09 June, 2009

As Christians should we hate what we do not understand?

The Catholic Church is Christ's Church. All other churches are founded by men who are in protest of what Christ created. I belief that all the critics of Christ's Church hate the Church because His Church was given promises that their man made churches do not have. Christ promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. This guarantees to all that the Church can never fall into apostasy. In doing so, the Scriptures promise that His Church is the "bulwark and ground of the truth" which is exclusive of His Church. He said that He would be with His Church until the end of the age and that the Church would endure for all times. Christ gave us warning when He said that the world would hate us just as it hated Him.

Many people create a "straw man” to attack illustrating that there is an unjustified hatred for Catholics. So much so that people will even make up lies about the Church and then attack those lies as if they are the truth. There is no excuse for such actions as the Catholic Church publishes its Catechism on the web and all this information can be verified or debunked by simply accessing this information.

Catholics know what we believe and we know that the accusations are false, so to whom are these liars speaking? Are they just preaching to the choir of fellow haters and prevaricators of Christ's Church and if so for what purpose? Are they just trying to justify their doctrines of men such as throwing the corporeal Christ out of their worship and their antinomianism? There is also the heresy of "Bible only" or "Sola Scriptura" which has caused tens of thousands of exponentially increasing divisions and wounds to Christ's Church through schism and false teaching. Even the Gospel itself is not safe from their heresy where they teach a lawless soteriology of "faith alone" where the only place that is mentioned in Scriptures is when it is forbidden as written by St. James.

The facts are that there are no Pagan practices in the Catholic Church but only the false and unqualified accusations of anti-Catholic haters like Alexander Hislop, Loraine Boettner and Ralph Woodrow.

As Catholics we will continue to pray as Christ gave us example that we all be one in His Church and welcome those who the Holy Spirit brings into His fold. We will welcome those who drawn by the Holy Spirit desire the real food of salvation which is the Eucharist containing the Body, Blood., Soul and Divinity of the Lord that the Lord said in His soliloquy at the synagogue in Capernaum is necessary for eternal life. The Church will remain the refuge from the world just as the Ark was the refuge of humanity from the great flood where all can come and receive the fullness of faith, practice and truth.

Obviously from what I just said I believe it is wrong to allow personal and prejudicial views to lead one to be judgmental towards others. Christians are not to judge others but to simply love others and pray for the Lord's mercy towards them. I am not saying that one is not entitled to an opinion but one must be very careful when determining the will of God in the lives of others. I think it is better to pay attention to what Jesus taught us to pray to the Father, "thine will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

There is certainly enough Scripture verses that point that eternal life will be enjoyed by a very limited group within humanity. One can find references throughout Scripture in the OT as well as the NT that God's plan does not include everyone. Almost all Christians and theologians agree on that concept. Of course those Scriptures were written by human authors in a particular culture for a specific group which was the Church as it existed in the mid to late first century. It was written in an understandable vernacular of the time to Christians as a written version of the oral Tradition of the apostles. We know that the Bible has a universal message not just for believers but for all mankind and that it is the Gospel message contain in it that touches the heart and the souls of men in cooperating with the Spirit. It speaks more of who will be saved than who will not while at the same time pointing us to the sovereign nature of God who created man to serve Him.

The interesting thing about the Bible that parallels mans knowledge in general is, that the more we know about God the less we realize that we know. As a new Christian we see Jesus our Savior as a man among us and as the God that saves us through His grace to judgment. We have surrendered to the law and everything is clear and simple. But God does not leave us in that naiveté but the Holy Spirit starts to work in our lives. We are transformed and part of the transformation is our desire to do the will of God. In order to live within His will we study and learn more about Him. As we do the glass we see through darkly becomes even darker and we are overcome by the magnanimity and justice of God and His awesome nature. We realize more and more our unworthiness as we become more and more righteous for it is the goodness we possess from God that convicts us of our sinfulness. We come to realize that if God can save a wretch like me then it is possible that anyone may receive His saving grace. It is the spirit of the individual that God sees which no man can discern and it is that spirit that deserves eternal life or damnation. Through our love for each other and even for our enemies we must pray for God's mercy for all creation and pray that His mercy extends beyond our understanding and imagination. "Thine will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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