Misunderstanding over 'Come As You Are' (letter)

Misunderstanding over 'Come As You Are' (letter)

Peter Hannigan

It does appear that I could owe an apology to Cathy Cleary (July AD2000) who may have shared with Brigid McKenna (October AD2000) a misunderstanding, possibly the result of my use of the word "writer" in the second paragraph of my letter (August AD2000), and included in the quote given by the latter correspondent.

The "writer" I referred to is the author of the song Come As You Are. It was Bruce Dawe's parody of this song (May AD2000) that provoked Cathy Cleary's protest - a protest that I, and another correspondent in the same issue, thought to be misdirected.

Hence there was never any intention on my part to comment on the Cleary family, within which there surely is clear, admirable parental witness to Christ and His Church on behalf of the children and grandchildren.

However, the caution I raised in this matter remains. Neither Cathy Cleary nor Brigid McKenna addresses the matter of real concern about Come As You Are, the fact that it is theologically unsound and tainted with the Pelagian heresy. This is an aspect of the song that Gina Voskulen (August AD2000) also refers to in her letter.

It can be very tempting to take the ad hominem approach ("obsessive" or "judgmental") and perhaps avoid making an informed analysis of the material under discussion. What is so often relied on then is the "warm inner glow", the mere emotional response that has so bedevilled Protestant Christianity, in its multiplicity of forms, since the time of Luther in the 16th century.

Adamstown Heights, NSW

[Editor: This subject is now closed.]

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