Most of us grew up in a Christian environment. We're accustomed to Christian terminology and activities. Because of this, it's difficult for people to see Christianity objectively. From the point of view of many outsiders, Christianity is "complete absurdity" (1 Cor 1:18). For example, Jesus commanded us to love our enemies (Mt 5:44), "offer no resistance to injury," even turn the other cheek, give a bonus to anyone who has defrauded us in court, and volunteer to go an extra mile after having been forced to go the first one (Mt 5:39-41).
This sounds absurd, but Jesus followed this literally, even to death on the cross. The early Church did so as well, "acting with patient endurance amid trials, difficulties, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, and riots" (2 Cor 6:4-5). Paul describes how outsiders look at Christians: "We are called impostors, yet we are truthful; nobodies who in fact are well known; dead, yet here we are, alive; punished, but not put to death; sorrowful, though we are always rejoicing; poor, yet we enrich many. We seem to have nothing, yet everything is ours!" (2 Cor 6:8-10)
Does this describe you as a Christian? Or have you merely subscribed to a cultural Christianity that is a far cry from the real thing? Is your Christianity "complete absurdity"? Or is it the contemporary lukewarm counterfeit?
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2009 through July 31, 2009.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009.