeed in Latin, but they where Biblical Commentaries written by John Calvin, the founder of the modern day Presbyterians. Well since that day they have asked me questions about the Catholic Faith, and when I answer them they tell me it is not what they heard about the teachings of the Catholic Church. It gives me the opportunity to show them in Catholic books they have on hand, not just one misquoted section of a text as we see presented here, but the entire teaching in context. One such employee hurled insults at Mary, and what he thought was Catholic teaching, only to end up agreeing with the Immaculate Conception when I told him that Mary’s freedom from sin was not due to her own will, but by God’s grace a singular grace that He provided to her in order for her to be a pure vessle, (purified by God, not her own merit) so that the incarnation could take place. She was given this grace because God knew that she would cooperate with it. Her cooperation, any good works she (or that we preform) preformed would be of no significance if she, (and today we) did not conform to God’s will, relying on His grace, and uniting our works with His work on the Cross. It is Christ who elevates our works, (as the scriptures say, Faith without works is dead) because our own works are nothing if not elevated by and united with Christ. Suddenly the Immaculate conception was not threatening, as it was not the false accusation that Mary was raised to a Goddess, but was a simple human who submitted her entire life and self to God and His will, and was forgiven by the Eternal God, who is not constrained by time, and could apply the merits of His Cross to anyone at any time. Just as at the Mass He as the principle priest and victim at each mass applies the grace of the Cross to anyone as He wishes, because He is not constrained by time.
Back to the bookstore, it is funny to watch the patrons become the unified “invisible church” and true bible believers, in the sense that Ron wishes us to believe composes the Church, how they unite in their hatred for the Catholic Church and anything catholic. How they make fun of Catholic practices and the Pope, but will tell you how anointed the word of the pastor they heard last week was, or how the inaccurate information in Foxes Book of Martyrs is, giving them more authority than the Pope has ever been given by the Catholic Church. They then hit on a private interpretation that they disagree on and start yelling at each other that the other is not a real Christian, because his church uses musical instruments and they are not sanctioned by the NT, or they have a Church Hall, and the Bible does not mention it, or their preacher uses a Geneva Gown, and that is a non-biblical practice. As if our Lord and the Apostles walked around in bad suits, ties, and had KJV Bibles and pulpits.
I could go on, if the condemnations of each other, and the self importance of each persons individual interpretation, and the individual authors books sold in the bookstores that one accepts as correct and the other rejects in favor of someone else, was not so sad, it would make me laugh like I did when I saw my grandfather get all excited by Miget Wresteling.