I want things my way. And that’s the Protestant way. If things don’t go my way, I’m leaving.
I want us all together, and I don’t want to have to stupid vote on stupid decisions, assuming that I know better than an authority would (cardinal or bishop), and potentially putting myself at odds with others in my congregation (time for another protest…schism). Why am I not Catholic?
I don’t like everything about Catholic doctrine. So I’m not Catholic. That makes me Protestant, not just by default, but also by spirit and action – I’m actually refusing to be a part of the Catholic church because of something about the Catholic church (doctrine, method, etc.).
I like to think I’m catholic. But not Catholic. But sometimes, after a long business meeting at a Baptist (Baptists are like Protestant individualists on steroids…and I know Baptists say they are the original church…so does everybody) church, I wish I was. I’d rather someone else make these decisions. I’d rather leadership be more sensibly structured (and not tainted by some for-profit organization like LifeWay). I’d rather a lot of things. And yet, I’d still rather not be Catholic.
So it’s the dreaded catch-22.
I can either convert to Catholicism – a move I don’t want to make – in order to squelch my individualistic, capitalistic, sickeningly-democratic inclinations (all of which threaten my spiritual well-being, in my experience). Or I can stay Protestant. But if I stay Protestant, I must be Protestant. So if I disagree with people in my congregation, I ought to form a new church with people I agree with (the Protestant way). Oh, it sounds like it would just be based on differing opinions, but you know how it goes – we can connect all our opinions to some crucial theological position, which becomes our hill to die on (to form a new church on). But I don’t want to be Protestant, or protestant. I want to be catholic. But not Catholic. But if I’m not Catholic, then I’m protestant and Protestant, and among none of those do I find a very good way to be catholic.
God help us.