Today for some unimaginable reason I decided instead of attending Mass for the Feast of Corpus Christi, that I would go back to my old stomping grounds, my parents Baptist church. Boy did I pick the wrong day to go. It began with the usual Chris Tomlin style rock worship stuff, and I had no problem, they baptized a 9 year old girl which wasn't a problem, but then... - I knew it would come eventually - then they had the 'testimony' of a young adult read as she was about to be Re-Baptized. It was about how she was raised Roman Catholic, baptized as an infant and went to mass every sunday until she was 15, and how she never heard about Jesus or salvation or anything. ... Now at this point I came closer than I ever have to jumping up and screaming "were you f*(!ing blind or something!?, you saw the crucifix every sunday and heard the prayers to Jesus and the gospels and epistles read every week and you didn't know about Jesus!?" - I almost did because in their church I'm a priest (*see Priesthood of all Believers), but I restrained myself.
I remember reading months ago about John Piper's experience where he was in a Catholic Funeral Mass and at the consecration of the Eucharist he almost walked out or screamed because he was so horrified at the heresy, I now know exactly how he felt, but from the other side.
First of all, this isn't even a Protestant - Catholic issue, this is a schismatic-Anabaptist/Donatist-devoid-of-all-church-history v. Orthodoxy issue. The real Protestants (Anglicans, Lutherans, Reformed) all practice Christian baptism which permits only ONE baptism (see Nicene Creed 325 CE "we acknowledge ONE baptism"), and it includes infants. Re-baptism is the ancient heretical practice of the Donatists which our beloved St. Augustine fought against (ora pro nobis sancte augustine).
Then we went through an entire sermon of a botched attempt to teach sola fide. He kept saying all the other churches teach works based salvation but his church teaches salvation by grace. 0 for 1 good sir, everyone except the Pelagians, believe in grace alone for salvation, even us 'godless' Romanists proclaim salvation is by grace alone. The debate, if he'd happen to read up on it is about Faith Alone vs. Faith and Works. Anyway, the crowd roared for the false dicotemy, I was shaking with anger and trying not to walk out.
I was then confronted by a girl I'd done missions with who said she saw that I'd left Christianity for Catholicism and asked if I thought it was great how the poor girl on stage today was saved from Catholicism. I kindly smiled and walked away.
The whole thing was redeemed slightly by getting to talk to an old friend who was very kind to me and he didn't ask me anything about Catholicism.
It's days like today that I wish we still burned each other so that we didn't have to sit through these things.
Even Calvin and Luther condemned the Anabaptists, I also found - shockingly - that Zwingli's successor said in a letter that the Anabaptists were getting to be so heretical in some parts that he said his trifles with Catholicism were only "child's play" compared to his problems with the Anabaptists.
I also intentionally missed Mass on this Feast day of Corpus Christi and thus have canonically entered mortal sin as well (the prospect of Hell is less scary now as I live in it most of the time even as a good Catholic).
Anyway, I guess the only edifying thing was that the pain I felt today in the service was probably only a small measure of the pain Christ feels for the divisions in his church. Maybe Sunday is actually his least favourite day of the week because all his children hate each other so violently.
Sadly, I promised myself it would be the last time I ever went to an Anabaptist service again, but I'm sure I'll be forced to again soon.
At least they used the trinitarian formula for the first girl, the other girl's re-baptism of course is ridiculous and completely ineffectual.
Blessed Corpus Christi