Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Something to think about...

Just read this very interesting article (link was on MSN.com):

Vatican: Jesus formed "only one church"

Funny, I thought Jesus came in order to save the lost (Matthew 19:10). His apostles were commanded to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8), and as they shared the good news of Christ, bodies of believers began to form. We are social beings, and we need this! (Hebrews 10:25) Paul addresses many issues arising from this social interaction throughout the epistles. Check out I Corinthians 12:12-31 for starters. And how about Ephesians 4:2-6.

But how twisted we humans have made this! The line that bothers me the most is the statement that other bodies are "not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the 'means of salvation.' ” (quote from the article, but emphasis mine).

When Jesus was talking with Nicodemus, he didn't tell him to go to church, but spoke of God's amazing love that caused Him to make the ultimate sacrifice. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him whall not perish but have eternal live. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17) Paul later expanded on this point, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly...But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!... Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." (Romans 5:6, 8-9, 11)

And lastly, several chapters in Hebrews are devoted to Christ's role as our High Priest (see 7:23-8:2 and 10:19-22, 13:20) There is no human role in salvation, other than each of us accepting the gift. And it saddens (and even angers!) me to read that the Pope, considered by so many to be the holiest person on earth, is changing this message.

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