I have a real short post for you this week, but I want to write something even though I’m in the middle of a busy work week and moving my little family all at the same time.
I would like to talk about the Pope.
I know, everybody’s talking about the Pope; and I know, I don’t usually do topical things like this, but I find this fascinating.
First, let me give you a little perspective. I’m incredibly Pro-Catholic. I’m not Catholic, as you all should know, but I love Catholicism. I just don’t see much of a difference between them and any other “denomination” of Christianity. I know that infuriates both Catholics and Protestants, but if we agree on the Lordship of Christ, I can’t help but feel like we’re good. Add to that the theological problems with every denomination out there and you’re really going to tell me that Baptists are Christians and Catholics aren’t or vice verse? Yeah, save your breath.
So, back to the Pope.
All church structures have pieces of their theology that are more rooted in tradition than in scripture. There aren’t exceptions. Any time I see a purposeful move away from these traditions I get excited. This is why the Catholic Church has me excited right now.
We do not see a model of life-long hierarchical authority in the Bible. Rather, this was the normative authority structure under Constantine and into the Middle Ages. The early church leaders simply took what was culturally normal (and working, I might add) and applied it to the church. It’s probably worth noting that most major protestant movements continued this particular tradition even after breaking from the Mother Church.
What I believe we’re seeing right now is an intentional breaking from an archaic tradition that will allow movement toward a more modern, culturally relevant, church leadership. This seems like a really good thing and I would love to see more denominations take a cue from our Catholic Brother and choose to look critically at tradition and break from it when it’s not helping further God’s Kingdom.
Maybe I’m over simplifying. Maybe I’m an eternal optimist. But come on, let’s look at the silver lining and be excited about it.
Here’s to really following God instead of traditions that make us feel comfortable.