Church Members Should Keep "Leadership" in Proper Perspective
Al D Squitieri, Sr
For months now, I’ve been reading comments in the local papers about the closing, bashing or disapproval of the Catholic Church.
The title of the latest piece was Catholic Church Leaders Should Emulate Obama.
That reveals much. Obama is not what the church should be emulating, Christ is the leader of the church, any church, and Him only. Obama may be a smooth talker (with prompter) and a slick Rock Star, in the eyes of those wanting hand-out Socialism, an assumed new messiah.
If we followed scripture, the church as warehouse would be taking care of it’s own, including the men fathering children, the elderly, poor and sick ~ not the government. Your messiah is Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Saviour and Coming King. The 1,500 word “missile” (non-religious kind) fired at the Catholic Church, and it’s “absolutely monarchy of grumpy old men is destroying the church, and stuck in the Dark Ages” accusing them of being religious zealots and liars, who are stealing from the churches, using our money to pay lawsuits regarding priests, and committing fraud.
Yet, inviting local politicians to join the fight against the church, this after claiming separation of Church and State. And still claiming to have great sadness over closed structures, to be treated as historical buildings. But I will not deliberate on these comments thereby getting into the politics passed off as religion, both dangerous in them selves, when considering what is the true spiritual aspect of the problem.
True, the church has a dilemma in following the traditions of a denomination, the wants of a worldly congregation, or the teaching of Christ and the Holy Scriptures. I would advise following the Word of God and not man, even if it kills you, or your denomination. You should be thankful for any church leader willing to follow implicitly the whole Word of God, and not church religion, tradition or history. Not one in the same. It may be 2009 outside your church, where demands are made to follow the world’s idea of right and wrong (most being ultra liberal) but it should be The Word of God in your church, not men’s law or twisted ideas.
In all the thousands of angry and totally insulting words written, however having some truth, I have not seen the word God or Christ mentioned once! The officials were judged, insulted and condemned, but at the same time we heard Who are we to Judge ~ is it those who choose to disregard scripture and it’s demands? Not church demands, but God’s commands. We put our hope, trust and fate in men, political parties and denominations, to say little of historical structures that have become void of Faith and God Himself. I would not follow Obama into hell, anymore then I would Joe Biden, Reverend Wright, Billy Graham, Jim Baker, Jimmy Swagert, Mother Theresa, or the Pope himself. Only One person laid down His life for my sins and yours, Jesus is His name, Christ is His title, His Death was payment for our sins and our salvation. He did not die because of our sins, He died for them. It is the reason He came. The ransom paid for your release from Satan’s hold. You remember calling Him the Lamb of God in your prayers?
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is Eternal Life through the Lord Jesus Christ”(Romans 6:23 in your Catholic Action Edition) The Son, died once for all and for all who call upon His Name. So whom do you believe should be the C.E.O of your historical structure?
Another misuse of a quote from the Bible, said “Upon this rock I shall build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it”
“It”, being the Body. Not an historical site, not brick and mortar, but the Body of Christ, all those calling themselves Christians. The rock the Lord spoke of was Peter’s FAITH in Him! Peter or Petros (pebble), was asked by Christ whom do you say I am? Peter answered (by faith) Thou are the Christ, the Son of God” It was upon Peter’s Faith that Jesus started to build the Body of Christ.
Upon this Faith, they went out and made Disciples, not church members, but followers of Christ and His teachings. Peter’s faith is what we should all have in a Living Lord. In fact, Peter was not buried under the Vatican or even in Rome, and surprise, when speaking of priest should be married (I agree) the Lord healed Peter’s wife’s mother, meaning Peter, like Paul, also had a Thorn In The Flesh, with Peter, it was a Mother-in-law (Luke 4:38 in your Catholic Bible) Our assumed first Pope was married. Who rewrote that fact?
So, before coming unarmed to a battle over spiritual things (or the lack of them) try reading the manual, it’s called the Bible, instructions the Lord gave us to steer our lives, with the added guidance, teaching and comfort of the One He left in His place, The Third PERSON of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Therein find the needed strength and guidance as to what GOD wants from us, and our churches, and who God really is, not being dependent on man or the flesh, which is of the world. Is it a wonder churches are empty or closing? The world has crowded out a once strong faith, and the very Head of the Church, Christ Himself.
Who gains from all this? The fallen angel. Lucifer, who will do anything to keep Christians from leading more souls into God’s Kingdom. He has been defeated at the Cross and the Grave, but he roams about seeking whom he can devour and seems to have found many busy fighting over buildings, money and whatever gods they have put in place of the Lord. Satan doesn’t haunt the beer joints, drug dens and brothels, no, he knows he has them secure, he haunts the supposed spiritual circles, looking for all those who once called themselves Christians, and were suppose to be about their Father's business. But instead, have gone the way of the world, politics, greed, false power, jealousy, we all know them.
So, instead of crying over lost buildings, try crying over lost souls.
Instead of critiquing and rudely bashing your church leaders, support them in prayer and service. Instead of bringing the world into your historical structure or your glass menageries, leave it outside, and bring your love and faith into the meeting place for believers, regardless of whatever name you have over the front door. Keep your eyes upon Jesus, not man.
Wherever two (or 100) are gathered in my Name, there I will be in the midst of you!
Is He first and foremost in your congregation? Or has it become a gathering place for Democrats, Republicans, dove sellers, self-righteous sinners, play-acting at religion, a gathering of gossipers and dividers, or worse, power crazed zealots using the pulpit for their own agendas? Are you all believers, followers and disciples of Christ, doing His work, His will, His way? If you are not being feed the pure word of the Lord, and cannot see the words being spoken in your Bible, then leave that place and find one that does preach and teach the immutable Word of God. Because it’s 2009, doesn’t mean the Lord’s commandments, requirements for holy living or His promises have changed, even if they say so on MSNBC, Broadway, Hollywood, Wall Street or the dangerous internet, where everything goes, right or wrong, true or false.
Remember, every closed church is a victory for the enemy, and the enemy is not your neighbor. He is the one you are suppose to love, not hate.
Originally appeared in The Valley News, Oswego County, New York: April 1 2009