Friday, May 6, 2011

I Belong to….

“I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose…I mean that each of you is saying, ‘I belong to Paul’, or ‘I belong to Apollos’, or ‘I belong to Cephas’, or ‘I belong to Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?” 1 Corinthians 10, 12

It’s interesting that these words of St. Paul were written 2,000 years ago when they seem to apply so aptly today. It seems that throughout history the Evil One has been trying to rip apart the Body of Christ.

With the Protestant Reformation people followed Luther or Calvin or others. In today’s world it seems like people are squabbling over being a follower of Benny Hinn or Joel Olsteen or Rob Bell. Even among Catholics one finds followers among the myriad of Catholic “celebrities” on the left or right. Everyone’s got an opinion and everyone has a voice—especially in today’s world with the new media.

So whose opinion are YOU going to listen to? Who are YOU going to belong to? St. Paul was very clear that we need to be of the same mind. Jesus prayed that His followers would be one. And yet here we are 2,000 years later and we are divided among thousands of different denominations. But we are called to follow CHRIST and belong to Christ ALONE. So how can we do this? The only way is to follow Truth. How are we to know what Truth is among the cacophony of opinions? By following the words of Jesus as protected by the Church He established and gave His authority to. There is no other way.

The fullness of Truth resides in the Church that Christ left for us and every opinion is only true to the degree that it reflects THE Truth. Apart from this Truth, opinions are just opinions, no matter how persuasive or eloquently delivered. No matter if they come from a Protestant, Catholic, or even an atheist. Some people would argue that we can interpret Scripture and Truth for ourselves; that we do not need a Church to do it for us. Really? Even our own opinion is only true to the degree it coincides and reflects THE Truth of Christ. And without the safeguard of His authority and the Church He gave it to, how could anyone be sure of even their opinion?

It is tempting, and perhaps easy, to listen to the voices of so many or to become enamored with the dynamic speaking abilities or sensibilities or apparent knowledge of one of the many current Christian voices in our world today. But who is really speaking the voice of Christ. Who is really teaching the Truth? Who should we belong to? And who is really pointing us at every moment to the Lord Jesus Christ? And if we belong to someone other than Christ, what then?

Dear Jesus, help me to know and hear Your voice and help me to trust that the Church You established still speaks for You in our world today. I want to belong to you alone! Amen.

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