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Following the Truth: Empty Churches Where Should We Draw The Line?
FollowingtheTruth.com ^ | May 9th, 2012 | Gary Zimak

Posted on 06/12/2012 6:03:28 PM PDT by Salvation

 

Empty Churches – Where Should We Draw The Line?

 

“Religion is popular only when it ceases to be truly religious. Religion by its very nature is unpopular – certainly unpopular with the ego.” (Archbishop Fulton J Sheen)

Recently, an interesting article was brought to my attention. Appearing in The Morning Call (Allentown, PA), the point was raised that organized religion was on the decline throughout the area. More and more, organized religion is coming under attack, as evidenced by the recent YouTube video “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus”. While the idea of individuals creating their own personal version of Jesus’ teachings is nothing new, this philosophy is now creeping into organized religion. Evidence of this can be seen in a comment made by Rev. Tony Sundermeier, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Allentown (in the above article):

“We create a space for different ways for people to engage with God. I still think people are spiritual and religious. It’s just not orthodox Christianity they’re looking for.”

Reaching Out or Dumbing Down?
In an attempt to reach out and bring people back to church, some Christian churches are bending over backward to give the people what they want, rather than what they need. If the teachings of Jesus are too challenging, let’s change them so that they are more appealing. Strong evidence of this can be seen in the churches that proclaim the “health and wealth gospel”. Sometimes referred to as prosperity theology, the message is that faithful believers will be rewarded with financial wealth. While this can be an attractive message, it is certainly not the message lived and proclaimed by Jesus Christ. Additionally, some churches water down their teaching to make it more “user friendly” and appealing. In other words, let’s make going to church fun. If we take away the negativity and challenging doctrine, then people will come back in droves. Sadly, I’ve even seen this in some Catholic parishes and it is a big mistake. Christians deserve the truth and not a watered down message that “feels good”. For, although it might feel good now, a diluted set of religious doctrine isn’t going to help us get to Heaven! The question that must be asked is, although it may attract more people to church (and even this is debatable), what good does it do to remove the difficult, but necessary, aspects of Christianity?

What Does The Bible Say?
While I don’t claim to have all the answers, I do know that the Bible provides some valuable clues about truth. In his letter to Timothy, Saint Paul states that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tm 2:4). That statement implies that absolute truth exists, God wants us to know that truth, and learning and obeying it will allow us to get to Heaven. Given that statement, it’s easy to see why distorting that truth could be problematic. While I understand why this is being done, what is the point of getting people in your church if you’re not going to give them the teaching that they need to one day achieve salvation?

There is no doubt that the truth will cause division, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be spoken. What does Jesus have to say about the truth?

“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Lk 12:51-53)

Furthermore, the words of Jesus as He commissioned the Apostles affirms the importance of always preaching the whole truth:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20)

Note that Jesus didn’t say to share only His pleasant and less challenging teachings…He said to teach ALL that He commanded. This includes unpopular and difficult teachings, even if they’re met with resistance. Jesus encountered this difficulty first hand when He taught about the necessity of the Eucharist for salvation. In His Bread of Life discourse (Jn 6: 22-71), when He proclaimed that “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life within you” (Jn 6:53), many of His disciples said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” (Jn 6:60). Instead of backing down or modifying this crucial teaching, Jesus let many of His disciples walk away from Him. (Jn 6:66). Why? Because He couldn’t compromise the truth!

A Catholic Response
As Catholics, we are blessed to have the fullness of truth and, under no circumstances, can we change the truth in order to make it more palatable. Although we should become creative and try to meet people “where they are”, the “Good News” can’t be changed. For, in doing so, we’d be hurting people rather than helping them. Although it’s a challenge, we need to educate people about Church teachings. As many of us cynics have discovered, the teachings of the Church really do make sense once they are prayerfully explored with an open mind. That’s the great thing about truth…it’s TRUE!

Isn’t This The Clergy’s Job?
As lay Catholics, what can we do to combat declining Mass attendance? Isn’t this the job of the priests and deacons? In actuality, we should all be concerned about this matter. If you think about it for a minute, it’s not easy for the clergy to reach out to those who no longer attend Mass. Furthermore, the Church teaches that evangelization is the responsibility of ALL baptized Catholics. In his apostolic letter, Porta Fidei (The Door of Faith), Pope Benedict XVI observed:

The renewal of the Church is also achieved through the witness offered by the lives of believers: by their very existence in the world, Christians are called to radiate the word of truth that the Lord Jesus has left us.

In order to share the truth with others, the first thing we should do is learn, understand AND LIVE the teachings of the Catholic Church. Then, as charitably as possible, we should share these teachings with others. Our Church is blessed to have the fullness of truth and it would be wrong to keep this treasure to ourselves. With whom should we share? Everyone around us – our family, friends, coworkers and any others who we encounter in our daily lives.

Using The Internet
Do you spend a lot of time on the Internet? Why not use it for sharing the faith? One of the great things about the Internet and social media is the ability to reach those who no longer go to Church. Here are some simple and concrete steps that we can all take to share the truth with others:

Share good Catholic articles with others via email.

Post inspirational quotes on Facebook or Twitter.

“Like” solid Catholic fan pages, groups or posts on Facebook.

Create your own Catholic website, podcast, Facebook group or Twitter account.

Whether we do it on the Internet or face to face, we must never stop proclaiming the true teaching of the Catholic Church. In the end, that truth is what is going to save souls. Sometimes people will get offended and “walk away”, but that shouldn’t deter us from delivering the “Good News” IN FULL. It happened to the prophets, it happened to the Saints and it happened to Jesus…and that’s some good company!

“No one is truly poor but except the one who lacks the truth.” (St. Ephraem the Syrian)

 



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; churches; religion; religiousleft; schism; secularization; trends; truth
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“No one is truly poor but except the one who lacks the truth.” (St. Ephraem the Syrian)
1 posted on 06/12/2012 6:03:38 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Catholic Ping!


2 posted on 06/12/2012 6:06:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Other thoughts from Gary Zimak.

Following the Truth: Empty Churches – Where Should We Draw The Line?
Following the Truth: Listening To Mary’s Voice – Part 7 (Her Final Words) [Catholic Caucus]

Following the Truth: Recognizing Jesus In The Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
Following the Truth: Follow Me… [into Holy Week]
Following the Truth: No Greater Love… [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: Don’t Just Feel Sorry For Jesus… [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: The Easiest Way To End Up In Hell… [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: Listening To Mary’s Voice – Part 6 (The Wedding At Cana) [Catholic Caucus]
Following the Truth: Lent: Becoming Uncomfortable About Being Comfortable [Catholic or Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Exercises – Week One [of Lent] In Review
Following the Truth: Listening To Mary’s Voice – Part 5 (Losing Jesus), [Catholic Caucus]
Following the Truth: Listening To Mary’s Voice – Part 4 (The Magnificat) [Catholic Caucus]

Following the Truth: Listening To Mary’s Voice – Part 3 (Submission) [Catholic Caucus]
Following the Truth: Listening To Mary’s Voice – Part 2 (Humility)[Catholic Caucus]
Following the Truth: Listening To Mary’s Voice: Part 1, Confusion [Catholic Caucus]
Following The Truth: 3 Suggestions For Hearing And Responding To God’s Voice [Catholic and Open]
Following The Truth: Layoffs, Death and Preparation [Catholic and Open]
Following The Truth: Contemplating Death [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Had To Do… [Catholic and Open]
Following The Truth: The Priesthood — A Priceless Gift (Catholic and Open)
Following The Truth: Parents…Are You Doing Your Job? (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Confession – Is It Still Necessary? (Catholic or Open)

Following The Truth: The Feast Of St. Stephen – A Case Of Bad Timing? (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers? (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: What If Mary Said “No”? (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Jesus Is Waiting – Don’t Forget To RSVP! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: So, You Just Received Jesus…Now What? (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: An Advent Challenge: Love Your Enemies! (Catholic and Open)
Following The Truth: The Journey To Bethlehem is Not Comfortable! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Does God Want Us To Worry? (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: The Morning Offering – Pray Without Ceasing! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: A (Lenten) Advent “Weight” Loss Program (Catholic or Open)

Following The Truth: Hurry Up, Lord…I’m Waiting! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Evangelize? Sorry, But I’m Catholic! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Ten Facts Most Catholics Don’t Know (But Should!) (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Letting Your Conscience Be Your Guide(What Jiminy Cricket Didn’t Tell You) [Catholic or Open]
Following The Truth: Catholic “Fluff” – The Enemy Within (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Appreciating The Gift Of Suffering (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Satan’s Attack On The Church – What You Can Do! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Saying “Y-E-S” to God During Lent (and Advent) [Catholic or Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Dryness: “I Don’t Feel Anything!” (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: A Biblical Roadmap To The One, True Church (Catholic or Open)

3 posted on 06/12/2012 6:08:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

My relatives from PA, all they talk about is the closing of a Catholic church or school all over.


4 posted on 06/12/2012 6:14:24 PM PDT by bicyclerepair ( REPLACE D-W-S ! http://www.karenforcongress.com)
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To: bicyclerepair

I think that is why the Pope sent Archbishop Charles Chaput back there.

People may think that those in the pews want entertainment, but I believe the people in the pews want to know how to keep their faith in this increasingly secular world.

Prayers for your relatives and the good Archbishop.


5 posted on 06/12/2012 6:18:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

First I am not Catholic.
The churches I go to are crowded, many going to multiple services.
They tend to be very basic Bible driven, lively music and powerful messages.
The messages do not worry about offending people (sometimes the Word of God offens the sinner).
Much more like what you might imagine the early Christian churches were like.
The Church is not a building or a title it is the people who belong to the Body of Christ.
I think many older groups have lost that vision.


6 posted on 06/12/2012 6:25:25 PM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: Salvation

“Unintended Consequences” (no offense meant to anyone, just wanting all to look at things from outside the box, for a minute)

So... Jesus returns to Earth, and walks into the nearest church.

He looks around, and smack dab in the middle is a huge cross, with his effigy hanging from it, nails through the wrists and ankles, a crown of thorns on his head, obvious puncture wounds to the chest cavity, and dripping blood.

So, he sets fire to the place and leaves, gets on his horse, takes out his sword, and heads out to destroy as many of these ‘violence worshipping’ abominations as possible.


7 posted on 06/12/2012 6:31:11 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Salvation

“Where should we draw the line?” How about where Mason and Dixon drew it! In many cases, places where people are leaving the churches empty are places where people are leaving period. This makes sense: the liberal ideology that destroys cities is the same liberal ideology that destroys dioceses.

“Come out from among ‘em” to the South, where people have jobs and kids and trucks, and the churches are packed. Ours was put under observation by the fire department when the alarm went off during Mass one day, and the captain saw how full the place was. Now we have fire lanes marked off with tape on the floors, as well no-exception-you’ll-be-towed lanes in the parking lot.


8 posted on 06/12/2012 6:32:53 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Genetic testing of unborn babies: measuring the morality of our culture. (Wesley Smith)
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To: UCANSEE2
So, he sets fire to the place and leaves, gets on his horse, takes out his sword, and heads out to destroy as many of these ‘violence worshipping’ abominations as possible.

I'm curious as to why you think Jesus would do that. He knew how he was going to die, and didn't fight it. He even encouraged his disciple, Thomas, to put his hands in the wounds so that Thomas would believe that He had risen from the dead.

The crucifix isn't displayed to 'worship violence', it is displayed so that WE never forget WHO it was who died for our sins, and made it possible for us to attain salvation with Him. It is there to humble us, not whip us into some sort of violent frenzy. The proof of that can be seen when folks get out of Mass on Sunday. The only 'violence' you'll likely see is somebody getting cut off on the drive out of the parking lot.

9 posted on 06/12/2012 6:47:20 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: UCANSEE2

Your feeble ruse didn’t work. Perhaps a better idea might be to comment upon the article at hand, rather than use the opportunity for referring to Catholic churches as “violence worshipping abominations.” Which you just did.


10 posted on 06/12/2012 6:49:08 PM PDT by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: Tax-chick

>>In many cases, places where people are leaving the churches empty are places where people are leaving period. <<

Exactly! People are crying in Detroit because they are closing and clustering parishes.

I keep trying to tell them, the entire state should be either closed or clustered.


11 posted on 06/12/2012 6:54:23 PM PDT by netmilsmom (Romney scares me. Obama is the freaking nightmare that is so bad you are afraid to go back to sleep)
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To: svcw

Likewise with my Catholic Church. We have four Masses. One Saturday evening — not so full.

Sunday monring at 8:15 and 10:30 and the Spanish Mass at 12:30 — all bursting at the seams.

Powerful messages based on the Bible is what we get. And the numbers prove it.

In fact our Capital Campaign to build a new Church has not been going on that long, and we have alomost reached the point when we can obtain a loan from the Archdiocese and start the building — I think their goal is the first part of October.

The present building will be turned into classrooms or completely re-designed.


12 posted on 06/12/2012 6:54:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: UCANSEE2

**So, he sets fire to the place and leaves, gets on his horse, takes out his sword, and heads out to destroy as many of these ‘violence worshipping’ abominations as possible.**

This is very strange. Care to explain further? Why would this happen?


13 posted on 06/12/2012 6:57:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: UCANSEE2

On earth Christ is perfect mercy.

At the moment of our death, Christ is perfect justice.

Something to ponder.


14 posted on 06/12/2012 6:58:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: SuziQ

Deu 5:8 Thou shalt not make thee [any] graven image, [or] any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the waters beneath the earth:

Does Jesus not reside in Heaven?


15 posted on 06/12/2012 7:09:00 PM PDT by itsahoot (I will not vote for Romney period.)
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To: Salvation
Powerful messages based on the Bible

These churches do not lack for full pews.

16 posted on 06/12/2012 7:36:06 PM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: Salvation

I disagree with Sheen, here. The “organized religions” losing members, at least among Protestants, are the loosy goosey liberals. I hope they go totally empty unless they get back to the Bible.

“Organized religions” that are Christian conservatives are growing by and large.


17 posted on 06/12/2012 7:37:48 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: UCANSEE2

“So, he sets fire to the place and leaves, gets on his horse, takes out his sword, and heads out to destroy as many of these ‘violence worshipping’ abominations as possible.

I am not a defender of the use of crucifixes, but I don’t think it is a worship of violence. Jesus did indeed die a violent and hideous death for us, truly suffering throughout. The crucifix is an attempt to remember and honor that.

However, one problem with it (from my point of view) is that it focuses the believer on the death and not the resurrection.


18 posted on 06/12/2012 7:40:32 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: itsahoot

To your question: ““Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20)”

It says “I am with you always” So I guess the three persons in one (Father/Son/Holy Spirit) can both be in heaven and with us all the time. I think God can do things like that because he made the rules, spoke the Word to bring all about and Made Man from the Earth.


19 posted on 06/12/2012 7:44:14 PM PDT by jafojeffsurf (Return to the Constitution)
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To: itsahoot
Well graven images are a bad thing, if you worship the statue, and forget about who it is supposed to represent. We don't do that.

Remember, even Moses and Aaron had 'images' in the form of the Ark of the Covenant, and used it in their worship, all apparently approved by God, who told them how to build it.

Jesus is the new 'Ark', and we have statues and paintings to remind us of him. We know those images are not Him, but we use them in our worship, just as Moses and the Hebrew people used the Ark of the Covenant in theirs.

20 posted on 06/12/2012 8:03:53 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Persevero
However, one problem with it (from my point of view) is that it focuses the believer on the death and not the resurrection.

Now that's just plain silly. I can not think about the crucifixion without simultaneously thinking about the resurrection. How could it be any different for any Christian who knows the story?

21 posted on 06/12/2012 8:08:23 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature not nurture TM)
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To: Tax-chick

The suburban churches where I live are always full. However, the churches in the downtown area of the city where I grew up are having trouble with attendance because the parishes where they are located don’t have many people living there anymore. Some churches have closed or merged with other parish churches. I believe it has a lot to do with the location of the churches.


22 posted on 06/12/2012 8:15:04 PM PDT by murron (Proud Mom of a Marine Vet)
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To: Persevero

There are some churches that have the crucifix as well as the Risen Christ statue nearby.


23 posted on 06/12/2012 8:18:51 PM PDT by murron (Proud Mom of a Marine Vet)
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To: steve86

“Now that’s just plain silly. I can not think about the crucifixion without simultaneously thinking about the resurrection. How could it be any different for any Christian who knows the story? “

Perhaps you link the two automatically, but I don’t know that this is true of all.

If a simple cross was posted up, (He is risen!), would you start thinking about the crucifixion? I don’t know.

But I don’t think my observation is “silly,” even if I may be wrong, perhaps you can take it as food for thought.


24 posted on 06/12/2012 8:20:30 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: murron

In most cities, “downtown,” or as we call it in Charlotte, “uptown,” is not where a lot of people live. Uptown Catholic churches in Charlotte have good congregations if they are heavily into traditional liturgy and devotions, not because there’s a local congregation on the ground. This is Billy Graham country - we don’t have a lot of center-city Catholic Churches from the old days, like they do Up North.

We have big congregrations in all our churches in the Charlotte area, though. My parish is over 1/4 Spanish-speaking, but we’re also SRO at the English Masses. Parishes in the main residential areas of Charlotte, especially those with notably orthodox priests and liturgies leaning traditional, are also packed. We have a Vietnamese parish, a Filipino-majority parish, and more than one that are majority Spanish-speaking. Our problem is expanding the facilities (past the zoning boards and the EPA ... my parish is having to move because of an endangered freshwater clam!!!).


25 posted on 06/12/2012 8:44:34 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Genetic testing of unborn babies: measuring the morality of our culture. (Wesley Smith)
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To: netmilsmom

Last one to leave Michigan, please turn out the lights. You’d be welcome in Charlotte - there’s even a regular Polish Mass, held at the diocesan high school chapel, and “specials” at St. Matt’s, which has more congregants than some cities I’ve lived in.


26 posted on 06/12/2012 8:47:57 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Genetic testing of unborn babies: measuring the morality of our culture. (Wesley Smith)
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To: Persevero

” However, one problem with it (from my point of view) is that it focuses the believer on the death and not the resurrection.”

Excellent post however don’t forget that St. Paul wrote, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumbling block, and unto the Gentiles foolishness: “.

A crucifix is a sermon in material substance.


27 posted on 06/12/2012 9:43:43 PM PDT by arielguard (Fasting without prayer is vainglory.)
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To: svcw
Much more like what you might imagine the early Christian churches were like. The Church is not a building or a title it is the people who belong to the Body of Christ. I think many older groups have lost that vision.

I agree. The early assemblies consisted of people who were believers and they came together to worship, to pray together, to share what they had with the needy, fellowship, encourage and break bread together in the remembrance that they made up the "body of Christ". These believers went out and lead other people to saving faith in Christ and brought them to the assembly so they could, in turn, grow in their faith together and learn how to lead more people to Christ. I think too many church people forget that it is their job, and not just the pastor and elders, to go out and speak the gospel to everyone they meet. Today, people invite their neighbors and friends to "church" hoping they will get saved and, though that certainly does happen, it works far better if the visitor already knows the gospel.

I've been to some churches where all they ever preach about is the gospel, as if they think nobody is saved yet or nothing else is important. They give an "invitation" at the end and nobody comes forward because everyone there is already a believer. That says to me that the pastor may be lazy or doesn't care that the believers need more than just the "milk" of the word - they need the "meat", too. I know it must be hard being a pastor, one I had (one of the BEST) had a full time job in addition to being pastor. But I think a man of God that is put there by God has an obligation to be sensitive to the needs of his congregation and to never be afraid to say what God is leading him to say after much prayer and study. When that man is saying what God is leading him to say, the people WILL hear it and receive it because God has been preparing them as well. THAT kind of church is what keeps on growing.

28 posted on 06/12/2012 10:05:08 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: arielguard

True; we must remember the crucifixion AND the resurrection, not to make one more important than the other.


29 posted on 06/12/2012 10:07:01 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: boatbums
I agree. People are going to church to BE served instead of going TO serve. Even Bible believing born again Christians grow lazy.
30 posted on 06/12/2012 10:09:41 PM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: netmilsmom
Detroitistan? Dearbornistan? Most of these northern cities are being overtaken by Muslim immigrants and the churches converted to mosques. I'd be getting out, too, if I was there!
31 posted on 06/12/2012 10:10:09 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Tax-chick

I would love it.
As long as Dad has a job, we are here.

We might be turning the lights out....


32 posted on 06/13/2012 3:29:25 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Romney scares me. Obama is the freaking nightmare that is so bad you are afraid to go back to sleep)
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To: svcw; Salvation; Tax-chick

I am Catholic
The Parish I go to is crowded, many going to daily Mass. (there’s two every day and six on the weekends)
They masses are Bible driven, with Holy music and powerful messages.
Our Priests don’t worry about offending people (we even had one tell us that if we didn’t stand up for Christ, we would be saying “Allah Akbar”)
Thank God we don’t have to worry about what the early Church did, but with Slovak priests, they know the evils of communism and teach us to appreciate our freedoms.

Our parish is bursting. We just bought another building after completing our last expansion only 4 years ago. You’re right svcw, the church is not a building, and it takes the congregation hearing the truth of sin to know that there is redemption. It’s not a party and it’s not all Social Justice, which is the focus in many churches today. What can I do for someone to make me feel better instead of what can I do to make myself right with Our Lord. The collective salvation churches of any stripe are bad news. In many churches and parishes, that is what they are teaching.


33 posted on 06/13/2012 3:44:02 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Romney scares me. Obama is the freaking nightmare that is so bad you are afraid to go back to sleep)
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To: boatbums

>>Most of these northern cities are being overtaken by Muslim immigrants and the churches converted to mosques.<<

I’m north of Detroit and FAR north of Dearborn.
We are surrounded by Chaldeans. I really don’t know of any Catholic Churches converted to Mosques in my area.


34 posted on 06/13/2012 3:50:20 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Romney scares me. Obama is the freaking nightmare that is so bad you are afraid to go back to sleep)
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To: Salvation

Thank you, my FRiend. You are most certainly one who spends a lot of time and effort spreading the Word. God bless you.

I just LOVE that quote from Archbishop Sheen.


35 posted on 06/13/2012 5:05:41 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Pray for our republic.)
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To: Salvation

The political chant of fallen Christians, New Agers and anti-Christian activists is that Christians are spiritual and not religious. It’s a slogan.

This is intended to separate Christians from congregational communities so they are isolated and weak, morally, politically and socially. Young people are falling for it and it provides the popular justification of superiority for the open-minded and evolved spiritual ones who have dropped out of church compared to their ‘religious’ inferiors who go to church.

If liberals can get Christians to stop passing on the religion to their children by denying them a structured method of teaching young Christians their religion within churches, they can make the US majority atheist and subject to amorlity for lack of knowledge and understanding. Christians won’t follow when there is no leader.


36 posted on 06/13/2012 6:54:09 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: netmilsmom

Nice. Churches who preach basic Biblical concepts are not empty.


37 posted on 06/13/2012 7:23:36 AM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: UCANSEE2

Funny; I sniff a little violence worship in your post.


38 posted on 06/13/2012 8:02:57 AM PDT by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: SuziQ; UCANSEE2; itsahoot

“Remember, even Moses and Aaron had ‘images’ in the form of the Ark of the Covenant, and used it in their worship, all apparently approved by God, who told them how to build it.”

The ark was kept closed off in the holy of holies of the Tabernacle so that only a blood sprinkled priest could approach it...it wasn’t kept in public view as a “reminder”. The only reminder the Hebrews had was the daily ministration of manna until the day they entered into the Holy Land. Then the manna ceased as the final reminder of God’s power was the Land they were in possession of as he had promised! Later on one of the future leaders of Israel had the Serpent’s rod, that Moses used to save a rebellious people from the bites of poisonous serpents, destroyed so that the people wouldn’t worship it. Moses himself was buried by God(probably via Michael the ark angel as the NT hints in a brief comment regarding Michael’s dispute with Satan over Moses’ body) in a place that “no man ‘til this day’ knew of” because he knew that Israel would venerate and worship Moses’ bones.

I think I get UCANNSEE’s point!


39 posted on 06/13/2012 8:13:40 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Kiss the Son!)
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To: Persevero
The crucifix is an attempt to remember and honor that.

So much more than just this. It is a visual expression of the mystery of God's Incarnation. It is a visual expression of the mystery of atonement, and of every human soul's call to conversion in Christ and acceptance of our own crosses in response to this call. It signifies Jesus's unreserved gift of self for the sake of his spouse the Church. It signifies the liturgical mystery of the Eucharist. Each of these elements is worthy of an eternity of contemplation; the crucifix is a bottomless reservoir of mystery offered to every Christian.

40 posted on 06/13/2012 8:13:40 AM PDT by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: itsahoot; mdmathis6

God the Father himself set aside this precept at the Incarnation. Jesus is the image of the invisible God, says St. Paul.


41 posted on 06/13/2012 8:29:01 AM PDT by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: Salvation; UCANSEE2

It kind of reminds of a story about a drunk that wanders into a church, sees a crucifix with a figure attached to it and listens a bit to the pastor speak of Christ’s death...looks at the cross again and says rather loudly..”yeah but preacher are you shhhure that’shh the right man you’re talkin’ about up there....” before collapsing into a stupor(pungently I might add).

Context is what is important....lots of people died on a Roman cross,; only one resurrection of a sinless man who was God in flesh has ever occured!


42 posted on 06/13/2012 8:30:54 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Kiss the Son!)
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To: Romulus; itsahoot

“Jesus is the image of the invisible God, says St. Paul”

This image was to be formed in the hearts of believers transforming our inner man...day by day even though our outer man perishes. Christ himself is invisible to us now as the eye can see, but in the day of resurrection Christians will be like him and able to see HIM as He Is!

If we visit the prisoner, have we not visited Christ? If we help the sick and needy, have we not helped Christ? If we encourage the lonely, have we not encouraged Christ in his loneliness? Has not Christ said that by serving such folk, have we not served him? What need we of images of wood, plaster, and stone when the very presence of Christ dwells in the hearts of those who love him?


43 posted on 06/13/2012 8:44:18 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Kiss the Son!)
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To: Romulus; itsahoot

“Jesus is the image of the invisible God, says St. Paul”

This image was to be formed in the hearts of believers transforming our inner man...day by day even though our outer man perishes. Christ himself is invisible to us now as the eye can see, but in the day of resurrection Christians will be like him and able to see HIM as He Is!

If we visit the prisoner, have we not visited Christ? If we help the sick and needy, have we not helped Christ? If we encourage the lonely, have we not encouraged Christ in his loneliness? Has not Christ said that by serving such folk, have we not served him? What need we of images of wood, plaster, and stone when the very presence of Christ dwells in the hearts of those who love him?


44 posted on 06/13/2012 8:44:52 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Kiss the Son!)
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To: murron; Salvation; SuziQ; Romulus; UCANSEE2; itsahoot

I would like to see a church that had depiction of a blood stained EMPTY cross and a depiction of an EMPTY tomb side by side with the words of the angel stating “ HE is not here, HE IS RISEN as HE said!”


45 posted on 06/13/2012 8:55:19 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Kiss the Son!)
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To: mdmathis6

That would evacuate most of the significance from the symbol. You do not see this because your heart is closed to the contemplation of this mystery.


46 posted on 06/13/2012 9:05:11 AM PDT by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: Romulus; itsahoot; UCANSEE2; All

It is not important that we see images depicting the suffering and death of Christ, it is more important that God the Father sees the image of Christ LIVING Triumphantly in each of us!

I would rather, that if such images are done, that they be done without facial features, or perhaps with a mirror in place of the face!


47 posted on 06/13/2012 9:06:46 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Kiss the Son!)
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To: Romulus; itsahoot; UCANSEE2; All

It is not important that we see images depicting the suffering and death of Christ, it is more important that God the Father sees the image of Christ LIVING Triumphantly in each of us!

I would rather, that if such images are done, that they be done without facial features, or perhaps with a mirror in place of the face!


48 posted on 06/13/2012 9:07:12 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Kiss the Son!)
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To: mdmathis6

It doesn’t matter that Jesus is no longer visible to us in human form. What matters is that Jesus God penetrated and joined himself to his creation and that this irreversible reality persists.

God the Father has abrogated the precept against images, having made a perfect image of his eternal Word.


49 posted on 06/13/2012 9:15:46 AM PDT by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: Romulus

I think you are closed to the “mystery”. The temple veil was rent in twain, God does not want to remain a mystery. He poured out his spirit on the day of Pentecost, he no longer wanted to be estranged from men! Fanny Crosby, the blind famed hymn writer remained blind from 6 weeks old until her death and could never comtemplate your extolled religious imagery or contemplate “its mystery”...never the less “saw” most brilliantly when she came to know Christ; writing that her soul became “filled with a most celestial light”! That which you call “mystery” was that presence of Jesus Christ via the holy Spirit that dwelt in her!

Christ despaired of men who “had eyes but could not see!”. He even healed a blind man who saw the truth while others scoffed.


50 posted on 06/13/2012 9:23:25 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Kiss the Son!)
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