Real Unity Vs. Jesus Gatherings
“That they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
St. John in the above Gospel tells us that our Blessed Lord desires and prays for the unity of his Bride, the Church. Christ, who is the Head, desires that the Church, His body, be fully united together in Him. This is the reason why He came to save us – so that we could be united with Him on earth and in Heaven. As Christians, we should also have this same desire for unity. I have been listening to Air1, which is a great Christian music radio station over the past few years. Recently they have introduced a special feature called “59 Seconds of Hope”. These are great little reminders to us as Christians to keep our eyes on Christ and keep moving in our Christian journey.
One of their segments has been on my mind and heart lately, as it is the biggest problem that the Church is facing today, namely that of unity. Levi Lusko, a protestant pastor and one of the “59 Seconds of Hope” speakers, reminds listeners that for Christians to really make an impact on the world, we all need to “come together in Jesus’ name”. Another protestant group called the Reset Movement has recently committed themselves to mobilize Christians in creating the “biggest Jesus Gathering” in the USA in 2016. While these people have the premise of a good idea, they are missing a very vital point. Truthfully speaking, changing the world on a global level will be impossible until we truly become united and reconciled as one Church. True unity does not simply constitute believing in the same God, the same “core tenants” and nothing more. Real Christian unity is rooted in complete allegiance to Jesus Christ and the Church which He established.
When Jesus said to St. Peter in Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it,” He definitively established His Church on the foundation of Peter. God knows that we as humans are weak in spirit, and that without a shepherd, we will scatter in all different directions. Jesus left us the Church, with St. Peter as it’s head, to keep us in the fold, still knowing that people can and will walk away.
Our Lord is a King and when a King leaves his Kingdom for whatever the reason, he leaves someone in charge. When the king dies or has to pass on the care of the Kingdom to someone else, that person becomes the heir of the kingdom. This is what our Blessed Lord left us with through Apostolic Succession. Apostolic Succession is the direct line of Popes from Pope Francis right back to St. Peter. Jesus proclaimed that Peter was the rock that He was to build His Church on. He also promised that Hell would not prevail against her. In doing so, He promised that He will keep the Church free from error. If we really believe that Jesus is who He says He is, then we need to trust that our Lord has and will keep his promise of divine protection for the Church. History has proven this fact time and again. This is called Papal Infallibility. Papal Infallibility means that the Pope will never officially teach us (Ex Cathedra) incorrectly when it comes to faith and morals. Although elected Successors of Peter may sin or fail, God keeps His promise and protects His Church from falling into error in her teaching.
I was baptized Catholic as an infant, and as I have grown up, I have questioned my beliefs. I have considered other positions for major beliefs of the Church, everything from Jesus being present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist, to moral teachings on things such as abortion, contraception, the true nature of marriage, etc. Every time, faith and reason has led me back to the Catholic Church-the Church that Jesus Christ established. Jesus tells us that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If we ever hope to be truly united in Christ, we need to trust that He means what He says. We need to trust that He knows what He is doing, and trust that those He left in charge will not lead us astray, and that His Church for 2,000 year has been protected from error.
All throughout the Church’s history, Jesus the Bridegroom has sought his Bride, the Church. in order to purify her and to become fully united with her. He consummated this covenant at Calvary on the marriage bed of the Cross. As the only way, the only truth, and the only life, logic dictates that our Lord can only have one Bride. As Christians, we simply cannot continue to remain separated from one another if we are to ever hope to make a significant impact on the world. St. Paul asked the Church of Corinth, “For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apol’los,” are you not merely men? What then is Apol’los? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each….you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” Christians are meant to be united, but like St. Paul says, we belong to Christ.
The Catholic Church calls us to be united to Christ, through our pastors, and with the Successor of Peter at the head. We see that this is how the Apostles and the Early Church lived after Pentecost. They saw this as the model for unity, and it was in those times that the Gospel was being spread like wildfire and the world was awakened by the message of salvation in the Person of Jesus Christ. Thousands upon thousands converted not simply because the news was so good, but because the world could see that the “followers of the Way” were united together. Christians, whether Catholic or Protestant, need a wholehearted return to Jesus, and need to assent to the Church which He established and not one created by someone else. Jesus is the Truth and the Truth does not change. The Church exists to defend and promote the Truth of Christ revealed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Unlike protestant denominations, the Catholic Church will never compromise those teachings because she realizes that these teachings are not hers to change. If the Church for 2,000 years has been sustained by the Holy Spirit from teaching error, and has remained united under one Lord, one faith, one baptism, why should we, as believers in Christ settle for anything less?
Below is a testimony from a previous protestant pastor and his wife, Scott and Kimberly Hahn.
Posted on September 15, 2014, in Apologetics, Apostolic Succession, Catholic, Christian, Christian Life, Christian Music, Communion, Pope, Unity and tagged Air1 Radio, Apologetics, Apostolic Succession, Catholic, Catholic Church, Christian, Christian Music, Christian Unity, church, communion, Levi Lusko, Papal Infallibility, unity. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.