Skip to comments.Scott Brown’s Down-Home Ecumenism [Calvinists and Cistercians together]
Posted on 01/25/2010 7:57:41 AM PST by marshmallow
Scott Brown, it turns out, is a symbol not just of public dissatisfaction with the direction of President Obamas economic policies, but also of the centuries-long religious development of the United States toward greater religious tolerance and open-mindedness. And not just because he is a Protestant elected by Catholics in Massachusetts.
Brown is a member of a church affiliated with the Calvinist-rooted Christian Reformed Church in North America. If you go on the website of his congregation, New England Chapel in Franklin, Mass., you will read the following testimony from an attendee: I have found a home, a family, friends, and most importantly, begun the journey to a REAL relationship with God. It is not one based on guilt or fear, but rather love, hope, and mercy. The rest of the website has a similar tone. This is clearly not the Calvinism that lives on today chiefly in anti-Calvinist apologetics: the Calvinism of Salem and Hawthorne, that continues to haunt Americas dreams with a God who is best understood as a cruel despot. This new Calvinism is a development of the post-Great Awakening era, a religion thats not afraid of sentimentality yet it remains recognizably Calvinism, in its stress on the Bible and on the sovereignty of God.
And then one reads that Mr. Brown helped raise $5.5 million for the Cistercian nuns of Wrentham, who pray for him daily. (Brown himself is quoted: When you have nuns praying for you three times a day and youre not Catholic, anything that anybody can do or say about me, its Teflon. . . . It bounces right off.) A couple of years ago, I happened to be in the Wrentham area shortly after having read about this abbey in a book by Thomas Merton, so I dropped by and I can tell you that Mt. St. Marys is a genuine survival of faithful Catholicism, in a time and place generally considered less than hospitable to its values. A beautiful place and one that I long to visit again.
This is the America Scott Brown is from, a place where Calvinists are cheerful and conservative Cistercians pray for their Protestant benefactor. Some on the Internet are upset because Senator Brown is pro-choice, but most are wise enough to realize that he is a friend to life in many ways that will actually count over the next couple of years. Brown, like the rest of us, is what religious folk like to call a work in progress and he is an instance of yet another notable development in American religious history, one First Things editor Jody Bottum recently pointed to: As my friend Paul Mankowski, S.J., once remarked, the Catholic Churchs moral agenda would be much advanced if every Catholic in Congress was replaced with a Mormon or a Muslim. When I first read that, I thought it was somewhat overstated, but the longer I think about it the more true it appears. The pro-Catholic, neo-Calvinist, pro-choice Scott Brown is better on life issues than most Massachusetts Catholic politicians. In being pro-choice, he is very much a man of his time; but as much else in his biography demonstrates, times do in fact change. This story is not over yet.
One thing the media seems to be overlooking is Brown’s stance on supporting abortion.
Hopefully there will be additional details coming out about this.
If I had been in MA I would have voted for him, but this issue is quite troubling to me.
yep - me too...
We all deepen and become less cavalier as we grow in wisdom.
Hopefully we all follow this process. Thinking contemplative people more so etc.
God bless us in our day, in Jesus name, amen.
I am having a hard time understanding how someone, politician or no, can be conservative,Christian and a supporter of abortions. Pro-choice is a euphemism for readily available abortions,i.e. the killing of babies; it is not a stance to encourage variety in the general way. Scott Brown, hopefully, will choose to change his mind on this issue.
Christian Reformed Church in North America.
We spent 14 years in a CRC congregation a couple decades back, and I try to keep up on what's going on with them. We still get denominational rag. They are on a fast slide into liberalism. And not the good kind of liberalism.
His church’s position
“Because the CRC believes that all human beings are imagebearers of God, it affirms the unique value of all human life. Mindful of the sixth commandmentYou shall not murder (Ex. 20:13)the church condemns the wanton or arbitrary destruction of any human being at any stage of its development from the point of conception to the point of death. The church affirms that an induced abortion is an allowable option only when the life of the mother-to-be is genuinely threatened by the continuation of the pregnancy.”
The point is that Brown is more likely to have a new vision than someone like Patrick Kennedy, whose conscience has been corrupted by the false instruction of unfaithful priests.
This could be a short summary of the Texas law that was overthrown in Roe V. Wade.
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