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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Stick to your guns! Truth is NOT determined by popular opinion!

Sometimes I have to laugh at the rabid feminist extremists, the secularists, the "Cafeteria Catholics", etc., those who continue to demand that the Church change in order to meet their idea of "morality". I have to laugh at the man with two names, referenced in a previous post, who has chosen to change history according to his own agenda only to accuse the writers of scripture to have done exactly that.

I have to laugh, because we as solid Christians already know the end of this battle, we already know who wins...and every so often I need to remind myself of that for fear I take all of this too seriously. That's not to negate our own part in this spiritual battle, but rather, it reaffirms it and helps us to refocus; we are warriors, we have been called to be so, and we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. We need to keep our confidance in Jesus and remember the example he set, his promise that he will always be with us, and the command to continue his work.

This is my way of continuing that work, as pitiful as it may seem.

A couple weeks ago I heard someone on Relevant Radio (AM 1330 in the Twin Cities metro area, Minnesota) stating that if the Church did change her position on certain hotbutton topics, ie contraception, abortion, euthanasia, etc., then this would NOT obtain more followers, but people would both leave in droves and the Church would be the rightful butt of much derision.

Who hasn't heard the term "stick to your guns!" It's one thing to acknowledge that you are wrong; it's another to give up your position when you know you are RIGHT! And in the case of the Catholic Church, being "right" does not belong to us, the followers of Jesus, but rather to our Triune God. It is He who commands us to stick to our guns.

I happened to remember an incident from my teenage/young adult years. My best friend was somewhat of a wild card and she continued, constantly, along with other friends and acquaintances to wear me down to committ a certain act which was mortally sinful. I did not say much, just went on my way, knowing right from wrong. This was not a huge outright battle, but one which just wore away at me; much as rain does at at sandstone rock face. Much as the ocean wears on the rocks of the is gradual, not an outright attack. It is commmonly referred to as "Peer pressure" which can indeed take out our retaining walls with a Category 5 sustained blast, but more often, it just happens over time.

My best friend never said much, just told me her stories, shared her "fun", and waited for me to pass judgment. I never did, although I did tell her that what she was doing was dangerous to herself and others, it was beneath her dignity, etc...she knew all of this and became very defensive so I always dropped it.

She suffered consequences, but refused to relent...she was having too much fun.

Finally, finally, I gave in to this sin. Willfully, under much pressure by some others, and the next day I was bitten by remorse. I didn't know what to do. I felt horrible...I had given in to this thing that "everyone else" said was "OK" and "Right", but in committing the act, I knew deep within my soul that it was wrong and that I was changed forever for giving up the ship, for not sticking to my guns.

I traded morality for popularity. I traded morality for what I thought was respect, only to learn that I was nothing but another sinner...and I already knew I was a sinner, anyway. And in the end, I lost the respect of all those I had trusted and believed before.

It was empty, and I felt empty. There is no victory when you wave a white flag, and that's a lesson we all need to learn. It is better to die standing your ground than to lose your soul by forfeiture.

I went to my best friend and I confessed my deed to her, looking for strength. I wanted to share my feelings, explain them, thinking she must have felt the same way. By the way she'd spoken on occasion, I was sure she had felt the same but covered it.

Instead of consoling me, she added insult to injury. She told me, "See? Now you're no better than I am so you can't say ANYTHING!"

What does someone say to that? I had never before realized that she saw me as a "better person" for not engaging in that particular sin while everyone else raged around me. I had never before understood that she thought I thought myself better than her as a person because I had withstood the pressure until that point.

I understood after my confession to her that she now saw me as a HYPOCRITE. In capital letters, just like that.

And when she responded to me like that, I was crushed. I didn't know what to say, I didn't know what to do, and I didn't know where to go. By giving in to the pressure and confessing my weakness to her, rather than having respect for me, rather than giving me the big "thumbs up" and "welcome to the club!", she tore me down. She attacked me where it hurt the most, and rather than strengthening our bond, I had forfeited any possible "leadership to Christ" I might have possessed. I had poisoned any seeds I might have sown, unknowing that they were even there.

I remember thinking I could go to her, this having been a barrier between us to some degree. I thought that if others knew that I had done this, they would see me differently and finally accept me. But that's not what happened. I, being one of the last holdouts, became the lowest of the low. I became trash.

It still hurts to think about this, but I post it because I would like those of you who question the Church's stance on morality to really remember some point in your life when you felt like this. When did you hold your place, knowing you were right, only to give in to the pressure and learn that you would have at least "died" well had you stood your ground?

If the Church did what I did, and what you have done, and followed human nature, she would not be the Church, and God would not be God; he would be just a guy behind a curtain with an artificially amplified voice...very much like the ACLU.

If the Church caved in and "decided" that contraception, abortion, euthanasia, Holy Communion for all comers was acceptable, then she would not be respected, she would NOT be a part of the club, and she would not obtain more followers. Jesus would not be seen as he is, our Savior, but would be slandered as a wimp. His name would not change hearts, his Church would lose all ability to speak out against any evil in the world, because the culture would cry out, "What do you have to say, you Papists? What do YOU have to say about it, Mr. Pope! What do you have to say about it Catholic Church! You're just the same as us! You gave in! I can't believe you fell for it! NOW I have less respect than I ever did, and NOW I have the RIGHT to trample you because YOU have proven me CORRECT and you have NO AUTHORITY!"

Truth does not give in, it does not quit, it does not fall to challenge, it is not changed by a vote of any kind. Truth is eternal.

Individually, we are imperfect, and we fall, and we are trampled.

And if the Church changed according to demand, the Church would fall. This will never happen, because the Catholic Church is guided by the Holy Spirit as established by Jesus Christ himself. Have you noticed that some denominations have fallen and some will fall--because they have chosen to change according to the winds of the culture? Have you taken note of that?

Those who make up the Church on the human side are imperfect in nature, and individually, they can and do fall, but their individual failings do NOT change the Moral Truth and the Faith taught by Jesus Christ and Sacred Tradition.

I will close with one of my favorite Pope Benedict XVI quotes, spoken while he was still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger: "TRUTH IS NOT DETERMINED BY A MAJORITY VOTE"

As the Church has stood for centuries, so must we as individuals stand as holy warriors for Christ, and so must we continue to uphold and fight for the truth. Our personal example may not reach many, but even if a few are affected when we stick to our guns, then the world can be changed for the better and countless souls may enter the gates of heaven by the very grace of God.

Stick to your guns, my friends. The Truth is your sword. Use it well.


Ray from MN said...

Your experience is something that most of us have been through. Peer pressure is very powerful and our peers rarely have our best interest at heart.

Well said!


Adoro Te Devote said...

I think you said it all: "Our peers rarely have our best interest at heart."