Is disrupting a worship service–so to protest that its members there are all the damned–hey, is that ever a godly thing to do? Who would want to do such a thing? You may be meeting some such people soon…
So-called Christians are going out to Catholic parishes lately, not to join in and worship there, but to raise a ruckus and protest us as “evil” and as “false Christians.” As non-Catholics, they think they have a special claim on being true Christians, and from that superiority they think they have some divine mission to be hateful to us Catholics. How so? They have it in their interpretation of the Bible and private opinion that Catholics are the wolves in sheep’s clothing (of the gospel example) and, worse, that Catholics are the feared, nasty whore of Babylon that deceives the world at its end and serves the greatly evil anti-Christ figure (a crazed interpretation of Revelation). This is their basis to be hateful to Catholics.
The Bible made them do it!
(It used to be said that “they devil made me do it.”)
But maybe it is the devil, after all.
We were told that anti-Catholic protestors have started showing up at some Catholic parishes, as they did at St. Pius X in Bowie last Sunday. We don’t know who the group or church is—(Evangelical Adventists? Fundamentalist Baptists? Cult ‘church’ members?—these are the usual ones)—but it is oh such a sorry thing.
The best course is to totally ignore these misguided folks. One should not take their vile tracts or engage these protestors, or they will probably crazily think that they had won a Catholic’s attention and that possibly they can ‘save’ a popish man/woman from hellfires and damnation. (They would be emboldened to come back every week to ‘win’ more away from the ‘doom’ they think we Catholics face!)
These groups or churches have interpreted the end times as now and that all Catholics are in the duped service of the devil.
Great (sic)! Thanks, brothers and sisters for the love in Christ Jesus. Not.
I recall how Our Lord was even accused of such things by the mad religious people of His ministry day. He asked them, then, why the devil would attack his own? Luke 11:15-20. Hence, even the reasoning of Christ’ attackers was so flawed. (So, too, today.) Jesus said that we would face persecution, too, even from surprising people (like those claiming they are “saved” and on a mission from God to hate us and do away with us). The last Beatitude is the toughest one to live; Jesus lived it out. We can too. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely all on account because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matt.5.11-12.
These types of ‘Christian’ to Christian persecutors were around in the First Church. (When you read Johannine Scriptures and know its background, it all becomes obvious.) When St. John writes his scriptures, and speaks of opposition, it is interesting that he doesn’t single out the Romans, who were the obvious persecutors, but that John is more concerned with A/those Christian brothers who don’t accept the Signs (Sacraments) of Jesus, and
B/those who are in spiritual blindness or those who won’t walk in fellowship and mercy with one another in Christ, and
C/those awaiting Christ’ Return who get deceived into denials of The Faith, and
D/those who say they follow Christ and His apostles but accuse the authority of Christ in them and spread false charges.
These were the ones to watch out for, says St. John.
(Scripture references e.g. signs of John in ch. 1-12, blindness of heart in John 9, the needed fellowship in mercy in 1st John 1-2, the problem of denials in 1st John 2:18-3:10 & 4:1-6, and the false accusations in 3rd John).
Today there are people on a dimented crusade, too. They think that mistreatment and actual hatred (of others in Christ) is endorsed as a missionary or evangelism tactic of Christianity. How sad. I have been on its receiving end. Have you?
So a group may be coming to our church one weekend to protest us with bullhorns and tracts and sit-ins and confrontations. They usually come once and then are gone off elsewhere on their ‘crusade’, as misled in service of the evil one (as his pawns) to hurt the Body.
You know what I pray? May they one day recognize how they were not abiding in love in these actions, and how they were attacking the Mother Church of Christendom. May these persons even one day come into the Catholic Faith, being given revelation from God, and to join into what they once did hate. I know some people who have come to the Light of Faith from such a background. Now and then it is a featured conversion story on EWTN or other Catholic programming.
St. John writes about it in his epistles, having to face the same early on in the First Church. Take a look at his three epistles. Have you ever studied them in depth? Do you know the context of these letters of John?
When John wrote his epistle, the trouble back then came from gnostics, apostates, and heretics (pseudo Christians), or as he called them in 2nd John as “many deceivers…who deny Jesus as God come in the flesh.”
The early Church under the apostles had to face these haters, who named themselves as the ‘true believers,’ in opposition to the apostolic community, while aiming to sweep away persons from Christ’ founded flock, by claiming their own ‘authority.’ (Yet they had no such appointed authority! Only the apostles were given it, such as in examples like written in John 15 and John 20.)
John the Apostle had to address the situation of the wrongness of the independent movements, as in the heretics, and call for truth, love, unity, and respect in the One Church. He calmly but firmly writes in one of his epistles:
“And this is the commandment, that we should believe in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He commanded us… He abides in us, by the Spirit that He has given us…Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God (i.e. Incarnation & Eucharist & a Church Body of believers—all Catholic teaching)
but every spirit that does not—is not from God. And this is the spirit of the anti-Christ, of which you have heard that is coming…” 1John3:23-4:1-3
So, sadly, these misled persons were actually attacking the Lord and His body as they protested the apostle John’s community, and as they do so today to us.
These independent ‘Christians’ on the attack versus the instituted Church of Jesus Christ are engaged in what the military hates to have happen: dubbed “friendly fire” (firing on/ killing one’s own side).
In Afghanistan last June, an air attack by U.S. forces killed some of our own. It was one of the Summer’s most upsetting news stories.
We have practiced faith in Christ Jesus for about 2000 years, but somehow these others in Christian circles don’t get it that we are family in Jesus the Lord. We actually have lived the Faith and passed it along for all these generations.
They may be of a Christian sect or group that was founded later in history, but Christianity started with Pentecost and has been present since then, mostly due to the Catholic Church and her fidelity to God’s purpose for her service of Christ Jesus.
To hate us, the Catholics, is to be quite un-Scriptural, as St. John told his own such opposers as he wrote:
”those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God Whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from Him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. (And who are they?) Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. “1 Jn 4:20b-5:2
Catholics are still abiding in following all the teachings of Jesus from His founding the Church. We are longing to be faithful, and we mean for our fellowship to be one in Christ’ love.
We may have some trouble practicing all that Jesus taught, yet we do know His commandments, and the Church teaches obedience to the Way of the Lord. We have been assigned that mission–to preach and teach Christ Jesus as Lord, Head of the Body, the Church,
but we have people on the attack versus us.
I think back to the story of Saul. He was a religious person on a mission to stop the church of Peter. Saul came to the Light of Faith and saw his serious error. As recorded in Acts, God said to him: “Saul, Saul—we are you persecuting Me?” Then, Saul was convicted by The Light and converted, to become Paul. As Paul later understood, Jesus had said: “Why are you persecuting Me?” as Saul was persecuting the Church. The famous convert from Tarsus caught on: Jesus was showing how the two were united. If you persecute the Church, then you persecute Christ.
Same thing today.