Five Reasons to Proclaim Christian Truths Fearlessly

 

Emperor Nero used Christians as torches

Author Saul Bellow once wrote that he would occasionally attend a dinner party and would be asked for his opinion on a politically sensitive issue. His standard answer was non-confrontational: “I support all good policies and oppose all the bad ones.”

While the arrogance and moral bankruptcy behind political correctness will eventually lead to its own destruction, the current emerging generation of social engineers are becoming a serious danger to those who publicly proclaim basic Christian truths. Jesus demands, however, that we speak the truth, and courageously.

Breaking down Matthew 10:24-31, Jesus gives five reasons to speak confidently and without fear in the face of opposition:

Identification with Christ

“No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household! Therefore do not be afraid of them…” (vss. 24-26a).

Jesus is talking directly to His disciples, who He knows, after Pentecost, will become very much like Himself, teaching, performing miracles, and inflaming the Jews. This will prove that they are of the household of Jesus; why should they expect to be treated any different than He is?

Truth Will Prevail

“For nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops” (vss. 26b-27).

We can have confidence that in the end truth never disappoints; false teachings always do. The louder the truth is spoken, the more powerful it is because it will always be victorious and those who proclaim it will always be vindicated. Perhaps later than sooner, but it is a certainty.

It’s the Soul that Matters

“And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna” (vs. 28).

Affirming the truth publicly is a moral obligation for which being persecuted or even put to death should not be feared as it leads to immortality and eternal bliss in heaven. In a sense, these people are doing you a favor. Fearing men to the point of appeasement, however, will endanger your soul.

God’s Providence

“Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. …So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (vss. 29,31).

The Greek text actually says “…not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father,” implying that the Father is aware of the sparrow’s fate and allows it in His providence. When speaking the truth leads to persecution one need not fear because it has been allowed by God through His providential wisdom.

God Knows Us

“Even all the hairs of your head are counted” (vs. 30).

This makes the same point as the previous one, but adds that God has personal intimate knowledge of His children, their feelings, struggles, and weaknesses. In the midst of persecution no aspect of one’s experience will be missed by Him.

Truth has become a hate crime; it’s not hard to foresee where this is headed. But Catholics must not fear to speak the truth loudly, “on the housetops”.

…rjt

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From Yellow Vests to Grey Wolves: Insurrection in France

“Couper la tête du roi!”

“Cut off the king’s head” is a common chant heard by the weekly protesters in France, squarely aimed at President Macron.

The fascinating thing is that the Yellow Vests have no real leaders, or common ideology or politics. They’re middle and lower class people who are struggling to keep up with ever-increasing cost of living, including taxation, the highest in the developed world. They blame the elites in Paris and the other European capitals whose priorities are climate change, massive immigration, globalization, and abandoning France’s common culture and history. Continue reading “From Yellow Vests to Grey Wolves: Insurrection in France”

St Hildegard’s Revealing Vision of the Antichrist

The Antichrist grows up

In the same vision as the five beasts, recorded in Scivias, Book III, Vision 11, Chapters 25-42†, the Doctor of the Church shares what was revealed to her about the Antichrist and offers clues to Christians during the last days on how to identify him.

She starts with the mother of the Antichrist, who begins learning “the arts of the Devil” in her infancy. We are told that she grows up apart from her family, and in the care of “abominable people” living in the “vilest of waste places”. As she matures her parents do not recognize her, nor even the people who raised her. At some point, we are not told what specific age, she will be visited by the Devil in the guise of an angel. She will depart from her community and seclude herself under the guidance of this angel from hell (chap. 25).

At some point after this the devil/angel commands her to engage in intercourse with a succession of men at the same time, with all participants remaining anonymous. She is impregnated by one of the men but she will never know who it was. Hildegard tells us that at this point Satan “…will breath on the embryo. and possess it with all his power”. (At this point we are reminded by the Saint that this is all done with the permission of God). After the baby is born the mother will show the infant boy to the people around her, declaring to them that she does not know who the father is or how she got pregnant. At the same time, although she had been given to a life of debauchery, she begins to observe a chaste lifestyle. The reaction of people to this will be to give her and her baby respect and even consider her a holy woman (Chap. 25). Continue reading “St Hildegard’s Revealing Vision of the Antichrist”

“Do sane Christians of the 21st-century really think I wrote that God induces people to sin?!” …St Luke

In art, St. Luke is often accompanied by a winged ox

Following the French, the Italian bishop’s conference recently voted to adjust the wording of the Our Father for liturgical purposes, changing “Lead us not into temptation” to “Abandon us not into temptation”. They had agreed with Pope Francis who had stated that,

“A father does not lead into temptation, a father helps you to get up immediately. …It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation” (Link).

A key point in his public letter correcting Card. Sarah on the new protocol with respect to liturgical translations revealed the pope’s preferred methodology:

“Here we can add that, in light of the MP [Magnum Principium], the “fideliter” of §3 of the canon implies a triple fidelity: to the original text in primis; to the particular language into which it is translated and, lastly, to the comprehension of the text by the recipients” (link).

Continue reading ““Do sane Christians of the 21st-century really think I wrote that God induces people to sin?!” …St Luke”

The Children of the Kingdom and The Children of the Evil One

Once acknowledged as the long-awaited Messiah by His disciples, Jesus knew that the kingdom He would establish after His death and resurrection would not resemble the kingdom anticipated by the Jews of the first century — a restoration of the Davidic throne, expulsion of the Romans, and the establishment of a theocracy. Much of Christ’s instruction was devoted to reshaping these expectations, explaining to the disciples that the Kingdom of God was both a present reality as well as a distinct future event (the word kingdom appears 126 times in the gospels).

Jesus suggests that with His presence the Kingdom of God was already apparent. When the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the “Prince of Demons”, Jesus exposes this nonsense pointing out that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and then adds, Continue reading “The Children of the Kingdom and The Children of the Evil One”

The Progressive Loss of Eucharistic Faith in Today’s Church

Senator John Kerry

At one time, a bishop’s public denial of communion to a pro-choice politician could be costly. It has been suggested that Cardinal Raymond Burke’s public insistence that communion be withheld from Senator John Kerry might have cost him the 2004 presidential election. Pope Benedict later sent the USCCB a private letter supporting Burke’s position.

In April of 2008, however, during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States, what occurred at two papal Masses might have tipped the scale in the other direction: Continue reading “The Progressive Loss of Eucharistic Faith in Today’s Church”

On the Present Crisis: Some Advice From the Past

Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085)

The current crisis in the 21st-century Church was very similar to what was occurring during its reciprocal century, the 12th, namely, clerical sexual misconduct. Since Church authorities during the High Middle Ages were successful in cleaning it up, perhaps they can inform today’s Church on what steps to take in dealing with it.

It is agreed among historians that the clergy of Latin Christendom in the late 11th through the early 12th-century were generally dissolute and corrupt. A majority of priests ignored celibacy and were either married or keeping a concubine (or both) and busy pursuing wealth in the manner typical of feudal society. Many considered their physical church and its attendant land their own property, which their eldest son would eventually inherit and become the new local priest. Continue reading “On the Present Crisis: Some Advice From the Past”

Germany Should Dump the Kirchensteuer (Church Tax)

The mandatory tax on Catholics collected by the state and forwarded to Church authorities (minus a commission) has become a tax like any other tax, nasty things happen if you don’t pay. It’s a vestige from earlier centuries when the German state was a Christian institution and insisted on bearing the responsibility for the custodial needs of the Church. But now this concept of tithing has evolved into the antithesis of that which is taught in the Bible and is destroying the Catholic Church in Germany.

Since hundreds of thousands of German Catholics have opted out of the tax in recent years, the German Bishop’s Conference instituted a formal directive that you have to pay to play: no tax, no Sacraments. So the vast majority of Catholics remain on the rolls, even if they are non-practicing (about 90%). It’s understandable why they choose not to, opting out means acknowledging in writing with a signature that you are not a member of the Roman Catholic Church, something I would not be inclined to do. A gun is being held to your head.

The problem is that for a Christian, giving can never be associated with compulsion, it must be motivated by charity. As St. Paul states: Continue reading “Germany Should Dump the Kirchensteuer (Church Tax)”

Gibson’s Dilemma in ‘The Passion of the Christ’

When he heard that Mel was making a movie on the Passion of Christ, the late Catholic forensic pathologist Frederick Zugibe, an expert on Jesus’ crucifixion as well as the Shroud of Turin, offered his services as a consultant. Curiously, Gibson declined. One would think that if you’re producing a film on the crucifixion of Jesus you might want to take advantage of the expertise of a world’s authority on the subject.

The Shroud. Marks of the scourging

In The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry, the Doctor responds with a less than glowing review of Gibson’s film, finding numerous inaccuracies. A glance at a couple of them uncovers what Gibson might have been grappling with while producing the film.

With respect to the scourging, in the film Jesus’ back and front were completely covered with lacerations from the razor-like pieces of metal attached to the ends of the flagrum. The doctor, however, insists that the scourging as presented in the movie would have quickly resulted in Jesus’ death, and was not supported by the Shroud. It shows that the lacerations were “dumbbell-shaped”; it was common for the Romans to attach lead balls to the ends of the leather whips. Continue reading “Gibson’s Dilemma in ‘The Passion of the Christ’”

Pope Benedict’s ‘Year of the Priest’ Warning to the Curia

Many have commented that the depth of frustration and anger over the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report as well as Archbishop Vignano’s testimony is because they prove that the response by Church authorities to the first clergy abuse crisis in 2002 was inadequate and insincere.

The current crisis, however, is not the second but the third major series of revelations of abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church. In Pope Benedict’s 2010 (‘Year of the Priest’) Christmas address to the Curia, he laments the new round of abuse reports, primarily from western Europe, and recalls a vision given to St. Hildegard: Continue reading “Pope Benedict’s ‘Year of the Priest’ Warning to the Curia”