Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Message of the Gospel

If the first Christians, St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Ignatius, St. Polycarp and St. Ireneaus had access to a printing press, do you think this would be the front page of their first gospel tract?

Close your eyes for a minute . Let's put ourselves back into those early days of the Old Time Religion. Let's imagine ourselves outside the coliseum as a vibrant enthusiastic new believer handed out these tracts to the boisterous crowd lining up to watch the festivities of the day.
I suspect the tract would tell the wondrous story of how God came to earth to suffer and die for us and rose again so we may never die. It would talk about the need to be baptised and repent for the forgiveness of our sins. It would tell of the need to offer up ourselves and our suffering to him in all the trials and tribulations of life. It would talk about conforming ourselves to his suffering and mortifying the flesh. It would tell about the opportunity to receive Christ in the "breaking of the bread." Finally it would conclude that the reader could enjoy eternal life with Christ if he endured until the end.

Now open your eyes.
How has the gospel message been changed since those early times? How has Christianity been molded to fit our affluent culture? How have the truths passed down through apostolic tradition been modified? Is the gospel message and the way of salvation based on the writings of Scripture and the Church Fathers recognizable in the "gospel" preached in our world today?

Compare and contrast.


Blogger George Weis said...

Russ, I LOVE IT!

I was just reading Eusebius again (I continue to try to plug through it... sometimes with long breaks). Anyway, I just hit another string of martyrs and their braver in the face of terribly painful death. The practically skipped into that Coliseum to finish the race. When I read those accounts I pray that if the time comes, I too would stand as they did against every obstacle and hold onto Christ.

Today, the message is way to easy. Particularly in the Evangelical camp there is the "say the pray - good as gold" idea. Christ paid that debt, but, we in turn give our entire selves to him. The Early Christians understood, and they already were bent on dying to themselves, so actual physical death was the fulfillment of that. Awesome!

Please Father, enable us all to stand if and when that day comes, to hold fast until the end by your grace and power. Amen


May 17, 2009 9:20 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Great post, Russ. I'll be thinking about it a lot!

May 18, 2009 8:12 AM  

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