Skip to comments.A Prophecy for the Church in America [Ecumenical]
Posted on 02/18/2012 1:08:39 PM PST by NYer
A prophet is not necessarily someone who has a supernatural vision of the future. He may simply be a person who can see certain trends in the present, understand the underlying issues and therefore attempt to predict how things may go in the future.
Here are some trends I see in the American Church and how I see the future developing. The first thing is the disintegration of denominationalism. It used to be that the different Protestant groups were distinct in their theology and their style of worship. There were boundaries. You pretty much knew what to expect in a Southern Baptist Church, a Methodist Church, Lutheran, Presbyterian or Episcopal. There were clear distinctions theologically and culturally and historically.
The boundaries are disappearing fast. In all Protestant churches there is a kind of post-modern pick and mix attitude. The old distinctive markers are falling and a new experimental attitude is taking place. So a relative of mine, a young Baptist minister, enthusiastically claims to "read all those guys" meaning that he avidly reads Anglican, Catholic, Baptist, Independent and classical Lutheran and Methodist theologians. He and his generation are also open to all sorts of worship styles. Their attitude is shared by the younger generation of Evangelicals in all denominations. People are no longer Methodist or Presbyterian or Baptist for life and for clear theological reasons. Instead they gravitate to a church that suits them and their lifestyle. Utilitarianism and market forces reign supreme.
The two trends within the Protestant churches seem to be toward free "mega church" type worship which conforms to the trends in society or a reaction against that to move toward "liturgy". So a neighbor who goes to a conservative Presbyterian church likes to tell me how "liturgical" they are. They observe Advent and Lent and Ash Wednesday. They light candles on the "altar" when they "celebrate communion" and every once in a while they have "Choral Evensong." Another friend tells me he goes to a Baptist Church that is "very liturgical."
I predict that the disintegration of denominationalism will continue and that trends within the Catholic Church will converge with what is happening within Protestantism to produce some very interesting and new configurations.
As the "cultural Catholics" who were leaders in the seventies and eighties continue to die off, their children will be less likely to practice the Catholic faith. As it becomes increasingly odd to be a "faithful Catholic" in our society--even leading to persecution and isolation, the Catholics without any backbone will simply stop being Catholics. If they did not have enough faith and courage to send their children to Catholic school and take the teachings of the church seriously, then if hardship comes, they will melt away.
At the same time the Catholics who remain will have the fervor and dedication of the faithful Protestants who have been moving in a liturgical direction. These Protestants are looking not only for liturgy, but for the historic church--the apostolic church. They will be increasingly attracted to the Catholic faith and as they Catholic church population shifts in a more committed direction they will feel more at home there.
This is where the new Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter may play a very crucial role. As an increasing number of Protestants explore the liturgical and historical church they will be looking for a church that is faithful to the Scriptures, faithful to the historic liturgy, faithful to the magisterium and ready to show forth a committed, radical kind of Catholicism fully committed to the new Evangelization.
The short version: two vibrant forms of Christianity will emerge in the United States--a free flowing, relevant and 'cool' kind of personalistic Pentecostalism and a renewed and revitalized and young Catholicism. The others will fade away.
But I may be wrong. I'm not really a prophet...
What better place to pose this question than in the Religion Forum of FreeRepublic where nearly every christian denomination is represented. Have at it!
If America is like Sodom (or worse) this place may be turning to salt..
No doubt about Sodomites running the streets like gangs..
If America has become a democracy... this would be normal..
Cause democracy was, is and will continue to be MOB Rule by mobsters..
Many kinds of Sodomite mobs.. are available..
Actually America is worse than Sodom from what I can see..
Babys regularly murdered(put down) like dogs and cats at a humane shelter..
It seems many have more compassion for the dogs and cats..
God only knows the extent of the depravity of our current President..
Negrodamus may be the prophet of Doom.. and a harbinger of WORSE THINGS to come..
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
I also see big changes coming. Young people especially are not satisfied to accept questionable beliefs and practices, are tired of the false prophecies of millennialists:
I also see big changes coming. Young people especially are not satisfied to accept questionable beliefs and practices, and are tired of the false prophecies of millennialists:
The extension of the political concepts of freedom and individualism runs against religious beliefs that God makes the rules.
No doubt about Sodomites running the streets like gangs.
Martin Luther said couples using birth control are guilty of marital sodomy.
Sins That Cry to Heaven
...It's hard to find a time in history when so many of the sins that cry to heaven as identified by the catechetical tradition outlined in the the Catechism of the Catholic Church have been so amplified. These sins are as follows: the blood of Abel, which represents the murder of the innocent; the sin of the Sodomites, which represents the perversion of human, sexual love; the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, which represents those held in human bondage; the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan; and the injustice to the wage earner.
What proves disheartening is that so many of these sins have been declared as normal by a culture that has distanced itself from God. For example, if one were to count the number of people living in the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, one would still be about four million people shy of the number of American citizens murdered by abortion since Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal in all fifty states. Fifty million souls is the best estimation of that number, and that will likely accelerate when President Elect Obama signs into law the Freedom of Choice Act, which effectively removes nearly all restrictions at the state level on this civil act of murder.
The sin of the Sodomites comes into focus with the proliferation of not only laws that legitimize disordered sexual behavior but also in the media that attempts to normalize its practice. Where once gay couples were featured in prime time shows as way to show the program's sophistication and also to simply titillate the audience, now one can hardly find a program that does not introduce the gay theme into the plot. Even home improvement shows that feature couples trying to fix up a house have their token gay couple fixing up a bungalow.
There are more human beings in slavery, today, than at any other time in human history. That fact doesn't make the nightly news because it happens in places far removed from Western culture to people in the third world. Were slavery happening in Nebraska versus India, a loud hue and cry would ring out across the land. God sees this injustice even if the West ignores it.
Yet the West does embrace another form of slavery. One of the many factors that has led to the economic downturn has been the culture's enslavement to materialism. The line between want and need has all but disappeared. If one wants it then one must need it and even be entitled to it. This is a form of human bondage that keeps one away from the authentic freedom found in the Gospel.
This man did not claim to be a prophet, but he read the Scriptures and foretold according to what it prophecies,
“Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.”
“If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, error will be; If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy, If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.”
“If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”
Daniel Webster http://www.cancertutor.com/Quotes/Quotes_Presidents.html
And relevant stats show an overall general decline in faith, http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/RevealingStatistics.html
There are and always have been two kinds of churches. Ones where the Holy Spirit resides and those where He does not.
Well?.....I am curious.
The Episcopal Churches, (whose priests and entire congregations), that have joined the Catholic Church, do these congregations adopt the Mary rituals ( rosary etc.) and praying to the saints that is so much a part of the Roman tradition? What about the belief in purgatory and praying for the dead or the practice of indulgences?
Is it possible to be a Roman Catholic and ignore the Mary rituals, Mary prayer, prayer to the saints, indulgences, and purgatory?
The best way to answer your question is to post our profession of faith - the Nicene Creed, that dates back to 325 AD.
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary , and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
And who decides in which one the Holy Spirit resides?
If the Roman Catholic Church held to the beliefs in the creed without all the other practices ( which seem to be to be syncretic practices) perhaps our congregation would join with the Romans, too.
There are periods in the history of the Roman Catholic Church where the leadership has been very corrupt. It occurs today, on occasion, as well. I don't see where there is any mechanism for the laity to remove these corrupt bishops, cardinals, or popes.
Yet,.. if the member leaves the Catholic Church ( and the corruption under which they suffer) they are guilty of a mortal sin and in danger of eternal condemnation. The only possible solution is to raise up righteous sons and then ( maybe) in two or three generation there would be reform but the member likely won't live long enough to see it. This type of threat ( separation from the “true” church and the “true” sacraments) seems to be almost cult-like mind control.
NY....I am trying to be respectful here. These really are questions that I have about the Catholic Church that I have never been able to resolve.
Sadly....I believe few Catholic children are receiving a truly Catholic education. My daughter taught math in a K-12 Catholic school in Texas. Every one of the teachers and the principal voted for Obama ( a man who voted three times to allow babies who survived abortion to die in the hopital’s utility sink.) My daughter's math class was the **only** class **not** to watch Obama’s inauguration oath.
Your never going to purify the Church, however, what we believe about the purity of the Catholic Church is that doctrinally the Church led by the Holy Spirit will not teach error. Its doctrines are sound and truthful. Which doesnt exactly prevent a priest from telling you bunk. But that bunk will disagree with the ‘teachings of the Church’, its doctrine!
If you can find another church like this, then you have a winner.
Right now they are dealing with their little problem of having advocated for humanist state, controlled collective “health care” and it's centralized anti-life agenda and machinery. They still have not figured Marxism is the opposite of social justice and Christianity. Even after hundreds of millions of collectivist State murders, the Catholic church still does not see that Christian action is for Christians among Christians and spread out from there.
The rest is true in the Protestant analysis. The megachurch, “we believe nothing in particular” and “we are all prophets now” is undoing Christianity from that end of things. The communist thieves are alive and well in the Catholic church. The shysters are doing their thing in the Protestant “community.”
My prediction - all the churches go dark under the rule of and total power of an amoral humanist State. Home churches will thrive and be persecuted mightily with the approval of the Catholics and Protestants.
These first two sentences are not Biblical, so the predictions that follow are easily classified as being the product of self, not of God, and can therefore be rejected as being any form of prophetic utterance.
I'll throw out a projection based upon current trends that I in no way claim as prophetic, but that is based upon recent trends: the route to maintaining or expanding the number of adherents in the Catholic Church lies in becoming more like evangelicals. Evangelicals will not be becoming more like Catholics. If there is to be some meeting of the two, Rome has the greater distance to cover.