The pope was once a boy. That's his picture.
I actively avoid criticizing other churches, particularly the church I grew up in. The Catholic Church. Besides I have a lot of friends that are in the Catholic Church, why would I want to pick a fight with them? I have other friends that fight the Catholic Church tooth and nail, but what's the point of fighting like that? Doesn't seem like much dialog takes place that way.
Then there is the issue of defending yourself. That usually is counter-productive as well.
Well, this week, the pope felt it necessary for some reason to declare that the "protestant churches" -which comes from the word protest, but that's all for another post- were 'defective' and that other Christian denominations (expressions) were not true churches. He asserted that Christ only established "one" church on earth. Want to guess which one it is? Hmmm... I know he is the pope, but one time he was a boy. I have his picture to prove it.
So, what then is a church, if not a gathering of believers?
I know that I'm a Christian. A dyed in the wool, baptized born-again.
So, my question is, "Am I a defective Christian because I'm not part of the Catholic Church?" Am I an inferior believer? How about my friends that gather together? Should we be uptight about this declaration?
You know what? I know I'm a true believer and I gather with true believers. I'm just not going to worry about it, and at least for now I don't feel much of a need to respond to it, except to yawn a bit.
But here's a little post-yawn commentary... Is the Catholic Church, the "one true church?" Is the Protestant church, the right one? How about the Orthodox church? What about the Evangelical Church, the Pentecostal Church, the Fundamental Church. Is he right that there is only one true church? Yes! The church that belongs to Jesus is the one true church. The Bible refers to this sometimes as 'the bride of Christ.' It is an invisible movement made up of members from the Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Fundamental churches.
Is every Protestant a true believer? Nope. Is every member of the Pentecostal church a true believer? Nope. Is every member of the Catholic church a true believer? Nope. You and I talk to people all the time that are members or have family members in the various movements that are definitely not true believers, just members.
Jesus knows who the true believers are. We don't. We'll definitely be in for some surprises in the end when it all becomes clear. I KNOW I belong to Jesus and there is no need to defend Jesus. I'm pretty sure he is OK with me connecting with other people that are known by Him as well. There is One True Church and it is universal and invisible. There are Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Fundamentalists that make up the ranks. There are also members of those groups that are not part of the One True Church.
I'm not going to sweat it. If all this starts to bother my friends and folks start asking questions, I'll feel the need to clarify the issues. But until then, what's to worry about? I've got the real thing. Jesus Christ. Do You?