A same sex discussion on Radio National program Rear Vision on Marriage Equality Sunday afternoon 14 June narrated by Keri Phillips interviewing Professor Tom Inglis of University College Dublin (Ireland) identified a most remarkable observation.
According to Professor Inglis the singular observable outcome from the Irish vote supporting same sex marriage in May was the breaking of the link between Salvation and the Roman Catholic Church.
As such, this one revelation in the long term will send a kind of shock wave, initially through the Irish Roman Church, then Catholicism across the globe, that the vast majority of Irish Roman Catholics have truncated the unseen hold the Church had on them all in relation to their eternal destiny.
This unseen handcuff has been that the Roman Church had the sole feed to heaven, no one comes to the Father but through .... The Church ... sorry Jesus, you had been usurped under Roman dogma for eight hundred years.
Braking the shackles
The Irish people, bound hand and foot to the Roman Catholic Church broke the shackles when they voted overwhelmingly for same sex marriage against the direction, pressure, recommendation and advice of that same Church.
The very language of the Roman Catholic Church has controlled access to heaven through the various rites of the Church – something that Martin Luther found objectionable on biblical grounds demonstrating it all with 95 points. It became endorsed by the commonwealth of Protestantism of northern Europe.
The English Parliament joined suit through Henry VIII and the new world was overjoyed to leave behind such religious constrictions upon life itself, to find a fresh and reinvigorating Christian faith.
Through the last four centuries the great Protestant missionary movements took this new world religious and political freedom to the four corners of the world. We can name some of them off by heart – George Whitfield, John and Charles Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, William Carey, Hudson Taylor, C T Studd, the list is almost endless.
The Irish break
What we witnessed was the majority of a nation who disavowed belief that any institution whose doctrine holds the keys to heaven - smashed that whole world order into the outer, to use a baseball term, or over the fence for six in cricket .... I assume you get the idea!
The Irish Roman Catholics stood up and in effect shouted 'no' to such a controlling philosophy of life, limb and belief. It is rather quite remarkable that it took something like the same sex marriage equality issue to do it.
It illustrates that the Irish Roman Catholics were not as keen on Catholicism and its dramatics as the social mores had thought. Rather, what it showed was an axing of Irish Roman Catholic dogma on social matters where the Church received a perfect left hook (using a boxing term).
Whatever else one might ponder regarding Roman Catholic dogma that Salvation comes through the Roman Church, something that Protestants have abhorred since the Reformation, the Irish Roman Catholic population disavowed and voted with their feet any such link between Salvation and the Roman Church.
Historic Christianity from the early church has Salvation belonging to a totally different scenario, something to do with Jesus taking the sin of each of us to the Cross of Calvary followed by the Resurrection. Each repentant in effect falls at the foot of the cross inviting the Lord personally and privately into their hearts (The Revelation 3 verse 20).
This is the point of Professor Tom Inglis on the ABC Radio's Rear Vision program.
It was a light shining in in the firmament for Irish Catholics. His detailed clarifying observations of this separation between the Irish people and the Catholic Church. It is well worth a listen.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html