Friday, April 15, 2011

Thoughtful Polish Roman Catholic Reader Living in Dubai

I received this kind and thoughtful criticism from a Polish Roman Catholic reader who lives with his family in Dubai. I thought I would share it and my response with other readers.

I am a father who is currently reading your books ‘Stand Fast’ and ‘Hold Fast’. I am a Polish Roman Catholic who lives and works with family ( 2 boys, 1 daughter) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I came across your books in Dubai in a bookstore of Evangelical church. I happened that after mass in my Catholic Church my wife asked me to go to that bookstore to find some books which might be interesting for us. I have found your books very interesting and I hope they will be helpful in bringing my sons to be true men of Jesus Christ. 
However, I noticed your remarks about Roman Catholic Church in South America ( Chapter 8 ‘ Learn to Serve’) and they made me sad. I looked for me like we Christians compete against each other and there is no love among us. Our Lord told us to be united and I personally pray to have all Christians be the one loving family.
Thank you for your books.
Sincere regards,
Andrzej Gola

(My response)
Dear Andrzej,
Thank you for taking the time to write me about my books. I'm grateful that you found them useful for you and your family. Thank you for your candor about the reference to moribund churches that are Roman Catholic in South America. I too long to see unity among Christ's Church, but for it to be genuine unity it must be unity around the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, don't you think? I have been to South America and seen the predominantly Roman Catholic Church there. Frankly, as a whole I don't think it is inaccurate to say that it is moribund, that it is, "lacking vitality or vigor." I would say the same thing about Protestant churches that are lacking vitality and vigor, wouldn't you? To do so is not to disturb the unity of the church, but hopefully to aid in restoring it to Christ-like vitality. 
Incidentally, chapter 8 of Hold Fast was written by one of several contributors to my books, yet I do agree with his general assessment of the RC Church in South America. I could say more of it; it is synergistic, blending animism and pagan religion with its rituals and practices, all of which dilutes the gospel and diminishes the centrality of Jesus Christ in the church; isn't that an ultimate breaking of the unity of the gospel? To speak honestly about the state of the church, Roman Catholic or Protestant, is necessary if we are to see the church restored to true unity based on the transforming vitality of the gospel of grace alone in Jesus Christ alone. Thank you again for your gracious comments and your honest and frank disagreement with me. I value that honesty in readers. I will pray for your labors in Dubai. Do keep in touch. 
God be with you,
Douglas Bond

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