Thursday, August 16, 2007

Not All Doves Are White

I was at a Latin-speaking convention with a very Anglican faculty member of Westminster seminary, and now am involved with an evangelical woman to whom I had to explain that Catholic schools do not require one to become monks or even think deeply about it. Such divergent opinions brought to my mind the diversity of the army of Christ. The generals of the army ought to be the bishops, although human frailty is all too evident. The danger, however, of generalship is that the combination of greater influence and misanalysis of what needs doing can lead to defeat as easily as victory. It seems to me, therefore, that one must be careful how and on what grounds one criticizes the bishop unless one has surveyed the topography previously. Certainly, no man lacks faults; but if one wishes to make a critique of the actions of a general, it would prove useful to lead forth a well-disciplined argument concerning whither the army has wandered and the general has erred. It is fully understandable that the Nigerian bishop, surveying the shattered hopes of his native land, would decry particular forms of moral decay while other bishops in other countries would face other challenges.

1 comment:

David Chillingworth said...

And I suppose that in some topographies, the targets are easier to get clearly in the cross-hairs. When I was in Northern Ireland, it was relatively easy to take aim at the forces of violence and at sectarianism and bigotry. The small-mindedness of others was particularly easy to identify, I found. Living in a cheerily secular society which simply finds the church irrelevant - as, to be honest,I often do myself - it is rather more difficult.