"You refuse to believe because you are not My sheep." —John 10:26
Some leaders in the Church do not believe in Jesus. They bear "the title 'brother' " and enjoy the status within the Church, but they do not live holy lives, nor do they intend to repent (see 1 Cor 5:11). They are false brothers and sisters (Gal 2:4). Satan makes use of their position in the Church to lead people away from their "sincere and complete devotion to Christ" (2 Cor 11:3, 13-14).
How can you discern if someone is a false Christian and thereby prevent him or her from influencing you and others? (1 Cor 5:11)
They "belong to the world...theirs is the language of the world and...the world listens to them" (1 Jn 4:5). How does their talk compare to Ephesians 5:3-4?
They don't acknowledge Jesus Christ as come in the flesh (1 Jn 4:2-3). How do they act in the presence of the Eucharist? Do they acknowledge the Virgin Birth and Mary? Is their devotion real or merely lip-service? (Mt 15:8)
They do not produce good fruit (see Mt 7:20)."You will know them by their deeds" (Mt 7:16). Do they bear the undeniable fruit of holiness, faithfulness, and the fruit of the Spirit? (see Gal 5:22) Have many come to conversion or lasting faith through their leadership?
They don't use the sacrament of Confession.
They rebel against or even leave the Church (1 Jn 2:19).
"Do not be led astray any longer. 'Bad company corrupts good morals' " (1 Cor 15:33).
Prayer: Jesus, may false Christians come to know you as Lord, Savior, and God, repent deeply, and bear lasting fruit for You.
Promise: "No one shall snatch [My sheep] out of My hand." —Jn 10:28
Praise: After realizing she was in the choir to glorify herself and not God, Maria took some time off to re-orient.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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 April 1, 2008 through May 31, 2008. †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.