Jesus and the Inclusivity Gospel
Christus – Heri, Hodie, Semper
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever
I begin the topic of Jesus and the Inclusivity Gospel with this quote, which was the theme for the Jubilee Year 2000, instituted by Blessed Pope John Paul II. Why? Because somewhere along the way our idea of Jesus has morphed and changed, and this mentality has infiltrated the church on a global scale. No, not the big C Church, but the church – the body of believers. The Gospel for today’s Sunday Mass read:
“Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied,
‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ~Matt 13:24-30
After reading the Gospel, the priest began his homily on how the church needs to be inclusive. He said the early church dealt with this question, and came to the realization that we needed to be more like Jesus and welcome people. He went on to say that if we were to try to draw a line between good people and bad people, one would find a line drawn through every human heart, as we all have good and evil within us. He exhorted us to not judge anyone and encouraged us ignore the faults of our brothers and sister and to change if we have this mentality.
We are missing half of the picture here are we not?
This Gospel is quite clear that there are both weeds and wheat. They are not one thing. This is something the slaveholders are able to recognize. The weeds obviously do not look like wheat. Though the Master does not urge the complete uprooting of the weeds. This is to be done at the Final Judgement where the aforementioned separation occurs. In Matt hew 25:32, Jesus refers to it as the “separation of the sheep and the goats”. In either case, at the end of time, God will separate the good from the bad.
There is a difference. How do we tell? And does Jesus want us to tell?
Yes. Again, St. Matthew gives us the answer, “You will know them by their fruits” . I once heard it said that God does not ask us to judge, but simply to be a fruit inspector. If you’ve ever shopped for produce, you know what this looks like. Some do the look test, or the smell test. Some do the squeeze test. We all do it. No one wants a hard peach, or an overly ripe tomato. Jesus is the same way.
The all inclusive Gospel, which another term for it can be “Universalism”, implies an everyone gets to go to Heaven theology. Buddy Jesus won’t say anything harsh. He will not harass or bother you. The line “Jesus is a perfect gentleman and will not go where He is not invited” is a lie. Anyone who tells you this is wrong. Jesus is not a perfect gentleman. St. John tells us in the second chapter of his Gospel:
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for thy house will consume me.” John 2:13-17
Sounds like a real easy going dude. Let’s be honest here. If the Scriptures are not clear enough – the testimony of the great Saints are. Jesus will call you out. The silent whisper of a quiet, passive deity is non-existent. Jesus knocked Saul off of his horse and removed his sight. In Genesis, God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for disobeying him. Saint Francis of Assisi was compelled by supernatural grace to hug a leper against his will, and it changed him forever. Jesus takes the form of Bread, and in a stroke of Divine genius, is consumed by the people He loves the most, but who many times are indifferent, and some who even hate Him (ie. Occultists who seek to desecrate the Blessed Sacrament). If Jesus was seen in His true form, we would flee in fear for His goodness is too great. So He humbles Himself. How else could He get near to satanists in the most powerful way on earth? Jesus is the biggest intruder of all! Not everyone wants to get along with Him. This is not because he doesn’t love them – He does love them, so deeply. It’s because His love demands a change in them with which they are unwilling to comply. Jesus tells us again in Matthew 10:34 that He is not bringing peace, but a sword. This sword will divide people. All inclusive? Not really.
When Jesus calls sinners to Himself, like St. Mary Magdalene, He forgives their sins but then tells them what? He doesn’t give them a Get out of Hell Free Card, but He commands them to never sin again.
This, my friends, is what the Church has understood for 2000 years.
In the early Church, those who were not Baptized were not admitted into the main body of the church, but had to gather in what is called the Narthex, what we might call today the “front foyer” of the church. Here they would spend time and receive instruction (which took 7 years) before they were baptized and admitted into the Church. This was to ensure that they believed EVERYTHING that had been handed on from the Apostles.
There is always a need for distinction of the sheep from the wolves, of which the Magisterium of the Catholic Church is the sole teacher and interpreter.
This is why the Church can formally excommunicate members of the Church, or teachings thereof that are vehemently in opposition to her and to Jesus Christ. But the Church only formally declares these types of pronouncements after she has numerous calls for repentance and conversion of the wayward person. The Church formally declares an excommunication for the sake of the Body of Christ, the Church. The excommunication declares what a person or teaching has already declared by themselves. The keys of the kingdom of heaven were given by our Blessed Lord to our first Pope, Peter, and subsequently to each of his successors following that. He was thus able to bind and loose; to forgive or retain. This is a direct extension of that right.
EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS
There is no salvation outside of the Church. The Church as understood and taught this for 2000 years. Pope Pius IX tells us “We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge” The Church however understands her Lord and Bridegroom, whose Divine Mercy is endless and inexhaustible. Therefore, Pope Pius IX contines “We must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?” He also continues in his encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore that:
It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin.
This is in no way a Universalist idea, but a matter of recognizing the great love of God who is able (not necessarily who will-we do not know) to offer eternal life to all who comply with natural law and their conscience without hearing the Gospel. Divine Mercy always has the upper hand. To hear a super cool story about someone who was saved at the very moment of her death click here.
In any case, The Church remains quite clear…
If you reject Jesus’ Bride, you hate Jesus.
I’m getting married in 3 weeks. I’m telling you right now, if you hate my bride, you can kiss our friendship goodbye. It’s a natural consequence. It makes rational sense. If you want to love me, love the person I love the most too.
Jesus calls us to be aware, but not to judge.
We cannot condemn anyone to hell. We can however exhort each other if we get on the wrong path to help each other avoid Hell. We can recognize heresy when we see it and not be part of something which is detrimental to our faith. This does not mean beating the other person over the head with their own sinfulness. We must take care of the log in our own eye as well. This being said, we are not called to be blind and ignorant. We are not called to hate the sinner but to hate the sin. If we are called to be like Jesus, we must be willing to turn over a few tables to defend the faith (maybe not literally), cut off that which causes us to sin in our lives, and encourage those who are engaging in acts that can cause the destruction of their soul to stop. This is not a movement of judgement, but a movement of love. We must take affirmative action to build up the faithful in truth and love. We must be able to tell the difference, and be able to distinguish the wolf from the sheep – for our own sake at least, as well as for others. Team Orthodoxy’s three virtues are Caritas, Veritas, and Humilitas (Charity, Truth, Humility). The point is that Truth is always the center, but it must be surrounded by love and humility. Without those virtues, Truth would bear no fruit. Always share the truth in love. And be one of the good sheep and always inspect your fruits and vegetables.
In the Immaculata,