Sunday, July 01, 2007

In regarding mortal/venial sins . . .

Tiber Jumper's written two excellent posts on this topic, that seems to ruffle the feathers of many in the "Evangelical/Protestant Coops) Here are my extended thoughts for the 2 cents they're worth. Thanks Teej! And to borrow from you again, here's a great link to 'sort it all out' if in doubt about sin.

Yes, how blind we were as Evangelicals, - - fat, spoiled-brat American Evangelicals. It's so odd that we saw those scriptures "coming down hard' to mean he [St Paul] was referring to "sinners" and "pagans" and yet all the "nice" scriptures were what he was speaking to the 'church' and us 'bible-believing belivers.'

What's that other scripture to all those pagan folk that got bantered about? "You attempt to remove the speck from your brother's eye, and fail to see the humongous bean, plank, 2x4 in your own!" That's certainly directed toward those "other people" and "sort of" to us at times, but not really, since we can pretty much do as we darn well please, because, well, I live by every bumper-sticker that God ever wrote! i.e. "God said it. I believe it. That settles it!" Oooh how profound! I know some VERY messed up evangelicals that had that one on their car... and they're now another "divorce statistic" because of adultery...that 'teeny tiny' little sin that one of them committed and broke up their family by doing, instead of turning and repenting when the conviction of the Holy Spirit was on her and on her like a ton of bricks! She rationalized her behavior, "God understands" was nauseating! I can only imagine the 'hell' that they face daily now. We are no longer hanging out as friends. Not because I'm better than her, but because I saw, by the grace of God, the grave error of my own path and thought life and it made me weep for dragging the name of the Lord through the slime of "my own vomit" I'd returned to so many times. Thank God I couldn't see to rationalize my sin. I'm only completely overwhelmed by gratitude!

Back to the bumper sticker - That's what settles it? The fact that "I believe it settles it?" Is that what makes it so? NOPE! Nada! God said it is what makes it so! Therefore, I'd better sure as hell be looking first and foremost at myself, and what I truly believe better be IN LINE with TRUTH and I surely had better not be pointing a finger at those pagans/Christians who don't believe as I believe. That's the trouble with so much of fat, lazy American Christianity in all faith persuasions. It's this mentality/spirituality: "At least we aren't as bad as so & so." Lord have mercy! Christ have mercy! Lord have mercy! That's as Pharisaical as it gets! God never was too tickled by the Pharisees. He loved them, but he had the harshest of words for them..and how we need that harsh word when we become like them! We all have that tendency, bible-believers and Catholics and pagans alike have our egos and pride to kill and lay on the altar.

But, "God is love" and he'd never make me face really hard, gut-wrenching consequences for my teeny tiny sin of that fornication thang. (I mean, we can't afford two apartments, God, because we're saving for our wedding day and a down payment on a house! Sheesh!")

"God is love and I'm okay with that" says the 'new Christian paradigm.' And the refrain echoes "He won't judge me, I'm sin-free." So we're all immaculately conceived now? God won't judge me??? But wait, doesn't God say, "Judgment begins IN THE HOUSE OF GOD!" Oh, yeah, he means "THEIR house of God, not MINE!"

There's that song, In the Garden, ( - Words and Music by Charles Austin Miles, 1913) and old-time hymn. I've changed the refrain to fit the new brand of American Christianity. It goes like this:

"Oh He walks like me and he talks like me and he thinks just like me, too.
I've made God in my own image, and.....believe me so can you!' Everybody sing....

It's not really funny. It's sad and it's chilling. My dear Father Kevin used to answer this typical question of greeting like this: "How are you today, Father?" And in his wise way he'd reply, "By the grace of God."

Let us all remember to keep these brothers and sisters in our prayers AND each other, and pray that they'll be illumined, and we'll all be illumined by the grace of God to turn and repent when we sin. I pray that many will come HOME to ROME as God surely wills. Not that Catholics are perfect, but we do have the beautiful sacrament of Confession! If they don't cross the Tiber, at least pray that their hearts will be broken over sin, and they'll live by that other famous bumper-sticker...Turn or Burn! That's not just for pagans folks, and non-believers and atheists and those "poor Catholics"... thats for ALL OF US!


Tiber Jumper said...

Susie. that was one heck of a post, so brutally honest an painful and yet acknowledging that all of us Catholics , protestants etc can still give into the "I said, God agrees with me, so that settles it" paradigm.
it's beautiful cool and breezy here in Eastern PA.
We went to 7 AM Mass at the Carmelite
Monastery nearby where the cloistered nuns sing the antiphons/responses for the Mass behind the seclusion grate. What a reminder of heroic faith, giving all to follow him.
So much grace and beauty!

Joyful Catholics said...

It's cool and breezy here, too, so Susie says TJ and PD need to move to Omaha...there, that settles it! : )