Thoughts on Decision Point and Some Issues with Catechetics

Note: I wrote some form of these words below in response to an article online written by a Traditionalist Catholic who hated on Matthew Kelly’s Decision Point Confirmation curriculum, which is video driven instead of textbook driven. The purpose of his curriculum is to appeal and win over the typical American teenager who isn’t all that excited about Confirmation.

THOUGHTS

The more we dive into evangelism, the more we realize we should be doing more pre-evangelism. The more we do catechetics, the more we wished we did evangelism.

Matthew Kelly's approach in his Decision Point Confirmation curriculum is to grab hold of the American teenager preparing for Confirmation in a culture that could care less about God, Faith, the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass, and eternity. So you start with the world as it is, not as we want it to be. Most human beings are on a happiness quest, not on a truth quest. Start with happiness. The Good News about Christ is that He started his public ministry on the happiness quest: the Beatitudes.

To start with happiness, you always deal in truth: the truth about God, humanity, and the union of God with humanity in Christ Jesus. The truth makes one happy. If you separate the two, you create a false dichotomy, a divorce that is altogether uncatholic.

To reject appealing to people’s relationships, emotions, loves, hates, drives, desires, goals, plans, dreams because you feel it is silly and weak is to utterly misunderstand human nature. To appeal solely to emotions is borderline or actual manipulation. Happiness, emotion, love, sentimentality put the "Good" in Good News.

The human person is ordered to beatitude by his deliberate acts: the passions or feelings he experiences can dispose him to it and contribute to it.

...In the Christian life, the Holy Spirit himself accomplishes his work by mobilizing the whole being, with all its sorrows, fears and sadness, as is visible in the Lord’s agony and passion. In Christ human feelings are able to reach their consummation in charity and divine beatitude.

Moral perfection consists in man’s being moved to the good not by his will alone, but also by his sensitive appetite, as in the words of the psalm: “My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God” (PS 84:2).
— CCC 1762; 1769-1770

Truth, doctrine, faith, dogma, give us the "News." Truth matters because there is a right way and a wrong way to have relationships, to follow your dreams, drives and desires. Illusions cannot make you happy. Lies cannot make you happy. Happiness and Truth are coterminous in God alone.

We live in an era of Milk and not Solid Food. But here's the thing: you got to give milk to babies. You cannot feed them steak or they die. Matthew Kelly is milk. Decision Point is milk, with some organic mashed pears and blended sweat potato. Not because Matthew Kelly is an idiot or a Modernist Monster, but because he's targeting the typical High school teenager. Some of these kids are so clueless that they aren't even ready for milk, but would need some amniotic fluid (at this point the analogy breaks down).

This is yet another example of the Narcissism of Minor Differences. It quickly goes from "Yay! We're all Catholic and we're trying to make other people Catholic, too!" to "Your version of Catholicism is stupid and wrong compared to my version, THE REAL VERSION, of Catholicism.

It is precisely the minor differences in people who are otherwise alike that form the basis of feelings of hostility between them.
— Sigmund Freud