Friday, October 14, 2005

Ex-Catholic

In visits to various Quaker Meetings (primarily unprogrammed meetings on the Eastern Seaboard) I have encountered a great many of these and an even larger number of what we might call Ex-Fundies (using that catch-all term here in the broadest possible sense, to refer to those who at an early age were frightened by the damnable doctrine of Jonathan Edwards). This category of course would include many Ex Catholics and many Ex Fundies (using the term in a less broad sense for non catholics who learned the lesson that they will go to hell if they don't 'do right').

It sometimes appears that 2/3 of the population belongs to this category; they seem to have reacted primarily in one of three ways:

The first group (usually dutiful children) have bought the 'd.d.' They may pray every Sunday (or more likely listen to someone pray for them) and live the rest of the week with varying degrees of forgetfulness and fright. (Most of them have successfully managed to put it out of their minds the other 6 days of the week.)

A second, perhaps smaller group (in this country), called secularists, have simply defied the d.d.; they have put it out of their minds permanently, usually simply dismissing it as superstition: they feel that they have more important things on their mind. St. Paul may have had this group on his mind when, speaking to the 'faithful congregation', he said "the name of God has been blasphemed by the gentiles because of you" (Romans 2:24).

The smallest group may be called the chosen. "Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14). The chosen are those who choose to accept the love of God and put behind them the fear of hell (if they ever had it). Without doubt they are the smallest segment of our (or of anybody's) population; they are the salt of the earth; they inherit the blessings, and they participate in and enjoy the final triumph (and material appearance) of the kingdom of God.

3 comments:

Twyla said...

Funny you should mention that. I've been thinking about that lately. I would be interested to know your thoughts about it all.

Twerpette said...

Sweet treatment! I muse on this all the time. I've crosslinked to this and BTW I've blogrolled you since June.

Larry said...

yes