Thomas Williams reports here that German Cardinal Reinhard Marx thinks climate change is the worst problem facing Europe. The German Catholic Church continues to rake in the cash with the famous “church tax” while she also continues to suffer from ecclesiastical hemophilia–bleeding members and vocations in a disastrous decline.
The problems in liberal Christianity are endemic, and they show all the tell tale signs of the insanity of ideology. The ideologue (whether he is right wing, left wing, religious, atheistic..whatever) is convinced that his ideology is absolutely right and water tight. You can always tell the ideologue because they are totally blind to the real reason for their failure and when faced with the failure of their system the do not, for a moment, suppose that the problem is with their ideology. Instead they always, always believe that the problem is that they have not had enough of their ideology.
Examples are the constant and utter failure of communism and socialism to solve the problem of poverty. Socialism always creates more poverty, and yet socialists never learn that lesson and always conclude that if their great plan failed it was because they either did not have enough of their magic plan or it was not put in place faithfully enough. They never examine the plan itself.
So it is with liberal Christianity–and I use the word Christianity because the same problem exists in the Catholic Church as it does in the mainstream Protestant churches. They think the solution is to save the environment, feed the hungry, house the immigrants and make the world a better place with a whole wonderful gigantic plan of new worldism. Then when it fails they simply say, “We must do more!”
This is like the person who thinks his car runs on orange juice finding that the car won’t start, so he opens the back window and starts pumping more orange juice into the interior of the car.
The root problem with liberal Christianity is that it has stopped being Christianity. Long long ago in a German university town far far away they decided to “de-mythologize” the New Testament–which was a fancy way of saying, “We modern people can’t believe all . that supernatural stuff anymore, so let’s make Christianity a religion of being respectable people who work hard to make the world a better place.” This easy and wonderful religion attracted many folks who were finding the real Christianity rather tiresome and difficult so they joined this new religion.
This is not Christianity at all. Christianity is about a sinful and fallen human race and a Savior God’s only begotten Son who gave everything to seek and to save that which was lost. It is about saving souls, not saving whales. Its about seeking heaven above, not creating a heaven below. Its about repentance and renewal and redemption, not soup kitchens and housing projects.
Of course all those works of mercy are necessary and good, but they are the result of our redemption–not the means of our redemption. They are the things we do because we have experienced God’s love and wish to share it with others–and we do this not just because they are hungry and homeless, but because they are God’s children and our brothers and sisters.
To put it simply Jesus says we should love God and love our neighbor. Liberal Christianity seems to have forgotten the first part.