Thursday, December 16, 2004

October Memory
I'm not sure why I am just now remembering an October event about which I wanted to post, but I am. Toward the end of October as I was driving past the Lutheran Church (yes, I know, "ecclesial community" at best) in town I noticed their outdoor sign board read: "The Reformation: The truth has set you free." I almost veered off the road and drove my car through the church office in a fit of hysteria.

So, let me get this straight. God deems it necessary to prepare His people and the world for the definitive arrival of salvation in His incarnate Son. The Son is born in time and speaks these gospel words: "Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, 'If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free'" (Jn. 8:31-32). And then, oh, some FIFTEEN HUNDRED YEARS LATER HE FINALLY DELIVERS ON THAT PROMISE when Luther prompts what becomes the Reformation????!!!!! And so are we to believe that every other poor disciple of Jesus before Luther's engineering of Scripture was no better off as a follower than were the Jews who found their redemption in the Law??!! Yes, go ahead and believe in me, Jesus was saying, but the truth that you will know and which will set you free is still to come, it's not yet here despite the fact that I, TRUTH ITSELF, am here! And if that were true (that new truth would come later), wouldn't THAT be an inventing of dogma and doctrine, the very thing the Catholic Church is accused of when she searches the depths of Sacred Tradition and finds new ways to express constant teaching received from Jesus and his Apostles?

And this doesn't even touch upon another obvious problem with that ridiculous sign at the Lutheran Church. John's recording of Jesus' words also contains a very important dependent clause, "IF YOU REMAIN IN MY WORD..." And John, throughout his writings, is clear that remaining in Jesus' word, and truly being a disciple is no mere lip service but is DOING and KEEPING his commandments! Something tells me that re-writing Scripture and doctrine to fit one's own theology is not remaining in Jesus' word. Something tells me that destroying the unity of Jesus' Church is not going to measure up well on the day of judgment. That sign made an absolutely ridiculous assertion. If arson weren't punishable as a crime, they would probably be installing a new one about right now.

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