Division in the Church?

A friend passed on this quote from Peter Leithart's "End of Protestantism."
My thoughts are below.

“This amounts to a call for the end of Protestantism. Insofar as opposition to Catholicism is constitutive of Protestant identity; insofar as Protestants, whatever their theology, have acted as if they are members of a different church from Roman Catholics and Orthodox; insofar as Protestants define themselves over against other Protestants, as Lutherans are not-Reformed and Baptists are not-Methodist—in all these respects, Jesus bids Protestantism to come and die” (p. 6).

I think it's good to consider ourselves mere Christians, in CS Lewis' language.

But we need to stay clear about how to interpret Scripture and live the Christian life.  Until Rome stops insisting on submission to its bishop, Protestants have a duty to oppose Rome on that level.

We ought to be more cordial across denominational lines, and seek wisdom there to correct ourselves.  I think that is partly Leithart's point, and I agree.  But that doesn't mean being naive about their errors.  Maybe Leithart is just rightly focusing on correcting himself (Protestants) more than others (Rome), but he often comes across as minimizing their errors.  There is not a moral (doctrinal?) equivalence between Protestants and Catholics and Orthodox.  None has it all right, either, of course, but an attitude of "everybody has their problems, so why are we divided?" is dangerous in this area.

As an example, for a Protestant Christian to marry an Orthodox or Catholic is a bad idea.  Some divisions are warranted in the present situation.  When a church insists on ordaining women to church office, or asserting Mariolatry, those who find such actions unbiblical are warranted to separate from the error if they cannot correct it.

I think a lot of evangelicals are enticed away from maintaining such boundaries when they first encounter Catholics as friends or close co-workers.  It's kind of like caving on homosexuality when your child comes out as gay.  Responding well to your daughter in that situation might look from the outside to hard-line conservatives like caving, but it isn't.  So with Leithart, here, perhaps.

So those are some qualifications to the quote.  It's true there will be no Protestantism in Heaven, and that should impact our ethics here.  But Leithart is over-realizing his eschatology.

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