Friday, May 20, 2011

Post-Rapture Pet Sitters, and The Church as the Pillar and Foundation of Truth

Hello, Coffee Talkers!

You know, since last night's post on my Five Reasons I'm Excited About the Rapture, I've realized a few things:

1. There are quite a lot of people who really believe in the Rapture, and in the prediction that it is going to happen tomorrow. Like these people who set up an apparently real registry for After-Rapture Pet Care!

2. Many non-religious people (atheists, agnostics, other 'fallen away' and 'former' Catholics and other Christians) think that all people who are religious are unthinking and brainwashed morons who have no ability to think rational thoughts.

3. While many people mock, disregard, and disrespect the authority of the Catholic Church and her Magisterium (or teaching office) in regard to matters of faith and morals, things like these Rapture predictions make clear the need for the Church's authority.

To be a religious person and to submit to the authority of the Church does not make someone a mindless automaton. I have many more thoughts on this (see, religious people can think!), but for now, may I recommend Blessed John Paul II's Fides et Ratio and Msgr. Luigi Giusanni's The Religious Sense? These works have been profoundly formative in my own journey as a religious person who strives for an integration of faith and reason in my daily life, and I suspect that they will change your lives and thinking as well.

From a Catholic Christian perspective, the idea of the Rapture comes from a misinterpretation of certain Scripture passages. There are many layers of meaning to Sacred Scripture, so the Church's authority does not prohibit people from understanding the Scriptures in various ways and having personal application of the Word of God in their lives. However, there are certain things that particular Scripture passages do not mean and support. The Rapture, for example. Or the idea that any person can predict when the world is going to end. Because that concept (much like the entire concept of sola scriptura) is itself NOT SCRIPTURAL. How and why could any Christians believe that someone could predict the end of the world is far beyond me, since Jesus said very clearly that no one knows the day or hour of his return, not the Son, nor even the angels, but God the Father alone.

The Catholic Church is an institution which is both human and divine, and the trustworthiness of her authority stems from the authority of Christ Himself, who founded the Church and passed on His authority through the generations by Apostolic Succession. It is the Holy Spirit which guards and protects the integrity of the Scriptures and the moral and ethical teachings of the Church. The Church, like it says in the first letter of Timothy, is "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15).

A lot of people these days hate authority. A lot of people these days hate the idea of absolute truth. And a lot of people these days hate the Catholic Church. How can a Church with so many sinful people in it have authority, many wonder; how can it be rightly called "the pillar and foundation of truth"? Because God has established it to be so. If we accept the Scriptures as the Word of God, if we accept Divine Revelation at all, then acceptance of this authority also becomes necessary. Without the authority of the Church, we are left without a foundation for religious and moral truth. Without the authority of the Church, the Rapture is tomorrow.

Well, enough chatter for one night! Time to pray and sleep. I will be sure to keep all of you readers in my prayers, and certainly appreciate all of you who have prayed for me, as well!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Peace and all good,

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