If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Unwilling to Offend

No man cometh unto the Father but by Me. (John 14:6)

In our pluralistic culture which insists
one religious view is equal to another,
where it is offensive –
in some cases, nearly criminal –
to say Christ is the only one in all creation,
the only one in heaven, on earth, or under the earth
 who can open heaven;
that Jesus is fundamentally and inherently superior
to any other religious faith
or secular, humanistic philosophy  . . .
The culture would have a legitimate point,
a compelling argument,
a  persuasive proposal,
were it not for the undeniable
bodily resurrection
of Jesus.
Raised from death
through His own power,
and lifted to the right hand of the Almighty’s Throne,
it is not Moses who will judge the living and the dead.
Nor Muhammad. Nor Buddha.
Nor any other revered religious leader
or author of some secular,
humanistic philosophy.
It is Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Christ,
Who will judge us from that Throne,
and from that Throne will return to earth;
this time not as a meek, humble servant,
but as an invincible, terrifying warrior
whose sword will be red
with the blood of His enemies.
It is not culturally savvy or genteel
to say otherwise,
but if we who should speak 
remain silent
in this culture,
countless souls will be lost to eternity
who might have been rescued
by those who knew how to save them,
but were unwilling to offend.


Nancy Shuman said...

These last 4 lines have pierced right through me. I pray they have left a wound of motivation.

Richard Maffeo said...

Amen, for us both.

RAnn said...

But offending them isn't the way to bring them to Christ either. Somehow you have to convince them you have something good that they do not; rather than to point out that they are wrong. It's a fine line, and a tough one to find.

Richard Maffeo said...

Certainly we ought not purposely offend anyone. But Jesus said the gospel is offensive and divisive. Part of our problem, from my perspective anyway, is we are so often so skittish about hurting someone's feelings that we water down the truth until it is unrecognizable. You are right, there is a line between truth and unnecessary offense. Perhaps today's Church has taken the easy way out so often that, well, our world is in the horrible spiritual state we now witness.

Michael Seagriff said...

We will never know this side of heaven what souls might have been saved had we the courage to share the Truth

Richard Maffeo said...

Michael, you also have a worthwile blog. Thanks for writing it.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

There is no way the Truth is not offensive to those who want to sin. We have to tell it like it is the best way we can especially on subjects like sin, death, judgment,heaven and hell. I can't agree with you more.

I think it isn't until people are hurting enough to ask "why?" that they will be open to the miracles of God's grace. When they say to themselves, "There has to be an answer to a better life," then their hearts are ripe for opening.

Patricia said...

Bold and inspiring post, Richard. Where do you think the power of prayer fits in here? I find that sometimes, all I can do is pray for people...who want nothing to do with what I might have to say to them personally about God and salvation. This especially applies to close family members.

Richard Maffeo said...

Barb, you said in part: When they say to themselves, "There has to be an answer to a better life," then their hearts are ripe for opening.

Yes, that is true. But in my esperience with others, the bottom line always comes down, "Do I want to turn my life over to Jesus and do what HE wants me to do, even though I don't like what He tells me." As a Christian, it's hard enough for ME at times to say, "Yes to Jesus," when my flesh screams, No, not now."

Richard Maffeo said...

Patricia, my wife and I have prayed for decades for our family. All we can do is continue to pray and beg God for mercy for them, and implore the Saints to join us in prayer. As long as they (family for whom we pray) are alive, there is hope.

Sometimes, too, I think of the Good Thief's mother who likely never knew of her son's conversion at the last minutes of his life.

God is faithful to the prayers of His children. I must believe that.