Monday, February 28, 2005

Leading by example

I am a firm Protestant. Both the Roman Catholic church and the Eastern Orthodox churches hold theological positions that I believe are unBiblical and unsupportable. Don't put me in the Chick-level "all Catholics are damned", that is a mistake as well.

In particular, I have had vast disagreements with John Paul II. During my liberal phase of life (I got better) John Paul represented all that I felt was wrong with conservative religion. As I've grown in my faith, I've still disagreed strongly with portions of his theological beliefs, but my respect for John Paul the man has grown tremendously. His refusal to simply walk away from his post because of his Parkinson's disease is just the latest sign that John Paul is more willing to do God's work than be interested in his own comfort. Our own culture of me just doesn't understand making such a sacrifice. Having advanced Parkinsons would seem to be as good a reason to retire, or at the very least taking a while off. On the other hand, God has things for John Paul to do still, and John Paul knows it. Maybe it's something as simple as getting back up off that bed and saying "I am not quitting" by his actions. Maybe John Paul's best book or best statement of faith is still ahead. We don't know, and John Paul doesn't know, so he keeps going. So should we.

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