Friday, December 28, 2012

The True Church of Christ (Continued)

Yesterday, I gave to you five things to consider that are parallels between Christ and the Catholic Church as evidence that she is truly the Bride of Christ, the one True, Holy, and Apostolic Church.  Today, I give you five more as promised.  Think over these things, my friend, and consider whether or not these things can be said of the church you belong to.

1. Christ was born in humble circumstances

There is little more humble than being born in a stable and laid in a feed trough because there's no where else for you.

2. Soon after Christ's birth, he was hunted by authorities

The anger of Herod came raining down like fire on the heads of all male children in the area of Bethlehem when the wise men failed to bring the Christ child to him.  Herod saw a threat to his power, and moved to eliminate that threat before it could take root.  Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Innocents in honor of all those children who died because of Herod's desire to eliminate Christ.

3. Christ remained in hiding for a time before emerging

Mary, Joseph, and Christ all fled to Egypt and stayed there until after the death of Herod.

4. Christ's following grew as he got older.

Through his outreach to others, he began to attract a following from all walks of life. Those who came to follow him heard and embraced his timeless teachings.

5. Christ was persecuted throughout his life

Here are the parallels with the Catholic Church:

1. The Church was born in humble circumstances

Born in the upper room, where the apostles gathered after the Ascension of Jesus to await the promised help, there could be no more humble way for a faith to be born than this.  None of the 11 remaining disciples were well known or widely respected. There is little to suggest that any of them had the stuff required to gather to themselves a great number of followers.

2. Soon after the Church's birth, she was hunted by authorities

Romans and Jews alike soon turned on the fledgling Christians, hunting them down and persecuting them. Yesterday we celebrated the feast of St. Stephen, first of the martyrs who was killed during this hunt.

3. The Church remained in hiding for a time before it was safe to emerge.

Though the Church did not stop preaching the gospel, she did take her message underground for several centuries during the persecutions in order that the Church might survive.  The evidence of this can be found written on the walls of the Catacombs in Rome.

4. The Church's following grew as she matured

As the Church grew in age, so too did she grow in the number of her followers.  Men and women from all places heard and embraced her timeless teachings because in them they heard the teachings of Christ.

5. The Church has been persecuted throughout her life.

There has not been a time when the Church did not face some form of persecution, whether by forces outside or by forces seeking to destroy her from inside.

There you have the 10 parallels of the Catholic Church to Christ.  Now that I have shown them to you, it is up to you to decide whether or not you will heed what I say or ignore it. I do not mean to tell you that the Church you follow is 100% wrong. It isn't. If it were, the lie would be easier to spot and harder to ignore.

There is one final argument I give you for examining your doubts about the Catholic Church, and this is not by any means the least of my arguments.  If you wish to find the true Church of Christ, look no further than the Church that has remained united - one baptism, one body, one faith - for over 2000 years. This, perhaps, is the most telling of all.  Though other branches have broken away, splintered by time, by pride, and by dissension, the Church remains united and attached to the vine.

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