The Anti-Catholic Rhetoric of ‘Way of the Master’
(For the latest news about Kirk Cameron and his anti-Catholic blog post against Pope Francis’ remarks on atheists read this blog entry.)
Let me first say that I am not interested in a blow-by-blow refute of Way of the Master. There are plenty of very adequate blogs and other resources out there that dispute with the material within it from the polished presentation of its street evangelism to its reasoning of faith. While I do appreciate the legions of individuals who choose to address the errors, because they need to be pointed out for those who have the smallest doubt, that is not the point I’m willing to address here.
What I haven’t seen a lot of is staunch statements of the irrefutable fact that the team of Comfort and Cameron are absolutely anti-Catholic. Catholics I’ve read online seem to think there’s nothing anti-Catholic about the duo. This even from those who claim to have watched the show for a while. It took me one episode.
Perhaps I’m just fortunate to have caught it at the right moment because the illustration of it was blatant. Basically, they work off of heavy illustration to make a point and the illustration they were using was the airplane emergency crash. The visual they were showing was a mock-up of the emergency procedures manual you have on all airplanes visually showing you what to do in an emergency except it was interspersed with religious imagery they were using to make a point about the Ten Commandments (their modus operandi). They begin talking about the Second Commandment,
You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them. (Exodus 20:4,5)
Cameron repeats this Commandment as they again cut away to the emergency procedures manual again.
Catholics can easily guess what’s coming next.
It’s clearly displaying our veneration and honor of the Blessed Mother of Our Lord Jesus as equal to the worship of a Hindu god. As they display it, the Buddhists worship Buddha and his statue just like Hindu’s worship their gods and statues, and, apparently, like Catholics worship Mary and her statue. A clear violation of the second commandment. This is erroneous in every instance. Buddhists worship neither a Buddha or a statue. Hindu’s also do not prescribe worship of statues either. The latter goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway for clarification:
We don’t worship Mary! and we certainly don’t worship statues!
Statues are often explained as being the equivalent of a picture of a loved one to serve as a reminder of the life of that individual. (Much like the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC). When Catholics kneel before a statue we’re not praying to a statue. The statue is a rendition of an individual, made of earthly materials, and isn’t any more than an earthly material. Statues have no power in and of themselves and we certainly don’t think the statues can hear us. We honor what the statue represents. As far as leaving flowers or Rosary’s on or near a statue, think of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC as well. Why leave trinkets and tokens, flowers and the like there? It serves as a visual reminder that the person you’ve chosen to honor with an object was worth the honor and recognition for the life they lived. That is all.
(Click here to see the entire episode)
Ray Comfort wrote an article in November ’06 which claims that the reason it’s so hard for Jews to be converted to Christianity is that the Nazi’s, in conjunction with the ideas of the Catholic Church, caused their genocide. For some reason in the article Comfort starts by talking about Roman Catholics, but the majority of the article deals with Lutherans. It seems, from the article, that the two are interchangeable.
“I’m always encouraged when I ask someone if they are a Christian and they answer “No. I’m Roman Catholic.” (CATHOLICS – PLEASE STOP DOING THIS! CATHOLICS ARE CHRISTIANS! We are the FIRST Christians. Christianity came to world through the Catholic Church.) It confirms something that most Catholics know but it seems that the world doesn’t know. There is a difference between biblical Christianity and Roman Catholicism. Although the Roman church holds to some of the main tenants of the Christian faith, at its core it has its own entity. It has many high-held traditions that are not found in the Bible. They are Roman Catholic traditions. Consequently, it shouldn’t surprise us that Jews are very difficult to reach with the gospel. This is because many of them equate Christianity with Roman Catholicism.”
He goes on in the article to talk about how Hitler subverted and corrupted the tradition filled, liberal philosophy and theology of the Protestant Lutheran church (his description, not mine) and eventually other institutions to his own twisted version of Christianity “thus [emptying the] church pews so [that] they began to meekly cloak their political agenda in biblical phraseology. Over time this left many of the more simple folk unable to distinguish the true pastor from the false.” Apparently, simple folk were so uneducated in biblical truth because of the “institution” of all the theological “corruption” of the Lutheran church that they couldn’t distinguish between genuine Christian faith and genocidal mania.
He then reverts back to something that is distinctly aimed back at Catholics.
“.. in the eyes of many Jews, the evil of Nazism came directly through the Christian church. As a result, when you and I approach a Jew with a New Testament in our hand, or a cross around our neck and sweetly say, ‘I would like to talk to you about Jesus,’ to them we may be saying, ‘Hi, I represent an institution that is filled with pedophiles, bows down to idols, worships false gods, and was responsible for the murder of six million Jews.’ No wonder they are reluctant to talk to us.”
Go read the article for yourselves linked above. I think it’s of the highest priority to inform my fellow Catholics that not only are these two using their ministry blatantly spread misinformation about Catholics, they don’t consider us Christians to begin with, and they’re accusing us of being “filled with pedophiles, bowing down to idols, worshiping false gods and being responsible for the murder of six million Jews.” It’s due to this reason, our high profile in the world, and our “high-held un-biblical traditions” that Comfort and can’t reach the Jews to convert them to Christianity.
Something I once heard a priest say and I’ll never, ever forget it.
“Those easily gained are not gained for long.”
I think it is a terrible misrepresentation of Catholics and the Church and I think it deserves to be pointed out to people who are Catholics. Ray and Kirk do not think you are Christians and I certainly wouldn’t feel inclined to give any of my money to them for their products because of their active ministry against Catholicism.
This post, about halfway down, has a further exposition on Comfort’s anti-Catholic bias. It makes for interesting reading.
This video clearly shows from Ray Comfort’s own mouth that he does not believe Catholics to be Christians.