Wednesday, May 27, 2009

False Prophets

First Reading: Acts 20:28-38
Psalm: Ps 68:29-30, 33-36
Gospel: Jn 17:11b-19

I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them. - Acts 20:29-30

When is a lie most dangerous? When it has been mixed with truth. What lies are the most damaging? The ones that distort the Truth.

It seems that every other day we hear of a new scandal, or find that an old heresy is being revived. However, if we walk back through history, we find that it has always been so. In Paul's time, there were Jewish Christians who demanded that the Mosaic Law must be followed for salvation. Soon after, it was the Gnostics denied the Incarnation, working from the standpoint that matter is evil (all bad things come from the material world, right?). Arius used Christian terms, Christian scriptures and convincing arguments to make the case that Jesus was only a servant of God. As a priest and respected theologian, his arguments convinced many people to deny the Trinity, even prominent members of the Church.

Again and again, we see this pattern; someone who speaks well and has done a lot of studying (never mind what they were studying) emerges and draws away those who do not have a solid understanding of their faith. Neale Donald Walsch with his "Conversations with God" series is a modern-day example. Even today, I heard of a new one, Adidam.

Friends, we must remember two things as we continue our walk. First, it is of the utmost importance that we learn our faith. Not everyone is called to be a theologian, but all should spend some time to understand the basics; that is what Sunday is for. Second, we must be on our guard, to be on the lookout for false teachings. If some topic becomes an area of debate, do not rely upon who speaks best, or who has the most convincing arguments. Listen to what the leaders of the Church have to say, or read the Catcechism for yourself. Pay no heed to those who tell you that there is an easier way. An above all, pray.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of this day. We thank you for the many great teachers that you have sent to us, and the powerful leaders you have given us in our day. Lord, grant us wisdom, that we might be able to distinguish Truth from heresy. Give us knowledge, that we might confront those who seek to draw our brothers and sisters with smooth speech. We ask all of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings

    I just found your blog listed under the New Blogs in the St. Blog's Parish Directory. Welcome to the Directory and welcome to the Catholic blogosphere.

    Laudetur Jesus Christus!