And Mattathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying, Whosoever is zealous for the law, and maintains the covenant, let him come forth after me. - 1 Maccabees 2:27.
'for victory in battle stands not in the multitude of an army, but strength is from heaven.' 1 Maccabees 3:19.
There is a spiritual war out there. The adversary is fighting with all of his might and is convincing many people that God is not important, that the government can and will take the place of God, and that somehow God has forgotten us. None of these are true. But why do so many people believe them?
In a recent article, I begin to address some of the issues that concern us involving spiritual warfare. We have always had individual temptations and spiritual battles. Some people have these all of their life. Brothers and Sisters, we do not need to change the Church, we need to change our definition of the Church.
1 Timothy 3:15
So if I am delayed, you will know how everyone who belongs to God's family ought to behave. After all, the church of the living God is the strong foundation of truth.
If the Church is the foundation of truth then is so the concept that taught in
John 14: 14-17
14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. 15 If you love me you will keep my commandments. 16 I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete to be with you forever, 17 the Spirit of truth whom the world can never accept since it neither sees nor knows Him; but you know him because he is with you, he is in you. 18 I shall not leave you orphans; I shall come to you.19 In a short time the world will no longer see me, but you will see that I live and you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.
Jesus explained that he would not leave us as orphans. He would not leave his Church. These two concepts completely take out the main arguments of the Protestant Reformers who claimed that Jesus had left the Church. In truth, if you follow the Bible you would also have to follow that Jesus was either lying to his Apostles by saying he was not leaving them or the fact that Jesus was not who said he was. The Reformation was in fact a deconstruction of the Church. When men decide to go out on their own and try to change things they end up with problems. This is exactly what happened then. They tried to change the Church. All they should have done was change their definition of the Church. Ask yourself this question. "Why did Jesus come to this earth?" Was it to build buildings or to change lives? Was it to raise money or was it to raise souls? Was it rich in this world or was it to be rich in the next world?
The reason why there are so many problems today when it comes to spiritual warfare is that people have lost the meaning of Church really is. The Church is not a noun it is a verb. Here, I will argue against Webster’s Dictionary.
Webster’s Dictionary claims that Church is a noun
1: a building for public and especially Christian worship
2: the clergy or officialdom of a religious body
3 often capitalized: a body or organization of religious believers: such as
A: the whole body of Christians
4: a public divine worship
- : the clerical profession
I will suggest today that Church is a verb. It is how we (you and I) actively live our lives on a daily basis. Jesus came to give us a way of life not build a building. Buildings are beautiful but they do not last forever. People will die on this earth but we will last forever in the next. We can not allow ourselves to lose sight or focus on why we are here on the earth. When we do- Satan wins. Do you want to help Satan? Do you want to give up your reward in heaven for a few trinkets here on earth? No, No, No. You can not and must not do this.
Our religious beliefs and our personal beliefs are not two different things. Our speech at Church should be the same on Sunday as every other day of the week. We are here on earth to serve and worship him. When we lose our spirituality it is because we have taken our eyes off the Lord and placed them on something here on this earth. This is not a good trade-off. This will not help us overall in this world or the next. Yet, this is what is happening. Brothers and Sisters, we are listening to the Father of Lies, Satan, who is telling us not to worry. The problem is, we need God and we need to quit thinking of spirituality as something set up to only take place in the building. You see spirituality can not be contained in the mere building it rests deep within your soul. You are more precious to Him than Gold or a Building. You were formed in His image and you should be doing His work 24/7 365. Change your definition of Church today and watch how your life changes for the better. Get involved in your parish, your parish needs you. Get involved in your community, your community needs you. Get involved with God because God needs you now more than ever. Amen
You are a Temple. Jesus said he was in you and he was in the Father. When you come to Divine Liturgy (Mass) you receive the body and blood of Christ. Is it not about time to come back to the Lord? Is it not about time that you quit listening to Satan, and start doing what is right instead of doing something right now, do something that is right for your future. Remember this week, learn this lesson and learn it well- The Church is not a noun- it is a verb, and practice it every day- you will be rewarded in this world and next. Amen