If I were starting my Christian walk now, knowing what I know, where would I go? What christian tradition would I choose to make my home in?
I know that can't happen, but let me specualte for a moment. I will do this in a series of posts and, at least for a while, explore the question negatively; where would I not go?
I could never go back to Roman Catholicism, the faith of my mother's mother, who was the single greatest influence on my spiritual development from within my family when I was a boy. That is by no means a disrespect to her; I continue to honour her memory and revere her as an example of what a person who is convicted of the truth of their beliefs shoudl be like. She was pious and faithful. Her faith was very much her life, not merely an appendage to it.
Nevertheless, I could never go Roman Catholic. That she was a great example of what it means to be true to ones faith does not change the fact that the faith she was true to was, and is, ultimately false. in too many respects. The non-biblical, and anti-biblical (yes, all "in my opinion") make such a move impossible. My convictions are such that I could not submit to Church Tradition (or tradition) as a control upon the meaning of Scripture. I accept it as an informer of the meaning, but that is not enough for Roman Catholicism. I am, at bottom, convinced of sola scriptura.
I fear I am also far too convinced that the idea of a state-church is wrong, and there is no doubt in my mind that the Roman Catholic Church, having once been that, and not having fundamentally changed in that respect over the years, needs only opportunity for it to become that again. The state-church ideal remains part of its ethos, dormant, but present.
Does that make me paranoid? Not really. I am not saying that I fear that such a turn of events is iminent. Nor am I suggesting there is a conspiracy of any kind to make it happen in apocalyptic fashion. I am simply saying that the idea inheres to Roman Catholicism, and it is anathema to sound biblical spirituality, faith, and practice.
Where else would I not go? See next time.