Jesus answered the Jews: “Amen, amen, I say to you whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life…Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.”
Not too long ago, I spoke to an RCIA group regarding the significance and sacredness of the Mass; why we worship the way that we do. I ended my talk by telling them the story of a brochure I found, produced by an evangelical church, outlining ten reasons why some people do not go to Church. I agreed with the Church's “reasons” but I disagreed with their solutions. The solutions included such things as "Rock’em, Sock’em music", live skits, soft comfortable chairs, and other extravagant things. I told the RCIA group, “Don't you think that the Catholic Church would have invested in all of the above tactics long ago if it was convinced that this was the best and long term solution to boredom and to sin? We know it is not."
A member of RCIA, who I greatly admire, raised his hand and pointed out the danger of being self-righteous when discussing issues of faith with people from other denominations. We have to be careful not to be arrogant. I could not agree with him more. In fact, I would have gone even further and said, “Be careful when discussing issues of faith with members of your own faith!” But then he got me thinking when he said that we should never compare ourselves to others; and as a priest once reminded him, “We love everyone.”
What I love about RCIA members is that I always learn a lot from them. What I love even more about them is that they help me to reflect even more on my own vocation.
What does it mean to "love everyone?" Does it mean lying to everyone? Unfortunately, I am beginning to think so. That’s right. When I can’t share the Good News with others out of fear of insulting them or offending them or hurting them, then I end up sharing no news with everyone, and that is bad news for Jesus Christ.
Kirk Cameron, the former teen idol turned famous Christian actor, recently appeared on MSNBC's "Today Show" to clarify some statements he made regarding homosexuality. When asked what he thought about it, he simply said, “I think that it is unnatural. I think that it is detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.” Ann Curry, the star of this program, said his comments were “hurtful”.
Really? Would it have been best to not have said anything at all? Would that have been more loving?
Kirk Cameron is now being called an “extremist” by many in the homosexual industrial complex. Mind you, they do not consider their comments to be “hurtful” in the least. So my question to them is, “How should he have conveyed his opinion without being ‘hurtful’ but still honest?
Is it possible to love everyone without lying to everyone?
Jesus said, “Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.”
These are some hurtful words. But they do not begin to compare to the pain that will be suffered by those who do not follow the Lord’s advice. Would we say that the Lord did not transmit love in his statement? I wouldn’t. I would consider his warning to be very warming, too warming in fact. Or maybe he should not have mentioned this at all. Is no news better than bad news? Are we so civilized that we must now hear only what we want to hear? How unfortunate for our civilization!
If we call ourselves Christians, then we have been called to share the Good News with others, especially with those who disagree with us. If we have been called to share the words of Jesus Christ with others, then we have also been called to share in His life; which means, we have been called to be hated and persecuted like Him.
Kirk Cameron put himself into the frying pan by answering Connie’s question honestly and lovingly. I know how he feels. It would have been so much easier for him to just have shut up and gone away. But Christians have never shut up or gone away! Persecution and hatred is something we can all look forward to, today or tomorrow, especially when we are called to stand up for our Lord, his Church and his Word.
Kirk Cameron does not hate homosexuals, and I am proud to say that no Christian doctrine ever promoted hatred (except for sin, and lying is a sin). But what he does love, more than anyone else, is Jesus Christ, who is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.