In today’s world it’s common to hear one thing and then before you blink find the statement has been amended. Well we men are fallible are we? A few Atheists were left irked when given a free Papal pass to Heaven by the only “infallible man” on earth the Roman Catholic Pope Francis himself and only to have a mere mortal who called himself a spokesman for the Vatican revoke their free pass the next second:
It’s sort of problematic to contradict someone who’s supposed to be the infallible voice of your religion, but that’s apparently what’s happened here. Refuting Pope Francis’ statements last week that those who “do good” will go to heaven, regardless of faith or lack thereof, the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, has corrected his boss, saying those who know about the Catholic Church “cannot be saved” if they “refuse to enter her or remain in her.” So that’s pretty clear, we guess. There’s only one way to settle this: Thunderdome. Two high-ranking church officials enter; one high-ranking church official leaves.
We don’t need a fist fight or Thunderdome styled wrestling match (though that would be entertaining for our pagan and Atheist friends). The question on who will go to Heaven is the big question that every one of us must ask ourselves during our pilgrimage on this earth.
In the modern times in which we live where every body has got the attention span of a gnat it is not surprising to see that many times some pastors opt to dress too casually in t-shirts and jeans to try and emulate popular stand up comedians. Well it actually works…these churches surely get filled up very soon. Most of the churches actually have high turn overs with new faces literally fighting for empty front row seats every week (and an even higher numbers leaving through the back door in search of funnier and more entertaining routines).
Church growth gurus now advocate for “hip and relevant” programmes that are geared to effect maximum entertainment and comedic fun at the expense of discipleship and Bible study. The youth groups are actually not far behind. (Oops! I guess that is the understatement of the generation seeing that its in church youth groups and clubs that the bar is usually lowered to be as permissive as possible to allow as much folly as can be crammed in a short time away from the adults). Aren’t we then surprised when we have Bible illiterate congregations? So are we yet aware where these “comedy wars” will take us?
Alan Redpath had some interesting things to say on this topic:
“God is trying to tell us that our current popular version of Christianity – comfortable, humorous, superficial, entertaining, worldly-wise – is exposed for the irreverent presentation of the Gospel of Christ that it really is. A preacher is commissioned to give people – not what they want – but what they need. No man has any business walking into the pulpit to entertain. He is there to present Calvary in all it’s fullness of hope and glory.”
With all the frenzy these days of a fresh revelation and a little pinch of Lectio divina to help hear a new voice of God speaking to us again. Why not go back to square one….
We all want to hear from God. Now you can share the secret closely guarded by our forebears in the faith. This simple yet ancient formula will enable you to experience the voice of God speaking directly into your life:
Get hold of a reliable translation of the Bible, such as the NKJV or the ESV. (Sorry, no, The Message doesn’t work for this spiritual discipline.)