Ministry Imagine #6

Christian life is faith in Christ, not faith in an ideology about Christ.

  • I’m not a member of the Catholic Church but I happen to agree with Pope Francis here:

“The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge’ [cf. Lk 11:52]. The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.”

  • You can read more about his remarks in this article Pope Francis at Mass Calls for Greater Openness.
  • I do believe it is important that we not confuse faith in Jesus to faith in an ideology we believe about Jesus, for when we do then we are sure to make disciples of our ideology rather than disciples of Jesus.

Helping those in need and the ministry of benevolence.

  • Many churches struggle with their benevolence ministry. For sure, there are people willing to take advantage of charity and will even attempt deception in doing so. But…
  • We should never throw in the towel, so to speak, out of frustration because there are many people who are in need and do not know where to turn.
  • Benevolence is always an opportunity to extend the love of God to our neighbor, giving them a glimpse of who Jesus is.
  • I’m thankful also for other citizens like this police officer in Florida who recognized a mother’s desperation that led to shop-lifting but chose to buy her a $100 worth of groceries instead of arresting her (click on the link provided to watch the CNN video).

So what’s on your mind that can help us live as better ministers?

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5 responses to “Ministry Imagine #6

  1. I think a lot of Protestants are agreeing with Pope Francis. He is showing that you can change the tone without changing the message. He is likely the best representative Christianity has had in a while. The other two are the late Mother Theresa and late Princess Diana.

  2. Jesus in addressing the Pharisees, we would have to ask, what was the key to knowledge that they dismissed? Was it not the word of God? They did so by fabricating traditions and making man made regulations and they became blind to the scriptures. That’s what the Catholics did as well. They hindered the people from finding the true relationship with God that was required. That true relationship can only be found in God’s word. For you emerging church, social justice, deep thinker types, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.

    • Actually the Pharisees were quite able with the scriptures; their problem is that they failed to see who the scriptures pointed, looking instead to their Mosaic tradition instead of Jesus (cf. John 5:39-40). Sure sounds familiar to me. As for the Catholics. . . while not defending Catholic theology, you might want to do a little more reading in church history before painting with such a broad and maligning stroke of the brush.

  3. Rex, are you suggesting secular church history, or biblical church history? I would suggest that you need to study Acts 2, and all of the book of Acts to “study” church history, if your going to get it right. When you do so, you will see that the church of the first century was nothing like the Catholic church. The Catholic church appeared around 625 A.D. after the great apostasy had occurred. Your right, they did fail to see to whom the scriptures pointed. My point is, that would be the only way they or anyone is going to know about Him, that is how important God’s word is. What we believe and know about Jesus must come from the devine book. God has revealed what He wants us to know and what we must believe.

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