Behold the Spam of God!

Do "Godspammers" who write converts to the Catholic faith honestly believe that they are the first people in the universe to ever suggest reading the Bible? If not, then what are they thinking?


Almost every other day, it seems, I will open my e-mail and find something like this specimen (culled from my "deleted" file):
 
Dear Mark, just came from your Web site and have some questions. It sounds like you were a "Protestant" before becoming a Catholic? I don’t know which church you were in but I have to question whether you were ever taught the Word of God there? If you had been in a church which taught the truth concerning Baptism according to the Word of GOD and not the "traditions of men" you would have learned that not only does baptism NOT save nor "grant justification" but it is ONLY for those who ARE BORN-AGAIN by the SPIRIT of GOD by placing their faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST! It is to be symbolic of the new birth ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED by GOD as Romans 6 clearly teaches! PLEASE READ the Gospel of John and pray asking GOD to show you HIS TRUTH — HE LOVES THE WORLD and DESIRES TO SAVE the LOST — which we all are apart from the New Birth which IS FREELY offered to ALL! Please read and be saved! I will be praying for you in JESUS Name. Carolyn
 
You have to wonder what is going through the minds of people who write such stuff. What do they think they are accomplishing?

One is terribly tempted to reply: "The Word of God? What’s that? Never heard of such a thing. Is that, like, the Bible? We used to read something called a ‘Bible,’ I think, at our old Church. But that was an awfully long time ago.

 

"Boy, thanks for setting me straight. I have never ever ever heard before that Jesus Christ loves me and desires to save the lost with His free gift of grace! I always thought that I had to perform magical rituals to make God love me. But now that you have so thoughtfully set me straight, I see clearly that when that big black book we used to read in my old church-that-never-taught-me-the-Bible says ‘Baptism now saves you’ (1 Pet 3:21) what it means is ‘Baptism does not save you.’

"And thanks also for explaining that when Romans 6 says, ‘All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death,’ and ‘We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life,’ this has absolutely nothing whatever to do with baptism. I really appreciate your setting me straight on that as well.

"And finally, thanks for making me see that all that stuff in John 3 about being born again of water and the Spirit really means water and the Spirit are complete opposites.

"Golly. It is so good to finally — after all these years — have somebody who really teaches the Word of God clue me in. Who would have thought that all those years of studying . . . what’s that big black book called again? Ah yes! ‘The Bible.’ Anyway, who would have thought that all those years of studying the Bible could have left me so totally ignorant of what Scripture really means? Thanks ever so much for enlightening me."

 
 
Do these people who write Evangelical converts to the Catholic faith honestly believe that they are the first people in the universe to ever suggest reading the Bible? If not, then what are they thinking?

I wonder this even more when I get Godspam from people who assure me they are "writing in Christian love" and then proceed to send me a farrago of raving nonsense and/or documentable lies about what the Church teaches. When you write them back and refer them to biblical and catechetical sources which show a) the fact that Catholic teaching comports with biblical teaching and b) their lies about Catholic teaching ("Mary worship!" "The Pope is sinless!" "The Mass re-sacrifices Jesus!") are bunk, they write you back with that gooey smile of condescending "Christian love" and inform you (and I quote), "I am not interested in discussing truth issues with Catholic apologists."

Their hermetically sealed pride is both astonishing and hilariously funny, as well as very widespread in the ranks of anti-Catholic types who write in "Christian love." I discovered this when I posted "Carolyn’s" note. One Catholic reader commented with his tongue firmly planted in cheek:


When I converted to Catholicism, it was the statue worship that appealed to me the most, but banner worship has its appeal as well. Historians have been able to show that pagans also worshipped primitive banners so either one has authentic Catholic-pagan connections.

I also liked that I didn’t have to read the Bible any more and that I would have to earn my way to Heaven. Besides that, I really appreciated the fact that I could check my brain at the door and blindly follow the leaders.

 
A really cool part of Catholicism is that now I can commit all of my favorite sins and then go to Confession right before I go out and do them again!! Actually, while I was Protestant, I guess I did that too, but without the Confession part. But sitting in that little room just feels so holy, especially with the statues nearby. . . .
 
The response was volcanic. In a combox thread that ran to a couple hundred posts, readers vented wittily on all the Godspam they’d gotten over the years from anti-Catholics writing in "Christian love." What follows are a few of the choicer bits.
 
***
 
I like the fact that I don’t have to really talk to God — I can just repeat prayers by rote thousands of times over to earn my way to heaven.

It’s also cool that I can have a man forgive my sins — I don’t even have to ask God!

***

I especially like the vain repetitious prayers of the Rosary and the sacrilegious practice of calling priests "Father."
 
***
 
Yeah, having to constantly make up my own prayers as an Evangelical was a real drag. I love being able to mindlessly repeat rote prayers all the time; it makes me think for myself less so I’m easier for the Vatican to deceive and brainwash.

But for me, the best thing about being a Catholic is calling the Holy Father "Lord God the Pope" and worshipping him. That and being able to acknowledge Mary as the Fourth Member of the Trinity. You have no idea what a drag it was worshipping that all-male God of Evangelicalism!


***

I can’t get over the sense of history, what with all the witch-burnings, Crusades, Inquisitions and pox-carrying missionaries to celebrate.

***

Being a part of the corporate machine that sells salvation is the biggest reward for me. Especially since I get such a big cut of the profits.

Hopefully our next Pope will start another cold-blooded massacre like the Inquisition or the Crusades, and I can earn my justification based on my "score" of how many Protestants or Muslims I kill. I’ll stand before God . . . ATOP A PILE OF SKULLS!


***

You people forgot the best part about being Catholic. The priest gets to kill and re-sacrifice Jesus over and over again at every Mass, because His death on Calvary was entirely insufficient. Granted, that’s not what the Council of Trent actually said, but we all know that underneath that’s what they were really thinking.

***

Being a male chauvinist, what finally drew me to the Catholic Church in 1999 was the infinitely wise and completely arbitrary subjection of women in every aspect of their lives. I love the male-dominated doctrines of telling women what to do with their bodies, not "allowing" them to be ordained, etc.

***

I like knowing I don’t really believe what I say I believe.

I like being afraid of science and logic.

I like our plan to put cameras in everyone’s bedroom.

I like the new church the Masons invented for us in 1962.


***

Once in awhile, I really enjoy whipping up in myself a nice raw sense of guilt. Generally, it is about nothing in particular.

***
 
What strikes me about all this is how so much "Christian outreach to Catholics" appears to be — judging from its utter failure to elicit anything but exasperated mockery from its educated targets — entirely ordered toward the self-medication of the witness and utterly uninterested in the actual human being who is the ostensible object of the "love" of the "evangelist." The Catholic who dares to do anything other than be the passive object of the "gospel" being thrust at him by the anti-Catholic is, by turns, an enemy, a deceiver, a dupe, a stumbling block, and a rebel. He is never a person. He has no place in the "relationship with God" that is allegedly being proposed to him.

Which, of course, leads me to wonder if and when I act the same way. God save me if I do.

 


Mark P. Shea is a senior editor at www.CatholicExchange.com and a columnist for InsideCatholic.com. Visit his blog at www.markshea.blogspot.com.

Mark P. Shea

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Mark P. Shea is the author of Mary, Mother of the Son and other works. He was a senior editor at Catholic Exchange and is a former columnist for Crisis Magazine.

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