The other day, my post “How a Member of the ‘Christian Left’ Thinks” got a link on the “Christian Left” Facebook page, saying what a hatemonger I am and whatnot. It was interesting reading the replies here and there, which basically confirmed the points I made in that post:
1) that the Christian Left generally doesn’t care about the unborn: some respondents even said proudly that they were “pro-choice”
2) that the Christian Left doesn’t care about marriage–again, one commentor said he thinks that the left has the Biblical High Ground on so-called “Marriage Equality.” How he gets that from “From the beginning, God intended them male and female” is beyond me, and somehow I think whatever his exegesis of that passage may be, it can’t possibly match up to that of Bl. John Paul II
3) Being a member of the “Christian Left” means defiance of the Holy Father (indeed, all respondents were Protestants who showed nothing but contempt for the Pope, the Magisterium and “dogma”).
There were no overtly “Catholic” responses. Only one really tried to challenge my premises about what it *means* to be a Christian, and she did a weak, Protestant, “That’s just your opinion” response to my assertions about history validating the Church, the ECFs, Ecumenical Councils, etc.
But what struck me as most symbolic of all responses was one sarcastic comment on Facebook: “And here I thought all it took to be a Christian was to follow the teachings of Jesus.”
Uhh, no, not at all.
Muslims follow the teachings of Jesus.
Many Jews even follow the teachings of Jesus.
In terms of what they mean by “the teachings of Jesus” (as they’ve eliminated all sexual morality, not killing people and following the Church from their criteria of “teachings of Jesus”), Communists follow the “teachings of Jesus.”
Ask Arius, Nestorius, Pelagius, etc., if “all you need to do is follow the teachings of Jesus”.
Indeed, every heresy accuses the Church of heresy *precisely* because prior to modernist relativism, all those who claimed to be “Christian” have recognized that it’s not necessary just to follow the teachings of Jesus–or, conversely, that it IS necessary to follow the teachings of Jesus, and they recognize that other people AREN’T following those teachings.
The salient debate is what constitutes the teachings of Jesus. And what is the purpose of following Jesus’ teachings unless we are concerned about Jesus the Person? Who is Jesus? What is Jesus? The Church established in its earliest centuries that one must accept the full Truth about Jesus to be saved, and the whole point of the Ecumenical Councils was to nail down the true doctrines concerning Jesus: that’s what “dogma” is.
So it’s really quite contradictory to say that one is opposed to “dogma” and to say “I thought being a Christian just means following the teachings of Jesus.”