Thursday, May 14, 2009

By Popular Demand

I was in middle school. The Presbyterian Church had General Assembly in the East two years in a row. Baltimore one year and Philadelphia the next, I believe. I remember seeing picketers in front of the building where the pastors and other representatives of the denomination gathered for a week to discuss church issues. I asked Dad (who was there as a delegate to the General Assembly) why the people were picketing.

They wanted the denomination to give God's stamp of approval on homosexual unions. The idea that the denomination would do that seemed outrageous. I voiced my thoughts to my dad. He said he didn’t think they would ever approve it. Clearly, the denomination shouldn’t see it as a viable “marriage” and more specifically, the idea that Presbyterian pastors should be able to have openly-gay relationships was unthinkable. They'll never pass it, he said.

But because the Presbyterian denomination decided things by vote, every year the gap between those who were against gay marriage (and gay clergy) narrowed. The views of the culture were moving, changing the stance of the denomination.

It is a story that is told and retold in every faith community but one. It not only affects denominational teaching on gay marriage, but it has affected everything from artificial contraception (beginning in 1930 when the first denomination changed its position) to abortion.

Truth is up for popular vote.

It comes slowly, over the course of generations. We can only trace the path of change over the course of time by looking at history. And this is a history that you will not find in the textbooks.

We know that God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We know, too, that truth does not change – even though the times are constantly changing.

There is only one Church that has withstood the changing tides of time. One Church that teaches her tenets of the Faith and never changes them once they are laid down as official Church teaching.

The Catholic Church.

She alone is a solid rock. She alone has a light that shines and never fades or is extinguished. When you lose your way, your sense of direction gone, your moral compass broken, she sends out a light.

You may say, that can’t be right. My senses told me that truth was over here or over there. But her light shines steady and strong and the seasoned sailor knows to trust the beacon that shines.

Now, aren’t you glad you are Catholic? I am.


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