Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Truth about God

As many times as I have insisted on it, there remains a majority of Adventists who will not believe me. 

[I think once you leave the SDA church you are by default untrustworthy because you have either fallen prey to deception or you are a defiant rebel wearing a Christian disguise. So Adventist tend to be suspicious of your motives or diagnose you as being unable to understand your own heart. That judgement doesn’t upset me because, if I can do some of my own analysis, it is a survival posture for them.]

Nevertheless, I will once again repeat and insist, I care about doctrines, not about hypocrites.

I want a religion that tells me the truth about God. That’s it.

I didn’t leave the Seventh-day Adventist church because of people or hurts or the hypocrites. I left because of doctrines. The doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church did not tell me the full truth about God. The Adventist people, at least the ones I have known and currently know are wonderful, generous, many of whom love the Lord with a passion. In every single church I attended, from the SDA to the Baptist, to the Methodist, to the Disciples of Christ, to the Lutherans, to the Anglican, to the Orthodox (and I many years worshipping with them all!) I found the people to be wonderful, sincere who told me some truths about God and some things that just didn’t seem right when I compared it with scripture and Christian history. 

I want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about God. And I am willing to conform my thinking and my religious practices to it. If I can find the truth about God by kneeling quietly saying a rosary with the Mother of Jesus or by bathing in yellow paint and squawking like a chicken while eating jasmine on a mountain trek through the Himalayas, that is what I will do. I will do what it takes to know the truth about Him, seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven even if it means forsaking all, taking up my cross and following Him. Whatever the form of worship it requires--if that’s candles and incense, confession and penance or worshipping with nothing but a Bible and in my pajamas in a quiet corner of my house. I will do it His way in order to get the truth about Him.

That is my attitude.

In order to prove the corruption of the Catholic Church, I am reminded on a daily basis about the sins of Catholics....the inquisition, the anti-popes, the selling of indulgences, the Catholics involvement in WWII’s Croatian genocide, the priests’ sex scandal, and how the person addressing me left the Catholic church because of a horrible priest or nun. And that makes me want to puke and it makes me want to tear out my hair and throw myself in hot ashes and fast until I die, but it doesn’t make me want to leave Catholicism. Horrible, wicked, unfathomable actions by horrible wicked unfathomable people do not change the truth about God. And if the Catholic Church tells us the truth about God, the fullest truth about God, then it is no wonder that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence from every soul that hates Him; no wonder it is holding back the gates of hell and being assaulted on every side, including inside.

If every single demon of hell joined the Catholic Church and tried to burn down the whole world (and they did and it didn’t work) that would not hurt the Truth.  Oh, the demons did some real damage with the Inquisition, the priestly sex scandal, they even wormed their way into Peter’s Chair and tried to change the doctrines, but they didn’t. The demons were too busy with fleshly distractions to distort doctrine. 

Like Job and like Peter, the devil asked God to give over to him His leaders and saints so that he may sift them like wheat. And, though they were tortured and tried, the core was not touched. 

The Church’s very nature of being he Bride of Christ was left bruised and bleeding but still structurally intact. Or like His mother Mary, the Catholic Church has suffered watching the devil try to re-crucify Christ through His Church, and yet the fullness of Truth about God is still there as it was from the beginning.

Of course, I could go to any Christian church for some truth, and I am blessed by so many of them. Goodness pours forth from the communities of faith who love Christ. And they too have their human struggles with sin. I expect people to sin. I am not looking for a church with sinless people, because, after all, the Lord said that His Kingdom would be full of wheats and tares and if the church is full of perfect people, I am not in the right church.

It’s all about doctrine. Truth about God is found in true doctrine and if a nuclear bomb of sin and corruption were to be detonated at the Vatican or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or a plague of evil was to infect every priest alive, as long as the doctrine held, then I am where God wants me to be. I have clung to the Truth about God.

What I find most interesting is that so many people who tell me they left the SDA church because of doctrine are the very ones to point out to me the failures of Catholic leadership and ask me how I can be part of a church with such a history of failures.

Well, for me it is about... doctrines... not hypocrites. I go back to the Bible and the early church and the doctrines are Catholic. I would rather be in a church that tell me the fullness of truth about God and everyone fails to live up to the truth, rather than an easy church where people all live up to their beliefs and it isn’t true.

There is some connection in people’s brain with how the Christian acts and what he believes. We are revolted by hypocrisy, and hypocrisy can tempt us to turn from truth. And I think we are hard-wired to make the assumption that we should act as we believe. A  monstrous problem within Christianity is that very few people are on the road to sainthood and we render the gospel powerless through our inability as the Body of Christ to be a truthful representation of Christ. So rather than suffer and sacrifice to prevent public hypocrisy, we create mega-churches with theatre seating that preach the prosperity gospel. The church of entertainment has no hypocrites. And in the end, even that sales pitch is returned for being defective because most Christians suffer and don’t live in mansions.

The church of God should be realistic. It should
be embracing the sinner, teaching the truth of grace that imparts holiness as it escorts the sinner along the path to seeing God face to face. On this journey you encounter faltering popes, bishops, priests, nuns and brothers and sisters. The vital question is: Are they faltering because they are on the wrong road or are they faltering because they are weak?  

So, let’s be clear (smile!). If you want to show me the errors of Catholicism, don’t point out a bad pope, some bad bishops or a cadre of rotten priests, monks, friars, nuns or lay Catholics. Don’t show me the catastrophic failure of the church to live up to the truth. 

Show me how the Catholic Church is not the church Christ started using both the Catholic Bible and the early church fathers. Show me that break in the line from the point where Christ promised His Bride these things and then divorced her:

So they [Christ and His Bride] are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." Matt. 19: 6 

What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. Mark 10: 9

You are Kephas (Peter) and upon Kephas I will build my church and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. (Matt. 16:18)

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. (John 14:16)

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."  (Heb. 13:5)

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee... Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt. 28: 16-20)

To convince me that I am in the wrong church, you will have to show me where in the New Testament where Christ or His Apostles prophesied that His Bride would be corrupted to the point that He would leave her and forsake her and break all His promises to His church about being with her to the very end. 

You would have to show me in scripture or in the Church Fathers where your personal interpretation of God’s word, or the Reformers, or Ellen White is more authoritative than the Catholic Church’s. One person, or one groups proof-texting against another groups proof-texting is just a battle of interpretation of scripture and prove nothing.

I am not being snarky or confrontative, I am being sincere. It is on the basis of Truth, doctrines, that I believe something. You would have to show me where in scripture that God handed the authority to teach and interpret the scripture to the individual rather than the corporate church--that the Truth, is up to each of us to decide from our personally-appointed source of truth. That is the only way we can debate Catholicism.

1 comment:

tommy said...

Spot on , my name is tommy , im 26 just got married and my wifes pregnant , I recieved the gift of tears on Christmas day at mass 2010, we must beware of false prophets such as SDA and people like david icke , they offer some powerful truths but ultimately lead people astray at the core truths , are you familiar with medjugorje my mother traveled there and recieved a healing , Our Lady has been appearing in appiritions there since 1981
God bless