Build on the Remnant
There are just some forms of thinking that spiral out of control. Take this one for instance:
- The role of the Church is to bring glory to God and salvation to souls.
- Truth is necessary for salvation.
- Truth sets people free to be what God has called them to be.
- The role of the Church is to provide people with this truth.
- The truth is difficult.
- Many do not want to hear the truth because it is difficult.
- When challenged with the truth many will leave the Church because it makes them feel uncomfortable.
- When people leave the Church, they take their money with them.
- To keep people in the pew, bishops and priests water down the teachings (truth).
- People, then, do not receive the fullness of truth that will aid them toward salvation.
- Souls are lost, but they stay in the pew.
- The role of the Church is to bring glory to God and salvation to souls…
As bishops and priest keep watering down the faith with a view to keep people in the Church, they are only hurting souls.
I have a different vision. I believe in the remnant. With this view, we remain Catholic, fully Catholic. We teach the fullness of truth and water nothing down. Let people walk away. Many or most of these are not Catholic anyway and are holding the rest of us back from furthering the mission of the Church. In order to not offend them, we water down the faith that we have been charged by God to feed the people. As a result, no one gets feed. With a view toward the remnant, we teach, let others walk away and we grow as a people of God, not in numbers, but in depth of faith. Many of those who left, will then see what they left and desire to come back and be saved by the fullness of truth.
I take this view from the witness of Jesus Himself in John 6:25-69. It is here that Jesus says, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger and he who believes in me shall not thirst… For I have come down from heaven.” Many murmured at Him for saying this. Jesus responds with further teaching. He does not shy away from that which they felt difficult and He says again, “I am the bread of life… I am the living bread which came down from heaven; If any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The people again murmured and disputed among themselves. Jesus still does not back down from truth. He says, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…” The disciples, when they heard it, said “This teaching is a hard saying; who can listen to it? STILL Jesus provokes them and says, “Do you take offense at this?... The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you that do not believe.”
After this, many of his disciples drew back and no longer walked with him. Note that Jesus did not chase after them and say, “OH! I’m sorry! Please come back! I wont say that again! Please give me another chance! I will change!” He did not do this. Rather, Jesus turns to the twelve and says, “Will you also go away?” Jesus tells them if they do not believe, they are free to walk away also. This is the truth and He is not going to water it down, change it or sugar coat it. Take it or leave it. Jesus said this to the twelve, the men He was placing the future of the Church in. Jesus was so firm in the truth, the truth was so important to Him, that He was ready to start over, rather than compromise one bit. Remember the words of Jesus at another point when he says that we are not to change one letter of the law, not one part of a letter. So dot your “I’s” and cross your “T’s” because you will be accountable for them.
We then note that peter says “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” The remnant stayed and upon this remnant Jesus built the Church.
We can build again, but not with anything less than the truth. Jesus is the Truth – the Way, the Truth and the Life.