By Nneka Okumazie
It is scary to see the recklessness with which many, who attend other churches, criticise the Catholic church.
Some love to take a stand, picking apart their doctrines like it’s a strategy for evangelism, or like the church is the problem of Christianity.
[Luke 6:37, Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:]
It is easy to find fault, or find a reason to point out something felt incorrect, but ultimately, no church [or priest, or pastor, or prophet] is the standard of true Christianity.
[Hebrews 12:2, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.]
Some say but they also request to Mary – mother of the Lord Jesus, when He came in the flesh.
Yes, there is no recommendation of this in the Acts of the Apostles – with so many prayers, but it is not the duty of anyone to judge.
People pray all kinds of prayers, have all kinds of wishes and seek ways to get Christ’s answer, albeit Christ prays for His people.
[Hebrews 7:25, Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.]
Some other people found the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer not contemporaneous.
Well, it is the standard of prayer, can be prayed as it is, or modelled after, but does not mean praying exactly, hallowing – in spirit and in truth, would be ignored by the Lord.
Christ, in Revelation 2 & 3, commended and corrected different churches.
The Epistles are letters, also offering corrections, instructions and commendations, to churches.
The Sermon on the Mount is a standard that Christ set for His people. It will be difficult to be focused on perfecting those and have time for criticism.
Some people have pointed to the indictments of certain Catholic priests.
Yes, despicable, but the priests weren’t an example of Christ, the standard of the true Christian faith.
The ultimate target of the criticism is Christ, the word of God.
Any human being can fail their own standards, aside the standard of Christ.
No human controls entry into heaven, which is the ultimate target, for true believers.
The fiercest of genuine holiness preachers [pastors, or priest, or prophets] often say that until entry, none can confirm if – in – heaven.
So, perceiving the church as unsatisfactory is not a call to judgement.
Some can argue that Christ criticised, that some Apostles criticised, so why not?
Basing messages on criticisms would lose more souls from coming to Christ.
Some people are facing oppression, repression and persecution and sometimes need one word of God, to stand firm, as they are drawn to Christ.
[John 12:32, And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.]
So, if what they hear is criticism, they may go on to add to the already saturated evil and wickedness in the world.
As a fact, basing on criticism is a tool of self-righteousness, forgetting grace.
[Luke 18:11, The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.]
The Sermon on the Mount [Matthew 5 – 7] remains a lesson.
[Matthew 7:3, And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?]
Though difficult in a world to want to fight back, insult, not forgive, lust, do evil and be wicked, the word of God is forever settled in heaven.
[Matthew 5:44-45, But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.]
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