The “Catholic” Church As Horizontal; The Roman “Catholic” Church as Vertical
If you ask any American Roman Catholic when the Charismatic movement, or Holy Spirit movement, was initiated into their church, they will tell you at Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit in Pittsburg, PA at a conference in 1967. The Holy Spirit fell on a group of Catholics that would forever influence the Roman Catholic Church, even to the heights of its Pope, Pope John Paul II. Even today, there is a charismatic branch with in the Roman Catholic church. Pope John Paul II embraced the role of the Holy Spirit ‘s influence on the Church, but I am not sure if the next movement of God will be as graciously received by those in authority within the Roman Catholic church structure.
The “twenty-teeners”, as I call the, those in their twenties and thirties during the years of 2013-2019 A.D., are embracing a vertical movement of God, one built on relationships, not hierarchal by position of authority with in the Church. Through “conversations” in person or through the world wide internet, or telling their faith “stories” (old school church called them testimonies) while conversing with Christians and non-Christians in a social media patform, this generation is developing a system of horizontal networking through relationships now matter how strong or how shallow. I can see the biggest opposition to this new movement of God coming from those religious systems built on hierarchy, a pyramid of power, affluence, and influence. Unfortunately that is the backbone of the Roman Catholic Church as well as every Protestant denomination or independent church with strong clergy leadership.
Recentgly the current Pope just set up his own “Twitter” account so that he can bless all his multitudes of “followers” several times a day. It appeared to be his attempt at becoming “social networking” literate. I think he is missing the point of the power this technology because it is used by “normal everyday” people communicating on a platform to other “normal everyday” people, their peers, from a position of horizontal acceptance and availability. There is no “pope” of social networking, no hierarchical structure one must follow when Facebooking, Google+ing, Tweeting, texting, MySpacing, or blogging. It is a horizontal means of peer communications.
I have the same platform as the Pope when social networking. He may have more “followers”, but my voice is also out there and cannot be stymied unless Corporate Headquarters bans me from using their social networking product. Taking someone off line will be the hierarchal attempt of controlling the vertical in the future if there is a “power” struggle. Joe Smuck’s blog or Tweet or social networking message has as much validity as the Pope’s dictum in Latin on his Tweet or blog! Hierarchically, that is a threat!
This has already been demonstrated when the hierarchical communist Chinese regime tried to ban certain social networking platforms realizing its influence and power among the “masses”. They are looking at how to control the masses to hear only their political voice which opposes the many social networking voices on a vertical level. Social networking’s power gives every user the potential to use their voice if anyone is listening and to listen to many other voices. Social networking is a threat to a hierarchal tyrannical political system. The dictatorial Arab leaders of the Middle East are finding out the power of the mass social networking platform through opposition from the “peoples’” movement who are demanding more freedoms. One of the themes of the “twenty-teener” age is “less control” not more in direct opposition to hierarchal dictatorial structures.
Social networking is an advocate of the “priesthood of believers.” In the New Testament, you never hear of a single “priest” in the kingdom of god, only a “priesthood” which means “many.” In the kingdom of god so many voices can be heard, but a corporate voice can, will, and must be heard, the voice of the Holy Spirit. The “catholic” church’s voice, as advocated in the Apostles Creed, the universal Church of all believers, can and will be heard through social networking. The Church can now hear from any believer anywhere in the world through today’s technology. The “Word” does not have to come out of Rome or the United States or South Africa or some secluded monastery or cave in the Alps or even China, but from any believer in Jesus Christ who is technologically connected with the “world wide web.”
That is why the “apostles’ teaching” must be restored to the Church, as mentioned in my previous blogs, for with so many different voices from so many different languages and dialect and with such diversity in the Body of Christ, the Church, a single message of simplicity and unity must be presented and heard. Not a message from a “doctrinal” decree, but a message of unity from the Body of Christ through the flow of the Holy Spirit. As you can see from my previous blogs, the purpose of the five fold in Ephesians 4 is to bring maturity in Christ to the individual believer as well as the Church as a whole. The Holy Spirit will, can, and does speak with that singular voice directed from the throne of God. The “universal catholic” church of all believers will hear, recognize, and obey that voice of the Holy Spirit in unity, not the dictatorial edicts and decrees from established hierarchal religious structures as the “Roman Catholic” church has practiced through the centuries. This is the new view, the new wind of revival, the new mindset of the 21st century Church.