Sunday, August 3, 2008

(Saint) Columba

I find Doug Phillips over at the Vision Forum blog fun to read. This post recently caught my eye:

It was here that Columba built a Christian religious center and missionary outpost in 563 AD from which the light of the Gospel would shine throughout the world. Here the Bible was preserved, the famous Book of Kells penned, and missionaries were trained. . .And all of this came to pass through the work of a dragon-confronting, former warrior-turned preacher named Columba.

This "preacher" Columba, was the Catholic priest and missionary now known as St. Columba. The Bible was preserved through the same Celtic monks working in monasteries as the ones who actually penned the Book of Kells. Yet, reading Doug Phillips' article, you would get the distinct impression that Isle of Iona was an early bastion of Protestantism.

Phillips quotes from a church history:

It was the Holy Ghost, Columba maintained, that made a servant of God. When the youth of Caledonia assembled around the elders on these savage shores, or in their humble chapel, these ministers of the Lord would say to them: “The Holy Scriptures are the only rule of faith. Throw aside all merit of works, and look for salvation to the grace of God alone. Beware of a religion which consists of outward observances: it is better to keep your heart pure before God than to abstain from meats. One alone is your head, Jesus Christ. Bishops and presbyters are equal; they should be the husbands of one wife, and have their children in subjection.”
Then he comments, "God used Columba’s passion to fan the flames of evangelism and Gospel reformation."

Columba may have believed that it was the Holy Spirit who makes a servant of God, but I would guess that the latter part of the paragraph refers to a later time period.

What we know about St. Columba comes from an ancient writing called the Life of Columba, by Adamnan. It is full of miracles, prophesies, priests, and sacraments. He was clearly no early reformer. St. Columba's final words to his followers were:

"These, O my children, are the last words I address to you that ye be at peace, and have unfeigned charity among yourselves; and if you thus follow the example of the holy fathers, God, the Comforter of the good, will be your Helper and I, abiding with Him, will intercede for you; and He will not only give you sufficient to supply the wants of this present life, but will also bestow on you the good and eternal rewards which are laid up for those that keep His commandments."

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Sal said...

Again-the realization that my denomination had to wrestle history into a Procrustean bed, like Mr. Phillips does here with St. Columba, to make it all come out right was a big factor in my conversion.

Probably the three most common examples of this are
1) Constantine started the Catholic Church in 380-something
2)the papacy is a medieval invention
3)the Catholic Church didn't put the Bible canon together at the Council of Carthage (actually, this one makes sense if the Church wasn't founded until several years later. By Constantine.)

Interesting post, Kelly

unknown anon said...

You find him 'fun' in the 'I can't help but watch the train wreck' sense, or 'fun' in the 'I find it enjoyable' sense?

I find his hyperpatriarchy frightening and unChristian (in the Catholic sense of the word.)

Just my opinion......YMMV of course.

Amanda said...

This isn't Candy-related, exactly, but I thought you mind find it interesting anyway.

Also, this is definitely not Candy related, but you would consider doing a post one day on head-covering? I'd be interested to hear your take on it.

Kelly said...

Unknown anon, the train wreck sense. My all time favorite was after the UV shooting, when he wrote a post about how it was all the fault of the gun laws. If there had been pistol carrying Christian men there that day, it would have all been taken care of before it was a massacre.

Amanda, I'll look over your link a bit later. The pregnant lady needs to go take a nap now. Zzzzz.

Kelly said...

Amanda, thanks so much for that link! Do you know that guy allows my comments?! He didn't even edit out the quotes from the Catechism or the Bible verses!

And what is even more incredible, is that he admitted he was wrong that the current Code of Canon Law says nothing about killing protestants. He then went on to make a point about it just proving that the Catholic Church was always changing its doctrines. Which is fine, that's how a real discussion/debate works, right?

I've NEVER met a fundamentalist that admitted they were wrong about something. Wow, that was a first.

Amanda said...

Wow, Kelly, impressive!

Someone posted it over on Matthew's blog and I thought you'd want to see it.

VERY impressive that he allowed your unedited comments. He might be crazy, but at least he's respectful!