Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Conditions of the Heart

The past few months have introduced a completely new world view that I have never had before. It has taken something I have known my whole life to be a comfort and twisted it into this unknown, uncomfortable thing. I've had something I have been proud of my whole life and learned that what I've known and lived as truth is seen by many as an untruth and that scares me. It doesn't scare me because I think they are right it scares me because they have been given incorrect information. Misconceptions and misunderstandings do more damage than good. Sometimes I feel like I've come across a world of people who are taught one thing and without any discernment or even a little research they believe it. It is important, 100% or more, to understand and discern truth. It is important to know that truth especially pertaining to God is objective not subjective. In other words, my truth cannot be your truth and they are both true. Christianity is not and will never be a "pick and choose" religion. The things Christ taught are difficult. We can't choose what we like or don't like. We need to understand and live according to all the difficult teachings. It is a religion of sacrifice. The focal point of the Gospel is of sacrifice and resurrection to new life.

I believe that a lot of Christianity today has become subjective. Different interpretations of scripture ultimately create different "truths" among one denomination to the next. We all love the same Jesus and that is so wonderful. It is beyond wonderful. However, with continued division among the denominations, how can we ever be united? Christ doesn't want His Bride, the Church, to be separated. He wants unity and when we discredit other denominations of Christianity based on misunderstanding and a lack of research then we divide more than we unite. I've talked to someone who has called what they believe a teaching of the Catholic church to be as "blasphemous". His statement was completely false and he didn't understand Catholic doctrine at all, but he 100% believed what he was saying. If we are going to take the time to try to understand God, then we need to make sure we know what we are talking. If you evangelize, evangelize based on truth. There should never be a need, ever, to attack another denomination of Christianity. If you are speaking truth then what you are speaking should be solid and supported enough by the evidence you have in front of you whether that is Scripture or historical evidence there should be no need to discredit someone else if your arguments are based on truth. If Scripture is enough, use Scripture. Base your teachings on that, not what you believe someone else to be wrong about.

I know that probably wasn't very loving but it just makes me angry and sad. We were created with a mind. We should know how to use it. We should get our facts first. I will be the first (maybe second, or last) to admit I don't know everything. How could I possibly? God is infinite, and omnipotent, and omniscient. God is a mystery and I will never understand everything. I do know, though, that I will never base what I believe to be true off a source other than the one who teaches it. If I want to know about Catholicism, then I will go to a legitimate Catholic source like the Catechism of the Catholic Church to make sure I know that doctrine. If I want to know about the Orthodox church, I will go directly to that source. If I want to know about Protestantism, again I will go directly to a Protestant source. Who knows a teaching better than the source? I guarantee you a Catholic priest knows Catholic teachings better than a Protestant pastor just like I can guarantee you that Protestant pastor knows more about Protestant teachings than a Catholic priest. Seek truth. Seek it correctly. Please. And every single day, show love, caring, understanding, patience, and prayer to all your brothers and sisters in Christ.

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