Jesus Christians.com

Preferred Language:  English | Espanol | Deutsch | Francois | Po Polsku | Easy English

Time for a New Reformation


As Christians we are less bothered by childish superstitions like astrology and evolution than we are by superstitions that masquerade under the name of Christianity. And nowhere are these superstitions more rife than in the Roman Catholic institution.

We are grateful for the tolerance we have experienced in the Catholic Church. And we are grateful that more Catholics support us than do people from any other religious denomination. But this acceptance must not blind us to our commitment to truth, and against ignorance wherever it may occur.

There are as many divisions in the Catholic Church as in Protestantism. But they are all held together by the Mass--one common ritual.

Individual Catholics have their own ideas about what are the essentials of Christianity. Sometimes there is fierce disagreement, with both sides insisting that they are the true defenders of the faith against the inroads being made by the other faction.

But, come Sunday morning, they all kneel together to recite the one mass. Why this strange unity?

It does not come from a love for each other that goes deeper than their personal differences. In fact, there is often deep resentment between factions.

Rather, participation in the mass appears to result from a deep need to have some political clout to back up otherwise fragmented and self-opinionated factions.

Nowhere have we found Catholics possessing a relationship with Jesus that produces confidence to stand alone before God.

No one dares to say that something is rotten in the whole structure, for fear of losing the power that comes from association with the biggest and oldest Christian institution.

We are not advocating disunity for the sake of disunity. We sit quietly during mass and say our little recitations. We even help enthusiastically with music, readings, and anything else we can to make people wake up their sleeping minds to the truths being mouthed. But we don't do this out of fear--as seems to be the case with so many others whom we encounter in the Catholic Church.

What we fear is what we worship. Most Catholics fear a boogey-man named "The Church". Consequently, they worship the church in preference to Christ.

But what is the church?

Any group is a plural version of each of its members. When I defend my group, I defend myself. When I boast about my group, I boast about myself. And when I worship my church, I worship myself.

Obviously the true church is composed of all people who are genuine followers of Christ. But it doesn't take much discernment to see that very few people with a deep personal commitment to Christ exist in any churches today. Give them a choice between Jesus and their possessions, Jesus and their jobs, Jesus and their families, and almost all will, by their actions, reject Jesus.

Ask the rest to choose between Jesus and their church, and suddenly the number of true Christians drops to almost nil. Even those who apparently choose to forsake family and wealth to take up full-time ministries, often do so because they find a suitable replacement family in their "church". In such cases, it cannot be said with certainty that they have discovered Jesus until they have found freedom from spiritual dependence on a group.

It is this blind faith in the group and this fear to stand alone that gives the hierarchy of any institution so much undeserved power.

An honest, sincere study of the teachings of Jesus would never lead a person to believe that what he came for was to build a worldwide institution peopled by robots reciting the same words week after week, sprinkling a bit of water on their babies, and eating a soluble plastic wafer that they claim is God. He certainly wasn't advocating huge cathedrals, ornate furniture, golden crosses, kingly robes, flattering titles, and unheard-of wealth, with all the people praying to and worshipping his mother as the Source of God.

Yes, something is rotten in Rome. And it has not happened by accident. It has happened through deliberate and stubborn rebellion against the teachings of the Founder and Cornerstone of Christianity. This rebellion exists at (if not originates from) the very echelons of power in the church.

It is time for a new reformation... time for people with courage to speak as the oracles of God to an apostate church, which has lost contact with her Creator. Without this leaven in the lump, there can be no basis at all for assuming that what goes under the name of the church today has in fact any connection at all with the church which Jesus founded.

As for the Roman Catholic belief that it has some special destiny simply because it is the biggest and oldest, we can only speak as John the Baptist did to the leaders of the one, true, God-ordained institution of his day (one which is centuries older than the Catholic Church): "God is able to raise up a new church out of dead stones if need be." (Matthew 3:9) Don't boast about your apostolic succession when you reject both the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of the first apostles. It is time to humbly repent and start afresh as newborn babies, desiring the true milk of God's word. (1 Peter 2:2)

And if the church does not repent, then its destiny is no more assured than is the destiny of the religious institution that crucified Jesus the first time. (Matthew 23:37-39)

(See also What is Faith?)

Register or log in to take the quiz for this article

{AUP::CONTENT=-12}

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Pin It
Mail us at:   info@jesuschristians.com,    OR write to:    Jesus Christians,  P.O.Box A678, Sydney South, Australia 1235