Tuesday, January 24, 2012
It is difficult to maintain standards without an Inquisition. However, with an Inquisition, it is impossible to maintain standards. We are damned if we do, damned if we don't.
Without someone setting standards, the members of churches are free to rewrite the canonical texts or blot out those they dislike (as Luther blotted out James).
By now, probably half of the denominations in America have sidelined Leviticus, or subjected it to such endless ridicule that it is no longer taken seriously.
When people say they are Christian now, I almost invariably think: just tell me the denomination.
The Catholic church held on for a long time to the notion of universal standards. Now, even within that denomination there are massive schisms.
What can hold the whole thing together? Some say it's reason, but Luther said that "reason is the devil's whore."
Some say it's faith: but faith in what: God, the Bible, in people, in evolution, or what?