Thursday, December 11, 2014

Do Denominations Matter?

Question:  Does the denomination really matter?
Person asks:
I have always believed that “a Christian is a Christian.” If we love Jesus and believe that He died for our sins, we will be saved. Promoting a specific “brand” of Christianity only promotes division. I am a Methodist, but I love Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, and Pentecostals all the same. We need to learn to live together. What we have in common is more important than our differences.

My reply:
The compromise you’re suggesting doesn’t work in matters of salvation.  Let me explain.  As a Christian, you believe in the Ten Commandments, right?  In the First Commandment, God warns us not to worship false gods.  If we do, we commit the mortal sin of idolatry and condemn ourselves to hell.  Sound about right?

Now, if a pagan comes to your door and shared with you his religion and worship of the Great Tree, you would have a moral duty to explain to him that what he is doing is wrong and to reject this religion, repent of his sins and come to Jesus Christ who is the only way of salvation.  Make sense so far?

Now, here’s your problem.  Catholics worship what appears to be mere bread, which the Church calls the Eucharist.  We worship the Eucharist because we believe that, in the sacrifice of the Mass, the bread becomes the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ and is thus worthy of worship.  Our belief is based on Scripture, history and the entire Christian tradition.

If the Eucharist is not Jesus Christ, but a mere piece of ordinary bread, then Catholics are committing idolatry.  If we are committing idolatry, you have the same moral obligation to us as you had to the pagan.  You are obligated to tell us that we are committing idolatry and must reject our false religion, lest we go to hell.  If Catholics worship bread, then Catholicism must be renounced by all Christians.  In fact, the Catholic religion lives or dies with the Eucharist, for the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith.  If the Catholic faith is false, then you must not sit idly by and let us Catholics commit idolatry and die in our sins.

If, however, the Eucharist is truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, then the Catholic Church is the one and only true religion.  Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me.”  As Catholics we are obliged to bring the fullness of the truth to all since we wish all to have the fullness of Christ.  And what could be better than to receive the WHOLE Christ as He intended;  Body, blood, soul and divinity, into your very self both spiritually AND physically?

To recap, if we Catholics are wrong then it is the Christians duty to bring it to our attention so that we would reject this great sin of idolatry of a false god.  But if we are right, then of course we are obliged to bring this truth to all who are unawares.

Inspired by John Slaza’s response on his website:
God Bless

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