Someday, and today
This is No. 29 in the series. Please read my introduction and explanation here.
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like now, as well as the lives of my siblings, if we had not been raised Catholic but instead as evangelical Christians with Scripture and the indwelling Holy Spirit guiding and empowering our parents and us. I don’t spend much time on it because there are too many variables and it doesn’t matter anyway; we can’t change the past. One thing is probable though…I’d have fewer siblings. And more of the inheritance. But I digress.
Surely no one’s spiritual upbringing is completely without error. And as I’ve said before, I’m very grateful for the core truths about God’s existence and majesty, Christ’s death for sin, his activity in creation and so forth that I learned in the Catholic Church. And for the genuine love given to my siblings and me by our parents, and which I continue to be blessed with on a larger than average scale because I do have a larger than average-sized family. And that’s a better inheritance indeed.
But though none of us is perfect in knowledge and wisdom and every Christian denomination has its quirks and deficiencies, the Catholic Church is uniquely and rightly targeted for criticism because she has set herself up as more than just a denomination, but instead the spiritual, visible ruler of all Christendom. If her claims are true then it would behoove each and every one of us to be Catholic if we know what’s good for us. So it’s kind of important to determine that. If her claims are false, then she should be held accountable for her deception.
In light of the crucial nature of the truth or falsehood of the claims of the Catholic Church, I’ve taken this whole month to lay out my case. Not very well, and not very thoroughly, but I pray clearly and extensively enough to demonstrate that the Church needs to be objectively examined just like any other “pillar and bulwark of the truth.”
At times I’ve felt a bit like Martin Luther. He had his 95 Theses; I have my 30 reasons. He had his faults and failures; so do I. He was championing truth and God’s glory in opposition to an institution that claimed to be upholding them but was entrenched in worldliness, traditions of men, and a cult of saints. Me too.
Like Luther, I’m a heretic in the eyes of the Catholic Church, and she has decreed on me curse upon curse because I repudiate so much of her dogma. Back during the Middle Ages I would likely have been burned at the stake, if I had any kind of real influence. Which I don’t. Perhaps I should be grateful for that.
There will come a day, hallelujah, when all truth will come to light1…including the secrets that men in high places as well as low have hidden from the watching world and presumably thought they could hide from God. Jesus will return “with power and great glory”2 and will reveal once and for all who belongs to him, who speaks for him, and who doesn’t.
His first coming was as Redeemer; his second will be as Judge. And he will “separate people one from another.”3 Those who have exalted themselves will be humbled4 and the first shall be last.5 To the shepherds of his people who have robbed him of glory he says, “I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.”6 “And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them.”7
“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice,’”8 “Come out of her, my people.”9
1 Mark 4:22 2 Matthew 24:30 3 Matthew 25:32 4 Luke 14:11 5 Matthew 19:30 6 Isaiah 42:8 7 Ezekiel 39:21 8 Hebrews 3:7 9 Revelation 18:4