A Wicked and False Religion?

Like I said, the Church has PR problems. Rand, of A Pattern of Sound Words, asserts:

"A Christian Roman Catholic, to me, is as opposite as a Nazi Jew. One cannot be a follower of Christ and be a follower of Romanism at the same time. Why? Because the Romanist worships a god different than the God of the Bible. For example, consider the 2nd person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ:"

"Romanism – Jesus was born of a sinless, perfect mother, who is declared the 'Queen of Heaven'.
Biblical Christinity – Jesus was born of a kind, godly woman, but still a sinner by birth and choice (Luke 1:26-38)."

The best explanation I have ever heard for Mary's sinless conception was from a Rabbi. The Ark of the Covenant was the seat of God on earth. It could only be safely approached and touched by ritually clean priests at certain times of the year. Mary was the ark of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-28). Her preservation from Original Sin, as well as actual sin, does not, as some suggest, imply that she did not need Christ's saving grace, made possible by the cross. God is not bound by time. He created it. Thus, Mary received at her conception the saving grace of Christ's sacrifice.

"Romanism – Jesus did not have half-brothers and half-sisters."
Biblical Christianity – Mary and Joseph had sons and daughters after the birth of Christ (Luke 8:20)."

The Hebrew and Aramaic words for "brother" and "sister" have broader meaning than most modern languages. There are frequent uses of those words to mean "cousin", "uncle/aunt", or even the incredibly vague "relative". There are frequent uses of the imprecise meanings of those words in the Old Testament. I don't know them off the top of my head. Perhaps one of my readers can help out. You may ask, though, "Since the New Testament was written in Greek, shouldn't the Greek forms of those words mean precisely what they say?" It is not uncommon for a speaker/writer of a second language to use idiomatic expressions and/or words meanings from his primary language. There are examples of this phenomenon as well, but I must again appeal to my readers for references.

"Romanism – Jesus died for all of mankind, Christian or not.
Biblical Christianity – Jesus died for HIS SHEEP; there is no condemnation only for those who are IN CHRIST (John 10:11; Romans 8:1)."

Salvation is a free gift offered to all mankind. However, we must choose to accept it. We are condemned if we reject it. We are saved if we accept it.

"Romanism – Jesus made Peter the 1st pope (the leader of the so-called Roman Catholic church), to act as a representative for God on the Earth.
Biblical Christianity – Jesus is the only mediator between man and God there is no place for popes or priests (1 Timothy 2:5)."

"And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek for rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' " – Matthew 16:17-19

"Romanism – Jesus was a long-haired, bearded, skinny guy.
Biblical Christianity – Jesus knew that it was shameful for a man to have long hair, so he had short hair (1 Corinthians 11:14)."

Now this is just silly. First century Jewish culture and 21st century American or European culture bear little resemblance to each other. In Jesus' time, it was not uncommon for men to wear their hair to their shoulders. That was still considered short because women often had hair to their buttocks or lower. Besides, if you're going anathematize Roman Catholics for depicting Jesus with "long hair", etc, then you're going to have to send a whole lot of Protestants packing with them. Granted, I'm not fond of seeing Jesus looking less like a 1st century Jew from Nazareth and more like a Caucasian hippy, but it's hardly an issue to be damned over.

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About Funky Dung

Who is Funky Dung? 29-year-old grad student in Intelligent Systems (A.I.) at the University of Pittsburgh. I consider myself to be politically moderate and independent and somewhere between a traditional and neo-traditional Catholic. I was raised Lutheran, spent a number of years as an agnostic, and joined the Catholic Church at the 2000 Easter Vigil. Why Funky Dung? I haven't been asked this question nearly as many times as you or I might expect. Funky Dung is a reference to an obscure Pink Floyd song. On the album Atom Heart Mother, there is a track called Atom Heart Mother Suite. It's broken up into movements, like a symphony, and one of the movements is called Funky Dung. I picked that nickname a long time ago (while I was still in high school I think), shortly after getting an internet connection for the first time. To me it means "cool/neat/groovy/spiffy stuff/crap/shiznit", as in "That's some cool stuff, dude!" Whence Ales Rarus? I used to enjoy making people guess what this means, but I've decided to relent and make it known to all. Ales Rarus is a Latin play on words. "Avis rarus" means "a rare bird" and carries similar meaning to "an odd fellow". "Ales" is another Latin word for bird that carries connotations of omens, signs of the times, and/or augery. If you want to get technical, both "avis" and "ales" are feminine (requiring "rara", but they can be made masculine in poetry (which tends to breaks lots of rules). I decided I'd rather have a masculine name in Latin. ;) Yeah, I'm a nerd. So what? :-P Wherefore blog? It is my intention to "teach in order to lead others to faith" by being always "on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to the faithful" through the "use of the communications media". I also act knowing that I "have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors [my] opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and [I] have a right to make [my] opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward [my and their] pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons." (adapted from CCC 904-907) Statement of Faith I have been baptized and confirmed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I, therefore, renounce Satan; I renounce all his works; I renounce all his allurements. I hold and profess all that is contained in the Apostles' Creed, the Niceno- Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Having been buried with Christ unto death and raised up with him unto a new life, I promise to live no longer for myself or for that world which is the enemy of God but for him who died for me and rose again, serving God, my heavenly Father, faithfully and unto death in the holy Catholic Church. I am obedient to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. That is, I promote and defend authentic Catholic Teaching and Faith in union with Christ and His Church and in union with the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St. Peter. Thanks be unto Thee, O my God, for all Thy infinite goodness, and, especially, for the love Thou hast shown unto me at my Confirmation. I Give Thee thanks that Thou didst then send down Thy Holy Spirit unto my soul with all His gifts and graces. May He take full possession of me for ever. May His divine unction cause my face to shine. May His heavenly wisdom reign in my heart. May His understanding enlighten my darkness. May His counsel guide me. May His knowledge instruct me. May His piety make me fervent. May His divine fear keep me from all evil. Drive from my soul, O Lord, all that may defile it. Give me grace to be Thy faithful soldier, that having fought the good fight of faith, I may be brought to the crown of everlasting life, through the merits of Thy dearly beloved Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Behind the Curtain: an Interview With Funky Dung (Thursday, March 03, 2005) I try to avoid most memes that make their way 'round the blogosphere (We really do need a better name, don't we?), but some are worth participating in. Take for instance the "interview game" that's the talk o' the 'sphere. I think it's a great way to get to know the people in neighborhood. Who are the people in your neighborhood? In your neighborhod? In your neigh-bor-hoo-ood...*smack* Sorry, Sesame Street flashback. Anyhow, I saw Jeff "Curt Jester" Miller's answers and figured since he's a regular reader of mine he'd be a good interviewer. Without further ado, here are my answers to his questions. 1. Being that your pseudonym Funky Dung was chosen from a Pink Floyd track on Atom Heart Mother, what is you favorite Pink Floyd song and why? Wow. That's a tuffy. It's hard to pick out a single favorite. Pink Floyd isn't really a band known for singles. They mostly did album rock and my appreciation of them is mostly of a gestalt nature. If I had to pick one, though, it'd be "Comfortably Numb". I get chills up my spine every time I hear it and if it's been long enough since the last time, I get midty-eyed. I really don't know why. That's a rather unsatisfying answer for an interview, so here are the lyrics to a Rush song. It's not their best piece of music, but the lyrics describe me pretty well.

New World Man He's a rebel and a runner He's a signal turning green He's a restless young romantic Wants to run the big machine He's got a problem with his poisons But you know he'll find a cure He's cleaning up his systems To keep his nature pure Learning to match the beat of the old world man Learning to catch the heat of the third world man He's got to make his own mistakes And learn to mend the mess he makes He's old enough to know what's right But young enough not to choose it He's noble enough to win the world But weak enough to lose it --- He's a new world man... He's a radio receiver Tuned to factories and farms He's a writer and arranger And a young boy bearing arms He's got a problem with his power With weapons on patrol He's got to walk a fine line And keep his self-control Trying to save the day for the old world man Trying to pave the way for the third world man He's not concerned with yesterday He knows constant change is here today He's noble enough to know what's right But weak enough not to choose it He's wise enough to win the world But fool enough to lose it --- He's a new world man...
2. What do you consider your most important turning point from agnosticism to the Catholic Church. At some point in '99, I started attending RCIA at the Pittsburgh Oratory. I mostly went to ask a lot of obnoxious Protestant questions. Or at least that's what I told myself. I think deep down I wanted desperately to have faith again. At that point I think I'd decided that if any variety of Christianity had the Truth, the Catholic Church did. Protestantism's wholesale rejection of 1500 years of tradition didn't sit well with me, even as a former Lutheran. During class one week, Sister Bernadette Young (who runs the program) passed out thin booklet called "Handbook for Today's Catholic". One paragraph in that book spoke to me and I nearly cried as I read it.
"A person who is seeking deeper insight into reality may sometimes have doubts, even about God himself. Such doubts do not necessarily indicate lack of faith. They may be just the opposite - a sign of growing faith. Faith is alive and dynamic. It seeks, through grace, to penetrate into the very mystery of God. If a particular doctrine of faith no longer 'makes sense' to a person, the person should go right on seeking. To know what a doctrine says is one thing. To gain insight into its meaning through the gift of understanding is something else. When in doubt, 'Seek and you will find.' The person who seeks y reading, discussing, thinking, or praying eventually sees the light. The person who talks to God even when God is 'not there' is alive with faith."
At the end of class I told Sr. Bernadette that I wanted to enter the Church at the next Easter vigil. 3. If you were a tree what kind of, oh sorry about that .. what is the PODest thing you have ever done? I set up WikiIndex, a clearinghouse for reviews of theological books, good, bad, and ugly. It has a long way to go, but it'll be cool when it's finished. :) 4. What is your favorite quote from Venerable John Henry Newman? "Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt." 5. If you could ban one hymn from existence, what would it be? That's a tough one. As a member of the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas, there are obviously a lot of songs that grate on my nerves. If I had to pick one, though, I'd probably pick "Sing of the Lord's Goodness" by Ernie Sands.

13 thoughts on “A Wicked and False Religion?

  1. Funky Dung

    Actually, I didn’t say much (if anything) about whether or not your Jesus is a mistake. In my view, and that of the Catholic Church, you lack the fullness of Chrsitian truth. You have part of it, but not the whole thing. I do not believe that you worship a different Jesus, any more than a liberal has a different U.S. president. We merely see Him differently. Mormons worship someone who only barely resembles Jesus. Mormonism is a heresy. We could argue in circles about whether or not Protestantism is a heresy, but the point is that I don’t believe you and I worship a different Jesus. There’s too much in common. Obviously, we think of each other as having defective views of Him, but that does not mean we are worshipping different gods.

  2. h2

    As a general rule, I try to stick to what I know to be true, as opposed to pointing out what I think is wrong. I may be stretching Biblical interpretations with this philosophy, but I think such a mindset is implicitly addressed by the principle of not judging, lest you be judged.

    There are things I don’t understand about Catholic theology, as there have been for many years, but I’ve found that a lot of these things, once explained to me, tend to make a whole lot more sense.

    Speaking of which, I caught half a show on EWTN the other day that really clarified the reasoning behind Catholic teachings on birth control — and it scares me a little to admit it, but it really did make a lot of sense…

  3. Funky Dung

    BTW, I apologize if the last line of my post offended, but I had to avoid the near occasion of sin. I didn’t want to bite your head off. I have heard similar anathemas from several sources and each time I hear it again, I am a little grumpier about it. If you’re going to decalre that I’m going to Hell, you’d better darn sure of it. Otherwise, you’re in serious danger yourself. “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” – Matthew 7:2

  4. Amy

    Funky, I went over there and read his whole post and the comments… It makes me sad. I’m sorry you were censored. The first thing that tipped me off that he was a very confused man was that his time of learning about the Church came when he was a child. I think it’s safe to say that if we stop learning and/or practicing a particular thing when we’re children then as time goes on we’re going to have less and less of a real understanding of it. For example, if we stopped learning history in kindergarten we’d go through life thinking that George Washington really did chop down that cherry tree.

  5. Rand


    I hesitate at posting a comment (especially considering your last phrase), but I hope to make an observation that both you and I can agree upon: we serve different Jesus(s)! And that was the main thrust of my post.

    You dissected my words and have made your case for your Jesus, and in the end, he is different from mine.

    Oh course you believe that your Jesus is the right one and that my Jesus is a big mistake; if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be a Roman Catholic.

    Anyway, you’ve made your point, and funny enough, you’ve, in part anyway, made mine.


  6. Kristofer

    I have just started attending a course in the history of christianity. One of the insights I think it gives me is the width of the christian church. Hopefully we will talk to each other in a better way than the blogger you are refering to .

  7. Steve N

    Wow Funky I’m dying to know what uncharitable comments you left… whoo whooo. Of course that is all to say that I know you wouldn’t leave an uncharitable comment… That’d more likely be me 😉 Though charitable is a bigger word than we often give it credit for. Was Jesus “charitable” to the Pharisees and teachers of the law? the money changers in the temple? I’d say yes, but it wasn’t what we usually picture with “charitable.”

    H2, now you know what you’re sister and I go thru. All RCC doctrine is very well reasoned and rather compelling (even the strange stuff :-)) once you understand it, and this is no less true for their teaching on contraception.


  8. Funky Dung

    Wow. I experienced a first today. Rand deleted a comment I left on his blog. The comment was civil, polite, and charitable, yet he saw fit to delete it. I was responding to this comment he made:

    “NOW PLEASE PAY ATTENTION: as my post clearly states, I reject romanism, because I believe the Bible rejects it. I’m not interested in a debate. I’ve made my case ON MY WEBSITE. You don’t like it, start your own website. Any future uncharitable comments from disgruntled romanists will be deleted and the ips will be banned. If you have an honest question/comment, be my guest, if you just want to vent, don’t do it here!”

    I don’t think this fellow is capable of constructive debate on this issue. I advise my readers to save themselves frustration and not comment on his blog.

    This really bothers me. I dislike seeing this kind of animosity between Christians. I like even less being a part of it. *sigh*

  9. Pingback: Proper Devotion to the Mother of God | Catholic @ Ales Rarus

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