Thursday, April 25, 2013

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge ..."

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." (Hosea 4:6)

THE LUKEWARM (an indictment):

One reason for the lukewarmness, of course, is lack of courage to stand against the tide of opposition to Catholic truth. It's a natural inclination to want to be liked by others. What happens when one stands for truth, even by modestly proposing that those who support same-sex relationships should not receive communion? One may expect to get SLAMMED by the hateful opposition, as the Archbishop of Detroit was recently slammed by Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson over this issue (see Deacon Greg Kandra's post, The Deacon's Bench, April 24, 2013). Let's face it. It can't be easy being a priest, much less a bishop.

I was talking with a colleague recently about Sunday homilies. What priests must constantly remind themselves of, he was saying, is that we don't go to Mass in order to listen to them voice their personal opinions or share their experiences. (How dull that could become. They're priests, for crying out loud, not stand up comics; and they should not confuse their roles any more than biological fathers should waste their time trying to persuade their kids that they're 'hip', which they never are.)

No, we go to hear the proclamation of God's Word. What does this mean, in practice? It means that the priest must "forget himself," as it were, in the moment of the homily and remember his role in persona Christi: the proclamation he gives is Christ's, not his own. This does not mean dwelling on a theology of condemnation, though he must not shy from speaking the judgment of God where it is required. It means he must become the voice of Christ calling His sheep to follow Him -- to green pastures, yes, but also in paths of righteousness for His Name's sake, as the Psalmist says (Ps 23). In other words, he must "man-up" and take on the persona Christi, become Christ to others; and that is no small task!

Update: Fr. Z, "WaPo: Homosexual Episcopal bishop dictates to Catholic what we should believe" (WDTPRS, April 29, 2013).


Anonymous said...

God loves the "lukewarm" just as much as he loves the "fervent." I think we forget that faith is not handed out in uniform quantities. It would be good to remember that. Not everyone who appears lukewarm is inferior to us.

Pertinacious Papist said...

While we cannot discern the hearts of others and it is not our place to condemn others, our Lord declares that "because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will vomit thee out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:14).

I'm not sure what you mean, Anonymous, by the statement that God loves the "lukewarm" just as much as the "fervent." If you mean that these dispositions may be superficial or hypocritical, I would agree that we can be mistaken in our discernment of others and cannot condemn. It's never our place to condemn other individuals, although we should discern what is good and bad behavior.

Neither am I sure what you mean by your statement that "faith is not handed out in uniform quantities." While faith as a supernatural virtue is a gift from God, what a person does by way of response with this gift is up to his free will. In fact, if we pray for an increase of any of the supernatural virtues (faith, hope, charity), this is a prayer that God cannot NOT answer!

Therefore, it would seem that the notion that people are not responsible for their spiritual state, that it's just a matter of how much "faith" God gives a person, would be untenable.

But it's also possible that I have misunderstood your meaning.

JM said...

"Not everyone who appears lukewarm is inferior to us."

THAT is your take away from Vorris' totally non-controversial clip. He can be over-the-top, but this was hardly debatable fare. If we are talking appearances, maybe you need to check your own lenses there, really.

Steve Finnell said...


The lack of knowledge about God and His plan of salvation is no excuse for ignorance. Do not fall prey to the belief that God's knowledge is found by reading the writings of the early church fathers, Bible commentaries, creed books, catechisms, books about the Bible and other extra-Biblical sources. This is an exercise in self-delusion.

God put His knowledge in the Bible for a reason. Why was that? So men would not be lead astray by the traditions of men.

Matthew 22:23-32...But Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God......

The Sadducees were confused in their understand about the resurrection. Why was that? They did not understand the Scriptures. They had access to the Scriptures, but either, they did not bother to read them or believed their own opinions were more trustworthy. They did not understand the power of God.


Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of God, I also will forget your children.

There are those who do not know God's knowledge simply because they reject God's knowledge. A New Testament example would be those who reject water baptism as being essential for salvation. The Bible makes it clear that water baptism is in order to the the forgiveness of sins. Men chose to reject the Scriptural reality of baptism in favor of the doctrines of men. They lack God's knowledge because of their self imposed rejection of Scripture.

1 Corinthians 15:34 Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

There are many believers in Christ who continue living a sinful lifestyle because they lack knowledge of the Scriptures. Some continue sinning because they are not held accountable by church leaders.

These Scriptures are not difficult to understand if they are studied, however, rejecting knowledge renders men to have a lack of knowledge.
1 Corinthians 6:1-11
1 Corinthians 6:18-19
Galatians 5:19-21
Ephesians 5:19-21
Revelation 21:7-8
Colossians 3:5-10 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them........

A sinful lifestyle should be past tense for Christians.