Déjà vu all Over Again with Ralph Martin

He’s done another video in the wake of the “unearthing” of Michael Scanlan’s prophecies:

Let’s be honest, Ralph: we’ve been here before.  And you dodged the serious question that never seems to change.

Back in 1982 you wrote a book entitled A Crisis of Truth, where you documented the drift from both Biblical truth that Roman Catholicism had experienced.  In a sense the video above is a quick summary of the idea of that book, forty years out.  (TBH Mother Angelica’s rant–and her response to a bishop that didn’t like it–was more to the point.)  So here we are again, you saying the same things and the rest of us trying to figure out a response.

The response many of us did at the time was to exit from the Catholic Church.  It wasn’t an easy decision and it’s one that some of our brothers and sisters didn’t follow us in, but we did it anyway.  But we felt that we could not live the life that Jesus Christ had intended to and stay in either the miserable pastoral system that was and is Catholic parishes in the US or in a church where what were then called “countercultural” (they’re mainstream now) elements were undermining the Church.

For me at least, your book was in part a justification of that decision.  I had seen what happened when the church I grew up in (Episcopal Church) underwent an assault like this, and I had no desire to go through this again.

Now you call us to follow Jesus in a serious way.  And that’s good.  But now we have an Occupant of the See of St. Peter who is basically dangerous, and dangerous people seem to lurk everywhere.  (I was always afraid this would happen sooner or later.)  Back in the day the accession of St. John Paul II put a stop to much of the mischief you documented in your book, or at least drove it underground.  You cast aside your guitar-strumming and prophecy-proclaiming form of Catholicism for #straightouttairondale, a volte face I still marvel at.   But that still leaves those who stay with the same hard choices–harder, really–that we had two score ago.

I’m not one of these people who say that “if you get saved, you must leave the Catholic Church.”  That’s basically conceding to the Church it’s own idea of what church is all about.  But once Jesus transforms our life we have to be somewhere until we ascend up to heaven.  Some have and will stick it out, but some will not, and what you say now–and what you have said in the past–will influence that decision in ways you may not find to your taste.

I would be the first to admit that life in the Pentecostal fast lane has its problems, from Bill Clinton’s Eucharistic Theology to its screwy racial idea.  But so far I’ve been able to leave many of the problems I would have had to deal with on an ongoing basis behind, and my church allowed me to work at a denominational level, something Roman Catholicism would never dream of.

At the end of his book The Power and the Wisdom, Fr. John McKenzie wrote the following:

There is another obscurity in one’s mind more difficult to express and not without some dangers.  Reflection on the New Testament gives one a keener sense of the differences between the Church which wrote the New Testament and the contemporary Church.  If one wanders down this path far enough, one will find oneself at its end in the company of the Reformers; and a Roman Catholic cannot join this company.

As a part of a Wesleyan tradition now, we’re way past Luther and Calvin.  Be careful of what you say, Ralph Martin; some of us may take it seriously.

Update: I posted a link to this piece on the video’s comments.  They responded by turning the comments off.

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