Thursday, 17 September 2015

What Should Rev. John T. McDonough do in Fountain Hills?


As I read in CMI today, eight "churches" (CMI's word) are teaming up to oppose the "progressive Christian" or "liberal theologian" David M. Felten, the pastor of a United Methodist Church named The Fountains.

He rejects vital Christian doctrines like the Virgin Birth and supports LGBT 'rights'. He is teaching what he, and many other church leaders, labels ‘Progressive Christianity’.

My research or some part of it:

I googled locality name and 8 churches and came to David Fenton's own comment about the 8 churches. He is a bit dismal about what they are up to:

As many of you know, ominous black banners went up at multiple churches in Fountains Hills this week asking: “Progressive” Christianity: Fact or Fiction?



Well, at any rate, he gave a newspaper clip which enumerated the "8 churches". All of them were Protestant, and thus not really churches. There is a Catholic Church, and its curate Rev. John T. McDonough was not enumerated among these.

Now, I am not a priest, but if I were, and were stationed in Fountain Hills, Church of the Ascension, I would start a sermon with support to the 8, not generally, but in their opposition to David Fenton.

I would perhaps entitle the sermon "Protestant Christianity" - fact or fiction?

With some respect for the 8, for not agreeing with Fenton, I would nevertheless point out that Reformation paved the way for that rot.

As CSL pointed out, I think in "Reflexions on the Psalms", Calvin considered that Book of Jonas could be a religious novel without any fact base. Tell that to Christians in Mossul - or formerly in Mossul, now protected by Mar Matta monastery or by the Peshargas - who date their conversions from paganism to Jonah as well as to Sts Thomas, Addai and Mari.

Calvin attacked Holy Mass, free will, especially sinners having freely chosen the sins they are damned for, celibate clergy and monks, and quite a few other central Christian concepts. Luther also had atatcked some of these.

David Fenten takes the denialism a bit further in rejecting the Virgin Birth. That is also a central Christian concept.

So, Rev. John T. McDonough could offer the noble 8 some catechism in integral Christianity, a k a Catholicism.

At least he seems not to be siding with David Fenton, according to the words of this character:

As Pastor David has written a best-selling book on the “Wisdom of Progressive Christianity” and The Fountains is the only openly “Progressive” Christian Church in town, (welcoming of LGBTQ folks, embracing of science, in dialog with other religions, etc.), it’s clear who the series is aimed at.

Well, if The Fountains is the only openly Progressive Christian Church in town, that means the Church of Ascension is not Progressive Christian. At least not openly so. And it is probably not into things like gay marriage or denying Virgin Birth either.

But the problem is, some Catholics are into some of these progressive things. Like replacing in Christmas proclamation "year 5199 after the Beginning when God created Heaven and Earth" with "unknown ages". That even was with the blessing of the Vatican, it would seem. But by then, I had already left Novus Ordo, and it has stayed that way most of the time.

And though Genesis chronology can look like a minor point (until you make the due reflections over Mark 10:6), unorthodoxy on this "minor point" (though in fact closely attached to a major one, Divinity of Christ) may well put off sympathies from conservative protestants, such as these 8.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Stigmata of St Francis

PS, going through their blog, I see a reference to the "bishop of Woolwich, John A.T. Robinson" and his "Honest to God". "So why haven’t you heard of this book?" - I have. C. S. Lewis commented on the "bishop" (whom, as an Anglican, he recognised as such) and mentioned that ordinary folks, if they believed what Robinson believed, would prefer calling themselves atheist over calling themselves Christian, and thought this kind of thing dishonest. As for himself, he preferred being honest to being "honest to God"./HGL

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