A LITTLE BACKGROUND TO THIS POST:
This post was inspired by a recent 'debate' that took place by some pseudo Catholic (?) group (which I won't bother naming) that had famous Chesterton advocate (who promotes Chesterton as if he is greater than the Church Doctors and Fathers, and Chesterton was hardly a Catholic theologian) who is an "apologist"* (*which for an upcoming post on "Why We DON'T Need Apologists, and Should AVOID Them"), and some proud, liberal, extreme Modernist, and Michael Matt from "The Remnant." First I saw the clip, then eventually I got myself to watch the debate. It was so painful, because it was not a good debate, the whole thing was formatted against Truth, and Michael Matt, unintentionally, contributed to more confusion by emphasizing that the issue mainly came down to a matter of canon law, which was incorrect. I am not suggesting that the issue at hand was dealt within canon law, but that was not the crux of the matter. Not only that, as Michael was talking, it almost sounded as if all of canon law was up for future debate, and that is just not the case. Some canon law CANNOT CHANGE where it is law that supports dogmatic teaching in practice. Whoever gave him the idea that canon law can change as if ALL of it can change was feeding him a gross lie (whether intentionally or not). People just don't understand these basic things about it, and even say that if something is not contained expressly in canon law, it is up for grabs in terms of practice. That is just not true. If something is omitted from any publication of Canon Law, without their ever being an expressed reason for its being omitted, it is not, by Canon Law itself, to be deemed as having been abrogated from Canon Law, but I have digressed. The main point I am trying to make is that the heart, or crux of the issue, is not that it is mainly canonical, but in fact, moral. He (Michael Matt) should have drawn specifically on the Church Doctor's words, and dogmatic definitions, and beat the Modernists (both lite had heavy versions) at their game by stressing the definition of charity (while they redefined it) and obedience (while they redefined it).
By now, most faithful Catholics have noticed that there is the tail wagging the dog with regards to politics and even within the Catholic Church: a small number of people are storming the castle of a Christ-centered civilization. In this first article, we will look at how this is being accomplished.
The short of it is that the (metaphoric) 'castle' (or 'castles') was found to be vulnerable to attack. Were people who were watchers by night bought by the enemy? Were security secrets stolen? Did the lord of the castle become weakened by calumny or blackmail?
When we look at who is really the King of the World, we can see that on the broadest stage, our Lord is never blackmailed, and is always in control, but allows us to have our way.
So the question is: how did WE let this happen?
THE WRONG CONVERSATION
One of the chief reasons things went haywire is because devout Catholics --- even conservatives in general --- have been having THE WRONG CONVERSATION. They have let the liberals take control of the terms of the debate. Let me first explain what that means:
The Rules of Debate:
Step 1) Agree on the issue in discussion, and form the issue into a question that is not leading, and/or based on false premise.
Step 2.) Any valid conclusion must be support by at least 2 valid premises, and these premises must be actually correlative to the conclusion, not supposition.
Step 3.) Terms of the debate must be recognized, agreed upon and given agreed upon definitions prior to the debate's start.
There are other important qualities of a debate, like staying to the topic, and that is just assumed. Some participants will try to get off topic in order to redefine the terms and the even the question of the debate. If there is a Moderator, the Moderator must, not simply from the start of the debate, but through out the debate, work to ensure that the debate is directed towards the end in which it was created, at the very least.
Unpopular views win popularity by redefining the issues. The issues are redefined by redefining of the terms.
This is a most vital importance to acknowledge, because we do this to ourselves all the time. We ALLOW ourselves to be lied to, because often we lie to ourselves (see PART II, to be posted after this post). Unpopular views win gain strength by the real issues having been redefined. The real issues are redefined by the terms having been redefined.
Here are some of the key means to redefining issues:
1.) Not discussing the issues on the grounds of morality. I will expound on this in a moment.
2.) The error of humanism. This will either be by openly promoting secularization over the Kingship of Christ, or, pretending to be either Christian (Catholic) or friendly to Catholic morality, it will, in the (false) name of Catholicism, use humanism to purport to defend its interpretation of Catholic dogma in a new, enlightened fashion, relevant to 'today' (because, allegedly, to these faithless, God hasn't always said or supported ideas that are infinitely relative.) In order to support the humanist's approach, the heretic will use gnostic principles and turn things into always dialectics. The trap is then soliciting pride by those entrapped by these "feel good" ideas that are based on false obedience. and false charity, and tremendous amounts of inflated pride.
The chief reason that these errors have prevailed on the level of Western society is thanks to Protestantism. The ideas of the ironically and diabolically called, "Enlightenment" were only able to take any root as a direct result to the errors of Martin Luther. Luther rightly saw some errors in the Church hierarchy that were NOT dogmatic, but as a result of a handful of corrupt prelates, their nepotism to certain benefactors, and disingenuous and even spiritual harmful means to soliciting for financial support of their churches. HE USED THESE LESSER EVILS to excuse his own evils, by redefining, in his mind, the nature of supernatural grace. He said that the most God's grace could do was cover a soul like white snow, and the soul was "cow dung". Therefore, God's SANCTIFYING GRACE does not, in his error, TRANSFORM THE SOUL by ordering the heart and mind to the perfect will of God and the truths of who He Is, but rather, it just "covers" us, like signing up for car insurance. This error occurs throughout formal Protestantism, as well as informal Protestantism, where ever error against dogmas is promoted, and sometimes (and more often than not) where necessary truths of the unchangeable dogmas are not spoken (at many Catholic pulpits, for example, where political correctness in the name of "welcoming our absent brethren" has replaced the 1st Commandment.)
THE AVOIDANCE OF THE DISCUSSION OF MORALITY; THE ELEPHANT IN OUR LIVING ROOMS, SANCTUARIES, AND VIRTUAL PUBLIC SQUARE
Now, let us return to the #1 reason the 'terms' in the debates we have are being redefined against truth (as well as goodness, unity and beauty -- all the transcendentals).
Devout Catholics are simply, almost always, not really all that devout. Let's face it: the bar has been lowered thanks to the Modernism, and its infiltration into most churches. No one wants to bring issues to the light in terms of morality because that instantly puts to the forefront the reason truths have a hierarchy. The discussion of truth in the terms of morality is being ignored by conservatives, only to find faithless people in all kinds of positions of authority beat them to the punch by redefining the transcendentals (what is good, what is united, what is beautiful, and first and foremost, what is TRUE). They can do the impossible by (seemingly) redefining dogma by redefining obedience and charity (and doesn't Satan love this? It is the means to emulate* obedience --- FALSE obedience). (Note: Notice I didn't say "imitate" obedience, but actually, he plagiarizes it by supporting false obedience.)
The subject of morality is one which many prelates have told us is only to be left to priests. This is an untruth. God gives us the truth to live under, so it is through the unchanging truths that we know the mind of God and that which is expected of us. We are not unconscious creatures, to be living in blind obedience. Rather, God's grace helps us to see the dogmatic truths as things to defend out of love of God firstly, and love of neighbor secondly, out of that first love. These operate in the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, which (collectively) operate in both the intellect and the will/heart.
We have to recognize that God needs to be the center of our worship, and that true gratitude to the one, true God demands high solemnity in worship. In daily life, it demands constancy and consistency in doing all things under Him (by holy obedience in observance of His commandments) and FOR Him. Our merciful Lord, who is never outdone in *true" charity, will give us, in return, the means to order all things in our hearts and our minds to him and his holy will, by giving us the graces to accomplish all that He commands.
For whatever is at the center of worship, is the purpose of the worship, and whatever is the at the center of our motivation, is then its end. We spend our time fighting battles unarmed with grace, battles that either are not meant for us to fight directly, or battles to which we come unprepared.
There is an old saying that one knows a man's heart by what comes out of his mouth. We would speak of moral truths if we loved them enough. We would love them 'enough' if we made a point to make every day, every MOMENT be a love note to God. Simply put: SPEAK THE TRUTH, AND SPEAK IT BOLDLY, BUT FIRST, LIVE IN THE TRUTH FROM MOMENT TO MOMENT.
Don't waste tons of time on all kinds of activities that keep you from putting God first according to your daily duties. IF you are not praying your morning prayers, your evening prayers, and your quite prayers during the day, if you are not finding time and putting it to use to do spiritual reading of the saints daily, if you are fighting a vice even to the point of deliberate sin, you're not growing in the grace of God. He demands your obedience. He demands your constancy and consistency in the little things according to your state.
continued in Part II...
REGARDING THE VICE OF SLOTH...
Part II (click here)