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Following the Truth:Donít Be Afraid To Cross The Line For Jesus!(Catholics MUST evangelize!)
FollowingtheTruth.com ^ | Jul 3rd, 2012 | Gary Zimak

Posted on 08/25/2012 3:00:04 PM PDT by Salvation

Don’t Be Afraid To “Cross The Line” For Jesus!

“There was a preacher once who was saying to the congregation, ‘It is wrong to steal horses.’ The congregation answered, ‘Amen,amen.’ ‘It is wrong to steal cows.’ ‘Amen, Amen!’ Then he said, ‘It is wrong to steal chickens.’ And someone shouted back, ‘Now he is meddling.’ Up until that point, conscience was not touched.” (Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)

I recently wrote a blog post about the need for Catholics to take action against some of President Obama’s policies, mainly his health care plan and the HHS mandate. My analysis was clear and to the point – there are provisions in this plan that oppose Catholic teaching and, following the lead of our bishops, we must speak out and take action. While I expected some opposition (mainly from non-Catholics), I wasn’t prepared for what I received…FROM CATHOLICS!

Here’s a sample…

For the first time, a health care plan addresses the lack of health coverage for 60 million Americans who had been up to now left to die on the side of the road until the Good Samaritan bill was passed.

OK, not bad…some editorializing, but still respectful. Things start to go downhill with the next response…

I don’t think that our religion should have anything to do with politics. That is what is so great about our religion, it is the one true church but we aren’t taught to force our religion on people. If we did we would be looked at just as the Protestant church is. The Supreme Court ruling does go against some of the church’s teachings, but it is also for many of the teachings. Let’s not forget that 6 of the justices are Catholic.

A little more direct, but not really nasty. Then I got this one…

Certainly, everyone is entitled to their opinion but I find it improper for Gary Zimak to have the gall to think he speaks for all Catholics. This man is not a Bishop, Priest, or even a Brother for the Church. From where does his authority spring forth? I am wary of any person who speaks or writes in the name of God and doesn’t use Scripture…Yes…abortion is wrong. Yes…its even murder. However, Barack Obama is not a supporter of abortion! Some people do support it and use it as an after-the-fact form of birth control. That is murder. But then others, like Obama simply say that government will not regulate it by making it against the law.

This gentlemen finishes his comments with…

The conservative right (which I would never call religious) are the ones who DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE POOR as Jesus did. They love money, not God or their fellow man. Zimak derided the recent Supreme Court decision. Why? He is a rich white man! He doesn’t care about how the needy are finally getting health care reform that will help the poor and middle class! I am disgusted by those who would use Catholicism to further their own personal agenda. Those are the people Jesus called “Vipers!”

As a Catholic evangelist, I often write and say things that are met with resistance. As long as I stick to generalities (“God loves us”, “We can all be a little nicer”, “Prayer is effective”, etc.), then everyone is happy and nobody gets offended. However, the minute I start to challenge people’s beliefs or practices, the negative comments begin to flow. A few years ago, I wrote an article, “Ten Facts Most Catholics Don’t Know (But Should)”. For the most part, it was very well received. However, when one diocesan newspaper picked it up, the readers went crazy! My assertions on the all male priesthood, the Bible being compiled by the Catholic Church and all salvation taking place through the Church were met with the following comments…

“I wonder if Mr. Zimak realizes who his audience is. Some American Catholics are critical thinkers.”

“It is with dismay that I read the article by Gary Zimak in the guest commentary. He purports to be the founder of Following The Truth ministries. I am doubly troubled that you him as an authority of sorts. May I please know the authority by which this lay apostolate says he speaks for the Roman Catholic Church regarding women priests? What in fact are his credentials for representing the Vatican in any way?”

“We were rather startled by the guest commentary by Gary Zimak in the July 30th issue. We think that Mr. Zimak is a questionable source at best…As for No Salvation Outside of the Church, perhaps someone should explain the teachings of Vatican II to Mr. Zimak. He seems to have stopped his belief in Catholic teachings at the Council of Trent.”

“Then there was Gary Zimak’s statement that “Women will never be priests”. (Gary, didn’t your mother tell you ‘never say never?)”

“I wondered what you had in mind when selecting the piece for publication. It provided no new insights, but instead the same old worn out points that are often made by some finger-shaking, pre-Vatican II conservative ‘traditional’ Roman Catholics…Certainly, the piece did not contain any new, enlightened points of view that would pique the interest of forward looking, contemporary Christians searching for new understanding.”

And my personal favorite…

“Today I read ‘Ten Facts Most Catholics Don’t Know’ with the smirking picture of the author…”

Our Catholic Church teaches that we MUST evangelize. This requires us to charitably share the truth with others. Depending on just how much of the truth we share, however, we’re eventually going to be met with resistance. It happened to the prophets, it happened to the Apostles and it happened to Jesus. Our Lord warns of this with His chilling words:

“Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:51-53)

As Catholics, we must be willing to speak the truth, even if it makes someone angry. We live in a world that is filled with darkness. Many people do not want to learn the truth because it is in direct conflict with a sinful and selfish lifestyle. While the world may not WANT to hear the truth, the world NEEDS to hear the truth and it is our responsibility to proclaim it. A close friend (and excellent writer), Shane Kapler, wrote an excellent article in which he discusses the “Caricature Jesus”. In Shane’s words…

We prefer an imaginary Jesus, who forgives our failings but makes no demands. The imaginary Jesus never gets upset – unless it’s at religious bullies, and they’ve got it coming, don’t they? He came to relieve suffering (because pain, not separation from God, is the ultimate evil) and to teach us that if we’ll just be “tolerant” enough of everyone else’s opinion (translation = truth does not exist in fact; truth is what we individually believe it to be), peace will finally come.

Unfortunately, despite some people wanting to believe otherwise, the teachings of Jesus Christ as presented through His Church are very concrete and real. They cannot, and should not, be watered down or ignored simply to avoid conflict. As Catholics we have the duty to speak the truth, even if it means “crossing the line”. Jesus warned us of the hatred that we’d experience, but He also promised a great reward…

You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; current; evangelization
Comments?
1 posted on 08/25/2012 3:00:07 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Catholic Ping!


2 posted on 08/25/2012 3:02:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

You bet! I have been doing it for years.


3 posted on 08/25/2012 3:05:56 PM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: DarthVader; Salvation

This is the legacy and curse of multiculturalism. In many societies cultures is defined by religion. The notion that all cultures are equal had its parallel in that all religious are the same and there are many paths to Heaven. To which the response is that if there are many paths to Salvation, that God is really sadistic in adding yet one more path by having His Beloved Son touch the face of our earth and undergo gruesome torture passion and death on a cross. And why then command his Apostles to “Go forth and teach and all nations...” if multiple Truths were possible? There is but one Truth, one Church, and one path to salvation and that is through Christ and His Church founded on the authority of Peter to whom His Church was given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven The rest is garbage, pure and simple. Read Hillaire Belloc’s superb book: “The Heresy.”


4 posted on 08/25/2012 3:51:51 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: Salvation
"As Catholics, we must be willing to speak the truth, even if it makes someone angry. We live in a world that is filled with darkness. Many people do not want to learn the truth because it is in direct conflict with a sinful and selfish lifestyle. While the world may not WANT to hear the truth, the world NEEDS to hear the truth and it is our responsibility to proclaim it."

Can't add much to that.

Peace be with you

5 posted on 08/25/2012 3:52:23 PM PDT by Natural Law (Jesus did not leave us a Bible, He left us a Church.)
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To: Salvation

Speak the truth in love.


6 posted on 08/25/2012 4:10:54 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab veneno gradere.)
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To: Salvation
". . . I believe these and all the truths which Thy holy Catholic Church teaches, for Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived."
7 posted on 08/25/2012 5:11:17 PM PDT by Oratam
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To: Salvation

“Catholics MUST evangelize!”

When I attended World Youth Day in Denver in 1993, Blessed John Paul II told us not to be afraid to go out onto the streets and preach the Gospel like the first apostles, saying now is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. I think the almost universal rebellion inside the Church against her teaching on birth control, which has extended to other matters, has sapped any fervor for evangelization for most Catholics. What can such people evangelize but a type of lukewarmness when they aren’t right with Jesus or His Church? The Church seems nothing more than a weekend club for too many Catholics, a place of cultural tradition where you marry, get your children baptized,and have a funeral.


8 posted on 08/25/2012 9:19:55 PM PDT by MDLION
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To: MDLION

I just evangelize as I go. If someone says “Have a great evening.” I will say, “I will, I am going to a Bible Study led by our priest.”

Sometimes I leave it there, sometimes I will invite them to meet me there.


9 posted on 08/25/2012 9:26:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Oratam

The Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity are included as part of my everyday prayers.


10 posted on 08/25/2012 9:29:27 PM PDT by mtg
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To: mtg

I need to return them to mine. Only now, as an adult, do I fully understand the importance of memorizing these essential prayers in my youth.


11 posted on 08/26/2012 7:09:37 AM PDT by Oratam
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To: Salvation
Don’t Be Afraid To “Cross The Line” For Jesus!

Okay, this is a peeve of mine and as I seem to be hearing and reading this more and more lately I feel compelled to comment on it. How many people reading this thread would walk to their priest and start speaking to him using just his first name? How about speaking about him to others in your church? Would you refer to the pastor as Bill or Bob or whatever? I doubt many people would really be comfortable doing that, and yet listen to how few times anybody ever feels it appropriate to include any honorific or title of respect in regards to the Lord and his Blessed Mother. Most every Saint gets at least a Saint in front of their name, but for our Lord Jesus Christ nothing. Why is that? What does it say about us and how we really view Him?

I can remember a letter in our parish which recounted the history of the religious order which founded and staffed it. It referred over and over to this or that Venerable, or Father this and Blessed that. However, not once did it ever refer to our Lord as anything other than just Jesus, or his Mother as anything other than merely Mary. Why did these "Venerables" deserve such respect when their master gets none? Who is greater? Surely if we truly desire to evangelize for the Lord we should show some basic reverence for his name, as we do for so many other people we speak of every day. Just a thought.

12 posted on 08/27/2012 10:01:25 PM PDT by cothrige
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To: cothrige

You have some good advice there. Would you have changed the headline to “Jesus Christ” or our Lord, Jeus Christ” or the “Most Holy and High One.”

??

There are so many possibilities.


13 posted on 08/28/2012 3:49:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
There are so many possibilities.

Yes there are, and don't they all seem preferable to the current trend of just using the personal name all by itself? And I am not trying to suggest that our Lord's name is somehow wrong to use, but why can't we say Lord anymore? Shouldn't it bother us that we as a culture seem increasingly uncomfortable stating that Christ is in fact our Lord? I think using that kind of language is actually beginning to sound quaint to us, and as such we tend to avoid it. We don't want to sound like holy rollers or the like I suppose. But, if we continue down that path we will likely begin to think of faith in the idea itself as quaint too. Maybe this seems trivial to people and my mentioning such things comes across as persnickety, but I do think there is a definite trend in this direction now and it does bother me. I am convinced that such basic concepts, like so many other traditional Catholic practices, reinforce and reflect a healthy spiritual life founded on solid Christian principles.

14 posted on 08/28/2012 10:12:34 PM PDT by cothrige
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