From Catholic Answers:
Reformation, the, the usual term for the religious movement which made its appearance in Western Europe in the sixteenth century, and which, while ostensibly aiming at an internal renewal of the Church, really led to a great revolt against it, and an abandonment of the principal Christian beliefs.
From Ancient Faith Ministries:
As an Orthodox Christian, it would be easy for me figuratively to peer over the wall between East and West and condescendingly cast a glance over at the “egg that Rome laid.” …Why, therefore, should we pay much mind to schisms from schism, now many times removed?
That Roman Catholics and Protestants are “two sides of the same coin” has become axiomatic in many Orthodox treatments of Western Christianity
Not to belabor the point, but only to set the table properly: regular readers know that I value much in each of the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions. I also do not appreciate the stone-throwing by some against the other, as all of these traditions have plenty of vulnerable glass houses.
What has been clear over the last two years is that it is primarily in Protestant Churches where there has been any meaningful pushback to the draconian and evil Covid policies against the Church specifically and the population more broadly. The institutional leadership of Catholic, and, from what I have seen, Orthodox, Christianity has all followed government dictates to the letter.
Yes, I know that there are a handful of exceptions in both traditions. They have notoriety by their rarity, and certainly are not supported at all institutionally.
Sure, many Protestant churches have also followed the government line, but many haven’t. Here one can find a list of churches who have signed a declaration, “The Church Must Gather.” You will note, out of hundreds of churches, only two have the word “Orthodox” in the title, and none have the word “Catholic.” (Yes, I know this isn’t the most scientific way to identify the traditions, but it will have to do).
Meanwhile, there are fifty with the word Baptist, several Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and Reformed. Many that include the word Harvest, Grace, or Assembly. Being a Canadian initiative (where the dictates are even more draconian than in the United States), the churches are mostly in Canada, but not all. (I believe in some, if not all, Canadian provinces, one now needs to be fully jabbed to attend church service.)
Recently a new fight has come to the fore, based on a new law passed in Canada. The bill is C-4, “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy).” From the preamble:
Whereas conversion therapy causes harm to society because, among other things, it is based on and propagates myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, including the myth that heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity, and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions;
“Myth” is used in the above to mean an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution. Of course, there are healthy reasons for myths to survive – for centuries, even millennia:
Far from being merely fantastic or cultish, myths are a treasure of realities… Myths have continued to capture the imaginations and the soul of man for thousands of years because they depict and reveal behavior and problems common to all human beings.
…myths reveal eternal truths about the nature of man and his quests in life. They reflect attitudes and feelings that are common to all men, in any time.
We have reached a point in society where the most obvious, scientifically self-evident “myth” is now considered a false collective belief. Understand: it is a “myth” that acting according to the sex “assigned” at birth is preferred over other “orientations.”
The Canadian bill was passed without dissent – unanimously.
Several pastors, including some who have recently been imprisoned in Canada for keeping their churches open in defiance of government health orders, explained to Fox News that they believe the scope of the new law could open the door to religious persecution.
An initiative was started in Canada, by the same group that began “The Church Must Gather.”
On the first Lord’s day after the Bill C-4 comes into effect (January 16th, 2022), please publicly preach a sermon that specifically proclaims the Biblical truth that homosexuality and transgenderism are serious sins condemned by the law of God that exclude a sinner from salvation without repentance.
Apparently, the initiative was quite successful; more than 4000 pastors in North America preached just such a sermon this past Sunday. The initiative gained momentum in the United States due to the efforts of John MacArthur – the same John MacArthur who was one of the highest profile clergymen to fight the state’s corrupt closing and masking of churches.
Now, John MacArthur might represent the exact opposite of what an Orthodox or Catholic Christian views as proper worship – totally focused on expository Biblical teaching. Sola Scriptura to the max. Sunday morning is like sitting in a university lecture hall.
Say whatever you will about this, but why is it that thousands of Protestants such as MacArthur are speaking out, while Catholic and Orthodox leaders are, at best, silent, and at worst, complicit?
Returning to the call to arms at the Canadian site:
Consider also the words of Martin Luther: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battlefields besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
Christendom, in its broadest sense, could really use a Martin Luther today. I know that there are many Catholic and Orthodox Christians who, deep down in their hearts, agree.