Which Gospel Will You Proclaim?
“But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach a Gospel to you
besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.”
the word of truth without deviation”
(2 Tim 2.15)
is the evangel that you proclaim in the name of Jesus Christ?
If it has brought you plaudits, welcoming smiles, and warm embraces,
then two — and only two — possibilities exist in those to whom you bring
They are deceiving
You are deceiving
Either they recognize
you as an imposter and politely tolerate you, in which case they are
deceiving you; or you are bringing them another gospel and passing it
off for Christ’s, in which case you are deceiving them.
But how are we to tell, to distinguish, between the real evangel and
the spurious? It is stunningly simple:
The Logical Biconditional
(≡ “if and only if”) and the True Gospel
If and only if,
you are hated for His Name's
If and only if,
you are reviled and marginalized,
especially by those who have a "vested” interest in Him (that
is to say, "Professional
If and only if,
they see you coming and
go the other way
), you can be certain that you are on the right track and proclaiming
the authentic evangel. Why?
you refuse to make a liar of Christ; because you refuse to make the
Word of God “correct”, polite, warm and fuzzy, acceptable and pleasing
to men and palatable to the world; and because you refuse to make it
the courtesan of current trends, to make salvation something social
or political ... even an entitlement — in short, because you
will not compromise the Word of God, or use it to any end but the salvation
of souls — and not the rehabilitation of corrupt ideologies and
reprehensible social agenda that fly in the face of God — because
of all this, you are hated, reviled, shunned, and excoriated by
the world, by the sons and daughters of men, the children of this
world who believe in nothing but this world.
Why do you wonder? What did you expect?
So was Saint Paul ...
Saint Paul took Christ
seriously; this Jesus Christ — Whom the world hated first
1... the same Christ (yesterday, today, and forever
2 ) Who assured us that the world which hated Him ... will
hate us, too 1.
Really ... the question begs itself: what did you expect, and why
would you expect otherwise?
If you are the darling of your parish, celebrated in every way, welcomed,
embraced by all (and, if you are honest with yourself, relish
it) ... in short, if you are loved by the world, you can be absolutely
certain that your evangel and Christ’s Evangel are not the same.
It is not how the world received, and treated, Christ. It is not how
the world, received, and treated, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, or all the
Holy Martyrs and Saints. It is not how the world will treat you.
And you, daughter, son of God ... did you expect otherwise?
These are hard words.
You do not like them. But so is the reality in the letter of Saint Paul
to the Galatians in which he pointedly warns us (as did Christ Himself
“If we deny Him, He will deny us.”
“What is this?!”
you ask incredulously. That
soft, delicate and effeminated Christ of so much religious art, so carefully
coiffed, with uncalloused hands and manicured nails, the mass-produced
velvet-art Christ ... this Christ will deny us?!
Unthinkable! It doesn’t fit the color palette we have chosen, the one
that we blatantly corrupt and distort with impunity, even with approbation.
And you are right, this Christ will not deny you.
But the real Christ will. He has said so.
“He that shall deny me before men, I will also
deny him before my Father who is in Heaven.”
Saint Paul was telling us nothing new, nothing that Jesus Christ did
not tell us Himself.
And what, in turn, will we tell others? Something new?
Something different? Something other? Will we dare to bring Christ,
not on a color palette but on a Cross, and preach Christ, not glamorized,
but crucified? And what shall we expect as a consequence? Adulation?
The world spat in the face of Christ. It buffeted Saint Paul and clapped
him in irons. It bound Christ to the Cross and Saint Paul in Chains,
but for all its efforts it could not bind the Word, which, despite the
most egregious temporizing, remains — just as Christ promised.
But for others — those who preach an “acceptable” evangel, a
“gospel” and a Christ of their own making — the world holds out
its embrace; they are crowned with laurels, not thorns, accorded plaudits
and accolades, not scorn and derision. They offer the world what it
wants to hear ... not what it needs to hear. Desperately.
Which evangel, then, and which Christ, will you proclaim?
Boston Catholic Journal
St. John 15.18
St. Matthew 24.35
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opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
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