Showing posts with label Protestants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Protestants. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hey, Marty! No cuts!

Always willing to find something to offer up, I, the least crafty person in the world, have decided I want to make my very own Advent wreath! The horror! Admittedly, there is nothing super crafty about a store-bought wreath with some store-bought purple and pink candles and maybe some ribbon. The most strenuously crafty part of this would be the floral wire (or zip ties?) that I may have to use to attach my store-bought candles to said store-bought wreath (I had a good friend recommend that I just put votives in glass cups and place it on top of the wreath. She's going to be a lawyer, I always knew she was smart.) In any event, in order to find out how to embark on this penitent Advent activity, I did the Google to find some good instructions. I came upon this website that makes the claim that Martin Luther single-handedly made the Advent wreath popular. Now, I have done some more research and can't find anything that claims he didn't do this, or that Pope Gregory the Great invented it or anything like that, but let's just say that I have a sneaking suspicion this isn't true.

One of the things I am learning about being Catholic (or openly Catholic, now that I have "come out"), is that a lot of people think they know things about the Catholic Church that simply aren't true. Even Catholics. But I am also finding a good number of Protestants of whom I could say the same thing regarding their religion. Now, I have a degree in history. And religious studies. And I'm a Catholic. So one thing I am pretty sure about is that the Catholic Church is The Original Church. It's hard to argue it, considering that there was no such thing as a Lutheran until 1517  (he probably never fixed the hole in our door, either) or an Anglican until 1547, or dozens of other religions until sometime-- and 95 Theses-- later. But there is an unbroken record of Popes spanning back to the first century. But time and time again I see and hear these things from Protestants about how Catholics ADDED books to the Bible (rather than Protestants taking them out) or how there was an Apostate and all the "real" Christians died out until some angel that was never named in the Bible showed up in the 19th century and showed us all the light. Mental gymnastics notwithstanding, I find it very hard to take this stuff seriously. I know the Catholic church makes claims that, to some ears, sound pompous and elitist (this post I'm sure sounds wonderfully uncharitable), but it makes my head hurt. It's HISTORY. Cold, hard fact. That doesn't mean that you have to accept the theological, liturgical or authoritative claims of The Church. But you certainly have to realize that WE wrote the darn book, we invented the Liturgical calendar (therefore the Advent wreath would have been kind of pointless, regardless of who "invented" it). I know that a lot of Protestants want nothing to do with the Catholic church, but you have to give credit where credit is due. And I promise, if I find anything that can tell me definitively that Martin Luther actually invented the Advent wreath, I will give him the credit for it. But I might only be willing to admit that he did it while still a Catholic monk....

Edit: the Reverend Ken Collins seems like he's not a douche. So, I'm not hating on him at all. Anyone who has the mental clarity and audacity to faithfully and openly live out their Christian faith is good in my book. It's very hard to to do and even harder to do charitably. I should know.