The Dove and Rose - Chapter 9
Will you follow where I lead?" - Joan of Arc
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True religion makes for a genuine person. True religion makes real men of males and authentic women of females. True religion is the Catholic Church.
The following exhortation from Paul to Timothy is most appropriate today. We are living in a dying, formerly Catholic culture known as Western Civilization, which has, by the free choice of free men, chosen to be untrue by immersing itself in practical and professed atheism, disobedient and rebellious Protestantism, and intellectually confusing “spiritual but not religious” nihilism that are all aimed at one single target: the destruction of the Catholic Church which is the only Church Christ to lead humanity to eternal salvation. There is one goal around which every one of these groups will hold hands in unity of spirit, including atheists, Protestants, and New Agers, and that is their shared objective to destroy Catholicism. Every Catholic should take Paul’s words earnestly as we seek to evangelize the world:
“When I was setting out for Macedonia I urged you to stay on in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to spread wrong teaching or to give attention to myths and unending genealogies; these things only foster doubts instead of furthering God’s plan which is founded on faith. The final goal at which this instruction aims is love, issuing from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith. Some people have missed the way to these things and turned to empty speculation, trying to be teachers of the Law; but they understand neither the words they use nor the matters about which they make such strong assertions” (1 Tim 1:3-7).
That “they understand neither the words they use nor the matters about which they make such strong assertions” leads me to my primary thesis, that “spiritual but not religious” is nothing more than the weakened, timid, and outermost fringe of an ever confused and dissipating wave of Protestantism. Man rebelled against the Church in the sixteenth century. Now he rebels against religion itself. In all, this is nothing more than a rebellion against God Himself.
It should be mentioned that there are Protestants desperately seeking Christ and to right this matter of a lost culture themselves. They are an amorphous, chaotic set of independent assemblies called Evangelicals. We continue to show them the true Church founded by Christ on Peter, and while many have seen the light, too many others reject the truth. They must choose between being “spiritual and Catholic” or “spiritual but not religious.” As they are caught in the torrent of the wave of rebellion, they tend to move to the latter. We can doubt only their reasoning, not their sincerity.
As this ever-raging wave of rebellion against true religion continues outward toward no unified principle or true Last End (which is found only in the God of Catholic revelation), the real spirit of both men and women is weakened. Speculation takes the place of firm belief. Superficial self-affirmation usurps transformational repentance and reconciliation. A new non-religious dogmatism of relativism shouts down and ridicules the fearless evangelization of true Dogma. Men and women are spiritually and emotionally weakened as a result.
Thus, “spiritual but not religious” is one of the deadliest philosophical traps in the West today. He who follows it will lose his country, culture, and even soul.
“Spiritual but not religious” men are particularly susceptible to being marginalized in the immortal combat for the salvation of souls. They might be courageous for the country, but when speaking of spiritual or religious belief, they hold hands at prayer meetings and affirm each other in their goodness over cookies and coffee. As part of the weakened fringe of Protestantism, they have lost the authentic principle of courage and the meaning of being true, chivalrous Christian men willing to defend their faith, even to death. We must rid ourselves of this effeminizing philosophy, for it is not true Christianity.