Sometimes arguments break out within the body of Christ which cause division and, if not nipped in the bud, can even lead to to the scandal of schism. God’s desire is for his church to be one; but such divinely intended unity can only occur via shared proclamation of truth. It is threatened by acts of rebellion. What is needed then, above all else, is fidelity to the faith of the ages. A trust in what has been handed to us from the Apostles and not from the noise of the world.
Meanwhile the devil, father of lies, delights in disagreement and loathes the clarity of truth. Whenever truth gives way to subjective opinion in matters of morality- be assured his work is being done. Soon people pride themselves- not on steadfastness of faith- but the ability to doubt! They shun clarity, claiming it naive, and worship ‘grey areas’ instead; a supposed hallmark of permissive sophistication. Or we might say that a blanket of confusion hides multiple sins.
This celebration of relativistic and pluralistic uncertainty, so common in the world, seems to have entered the life of the Church. Which is astonishing given that Christ chose to live amongst us precisely that his truth might be known not guessed at! The deposit of faith given because conscience is an unreliable guide in matters of faith. Which father would suggest a child simply follow their conscience because life is complex and there are no moral absolutes? Not a good one! The good father upholds virtue and helps children understand, clearly, the difference between right and wrong. And he welcomes inquisitive minds, never scolding anyone for asking a question, because explanation is ever needed where clarity is concerned.
What then to make of the Holy Father’s stubborn refusal -to date- to answer polite questions posed by Cardinals of good repute? Can there be an explanation besides a lack of satisfactory answer? Why does he press ahead with this agenda given that his synod already turned it down as being inconsistent with the faith of the ages? And why do those who defend the relativist agenda sink always to personal insult? Labelling orthodox voices ‘rigid and uncaring’? Is it really rigid or uncaring to believe that sound pastoral care cannot come at cost to doctrinal fidelity? Where is the mercy for those unconvinced by this agenda? It strikes me that a spiritual war is raging -and we who owe allegiance to Christ must stand by the truth of the Gospel.
But which side is doing God’s work? I would suggest it is easy to work this out in Christian disagreement. Look for those hungering for clarity and and be wary of those encouraging confusion. Look for those who uphold something different to the world not those who seek to change the faith to accommodate worldly thinking. But most of all just step back and observe; learn to judge by the fruit…
Because whenever Spiritual warfare breaks out truth is revealed in human behaviour. Ask yourself who is rational and and who is irrational? Who is polite and who is rude? Who is seething with rage and who is calm and prayerful? Who is making threats and insults and who is showing love to their opponent? Jesus told us we would know them by their fruit. And, if we view the current malaise through this prism of behaviour, a palpable difference emerge. It speaks volumes to me. One side seems politically motivated, the other concerned for the church. One is loved by the world’s media – the other by the most devout within the church.
The current crisis is deadly serious. Some say even more serious than the crisis of the 16th Century or the Arian heresy. So we must support, by prayer and by being vocal, those upholding truth against error. For what is coming into play is a clash between orthodox faith and a modernist revision of it. And if Rome falls, allowing just one thing in contradiction to scripture and tradition, the floodgates will open. We have witnessed this already in the Anglican communion.
NB: Oh and do not be deceived by the modernist line ‘this is a new work of the Spirit’. The Spirit is always cited by modernists because they know scripture, reason and tradition are against them. But there is no division in the Godhead. Indeed the very notion the Spirit might contradict the teaching of the Son is anathema.
A dark storm batters the doors of the church then and Christ will need those who stand in the light to repel it. Let us pray that clarity and doctrinal certainty will not be sacrificed in pursuit of a false understanding of mercy. And let us pray that the Cardinals of the church will stand by Christ with courage and save us from schism. The modernist heresy must be defeated. I am praying that the Holy Father will answer the questions posed and come down on the only side that will bring peace and unity. The side which leaves all things in harmony with the teaching of the ages. Let us all pray for him and for the brave men who have dared to challenge the thinking and agenda which is threatening Christian unity in our day.