27 March 2019
Brian Holdsworth: Why You Shouldn't Listen to Me
1. I’m uneducated. I’ve never formally studied philosophy, politics, or theology which are topics that feature heavily in my commentaries. I try to stay within my weight-class and keep to a more personal reflection and presentation of where I’m at in the practice and intellectual reflection of my faith, but I’m also an ambitious person by nature, so I will inevitably veer outside my lane. And that’s when I’ll try to rely on those who have studied the subject matter more intensely to offer corrections. I’ve also, often, consoled myself with the knowledge that the apostles were uneducated and not by accident. Jesus could have chosen scholars to be his apostles but he deliberately and specifically did not. I have another video which I’ll try to link in here about why I believe God has chosen “losers” to be prophetic voices among his people and that still stands, but it’s also true to say that the apostles did not have centuries of doctrinal clarification to curate and protect and that is the kind of thing, if you are going to be responsible for, you should be well versed in. 2. I’m a convert. This is one of the those things that almost always generates respect among Catholics, but it should also be a source of caution. It’s a strange thing to actually jump ship and convert. People have often asked me why I think other people don’t convert especially when they are aware of the many problems that must nag at them where they are and I think it comes down to social pressure a lot of the time. I know quite a few protestants who are deeply invested in their communities and some who are leaders within them. For some it would mean rupturing their relationship with family and friends and for others it could mean walking away from a good career. And those are profound motives to stay put. So the kind of person that can abandon those incentives would have to be something of a contrarian and I think that is what made it possible for me to chart my own course which has, so far, arrived at Catholicism. But that contrarian attitude is also a restless one. It’s one that tends to care far less about what other people think than it does for most other people. That could be a good thing in so far as it removes impediments towards moving in directions God might want you to go, but it can also create an indifference towards the demands of compassion and charity. I know that modern people insist that not caring about what others think is a virtue, but it isn’t necessarily. We live in community. We are social creatures and as such, we are called to be peacemakers and collaborators. Contrarians aren’t good at that. I’ve never held a job in which I got along with my superiors well and that’s my fault. There’s a kind of over enthusiasm among converts as well that isn’t always accompanied by a measured prudence. When I joined the Church I had a lot of naïve optimism about it and when those naïve preconceptions confront realities that contradict it, it can be really disruptive for that person and easily turn into cynicism or reactionism. So I think we should give converts some time to get settled and adjusted so that inaccurate preconceptions can get dispelled before we start to nominate them for important roles that can influence others. 3. I’m Young Obviously age can be a bit of a relative concept, but if wisdom prevailed, the only kinds of commentaries like this we’d be listening to are from those who have a great depth of wisdom shaped by experience. I might have some of that, but I also have a LOT to learn and what reinforces that for me is that about every 5 years, I can look back at what I thought of certain things and think, boy, I’ve learned a lot since then. What makes me think that 5 years from now I won’t do the same thing which is why present day me should exercise some humility in how I present my ideas. St. Thomas A Kempis, in the Imitation of Christ, says that we should, discuss our affairs with one who is wise and who fears God and by contrast, we shouldn’t keep company with young people. I think, what he means is, seek the council of the wise and experienced. Young people are eager to be heard, but lack the same wisdom. 4. I’m Ginger I don’t think I need to go into much depth here. The concerns associated with this condition should be obvious to anyone.