The following is part of an ongoing series by Dr. Norman McCrummen. We’ll be publishing another one of his reasons every week, so stay tuned! Read previous installments: Introduction – First Reason – Second Reason – Third Reason – Fourth Reason – Fifth Reason – Sixth Reason
I am Catholic because of the Church’s courageous stance on issues which have shredded the social fabric of American society and have severely fractured the foundations of what was once a great nation, not a perfect nation by any means, but great nonetheless. Were it not for the voice of the Catholic Church, one would hear only small and scattered attempts supporting the sanctity of marriage, religious freedom, and life itself.
The capitulation of several of the mainline Protestant denominations to secular agendas has gravely weakened the Christian witness in America. One cannot help but think of the timidity of German Protestant denominations during the early years of the Third Reich. By the time the Second World War erupted, the Christian witness had been so effectively silenced that the Reich had free rein to act as a killing machine that wiped out millions of citizens for being “politically incorrect.”
Before the war, there were millions of Germans who thought their government, though harsh, would never do anything close to what was discovered by war’s end. But nothing is impossible once religious freedom is suppressed. The analogy with Germany is not extreme and here’s why: A nation that will murder unborn children is a nation that will do anything, including the redefining of marriage — the cornerstone of civilization.
Most Americans do not believe their freedoms can be severely curtailed or destroyed, certainly not by their own government; but then unsuspecting Americans do not see the connection between the government’s sanctioning of the murder of children (over 50 million since the verdict of Roe vs. Wade) and the government’s determination to override religious convictions with “health mandates” that require religious organizations, including Catholic hospitals and nursing homes, to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees through their health insurance programs, and the government’s attempts — through the IRS — to penalize organizations that the IRS judges as standing in the way of the secularists’ agenda.
It is the Catholic Church that is the target of liberalism’s venom because the Catholic Church is unwavering in its defense of what is true and righteous and life enhancing. The fact that the media and entertainment industries despise the Catholic Church speaks volumes about what the secular forces fear.
The debt all Christians owe the Catholic Church is incalculable. One should ask: What other Christian group is publicly and boldly addressing the political agendas that seek to destroy innocent life, redefine marriage, and rob religious organizations of their rights?
The success of the secular left is astounding, but it couldn’t have happened had Christians not been intimidated into silent passivity. Thank God the Catholic Church is not silent. Thank God the Catholic Church is unwavering in its defense of God’s truths, those truths revealed so that human beings may have life and life to the full. The Church continues to press the truth that God did not leave us without chart and compass; that He has given us every direction, command, and teaching we need to live holy lives by which we are taken to the poor and homeless and hungry, to whom we are to show love and compassion and to be mentors and teachers. Our Lord has shown us (and the Church teaches us) that the only life worth living is one of sacrificial love for neighbor, not a life in which one condones the killing of babies. Christ and His Church teach that we’re to go out of our way to express love to our neighbor, even to caring for the sick or injured who lay on the side of the road as did the Good Samaritan. Our charity is to be expressed tenderly and compassionately, but also boldly and courageously — which can bring unwanted consequences from a hostile government. But the Catholic Church has always taught that faithfulness to God may mean risking one’s life, just as the early martyrs did and are doing today in the Middle East and throughout Africa and Asia where militant Muslims are determined to eliminate the Christian witness.
I am Catholic because I admire and want to emulate the Church’s determination to do what is right regardless of the cost, as Father Maximillian Kolbe did at Auschwitz where he gave his life as a substitute for a prisoner singled out for execution by starvation.
I could not remain in a Protestant denomination that was unwilling to remain faithful to God’s expectations when His expectations were not in accord with secular opinions. In June 2011, the denomination in which I was ordained eliminated from its constitution the ordination standard requiring its officers to be faithful in marriage and chaste in singleness (and in the event of failure, to repent). In June 2014 the same denomination’s General Assembly voted to redefine marriage. (And where does redefining stop? Once redefined, why not legalize polygamy, or marriage between uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews? Or between brothers? Once redefinition of marriage is accepted, no logic remains that would require any kind of boundary.) It’s a very dark era when Christian denominations adopt secular policies that oppose the teaching of Scripture, especially when it becomes clearer by the day that those same secularists are determined to destroy the influence of the Gospel.
I’m not forgetting there are many Protestants who are just as concerned as Catholics about the moral confusion in our nation and within some American denominations. But where is their unity? Where is their strength? Under what united banner are they struggling for God’s truth to prevail? What holy strategy has been formed? Some Protestants are individually fighting the good fight for the preservation of truth, but what are Protestant denominations doing in unity to counter the imposition (or the embrace) of a secular agenda? Because there is no unity and a great deal of timidity, the sacred is being blown to the winds as dandelions in spring.
The Catholic Church has known since the first century what it is to be persecuted, but it also knows what it is to persevere in teaching the truth and doing what is right regardless of the risks; and thus it marches on, anticipating the comfort of hearing the Father say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”