Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Classic: DIY Religion

A version of this post originally appeared on this blog back in 2005... and yes, I really did write a lot about the Pope that first year. Still don't know why...

Yeah, it's a little odd for a Baptist pastor to write so much about the Pope (check out my earlier posts):
Perhaps it was that I dated a young lady who was pre-Vatican 2 Catholic (15+ years after Vatican 2!) Maybe it's the class I took in seminary on Roman Catholic Theology (because I liked the professor, a Dutch guy named Dr. Kiweit.) Maybe I'm just jealous of the cool hats Catholic clergy get to wear. Who knows?

Anyway, I just read a new article this morning about World Youth Day in Germany... Pope Benedict had some very interesting comments for the nearly 1 million folks who camped to celebrate Mass with him:

He asked them not to see religion as a "consumer product" where people choose only what they want from it and disregard rules that are sometimes difficult to observe. 
"Religion constructed on a 'do-it-yourself' basis cannot ultimately help us," he said. "It may be comfortable but at times of crisis we are left to ourselves."
In other words, a faith based primarily on my personal choices is only as good as the quality of my personal choices. When you take into consideration my own track record:
  • Angel Flight slacks & silky flower shirts
  • the musical stylings of Barry Manilow
  • western shirts with pearl buttons on the pockets
  • 50% of the wargames I bought that I never played against another person
  • the aforementioned Catholic young lady & our dating relationship
  • for that matter, the vast majority of my crushes, infatuations & dating relationships
  • letting my hair grow out where it looked vaguely like Woody Allen
  • my struggle with an addiction to pornography
  • and so on... becomes crystal clear that any faith based on me is doomed to failure. One good strong "wind" in the weather system of life & I'd collapse like a house of cards. I need something (well, Someone) bigger than me.

My guess is that you're in the same boat.


Conrad Kinch said...

As for Catholic girls, I'm partial to the breed and she's stood me in good stead.

However, the point is well made.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Thanks, Conrad...