Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Stand Together Against the Enemy

 

 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is for us.

Mark 9:38-40, NASB

I was thinking of this quote as I read over the latest scandal in the Catholic Church, with what looks like a pagan idol being trotted around the Vatican, and the Amazon Synod turning into a clown show. It’s embarrassing to watch a place of such serious devotion plastered with propaganda worthy of a college campus, while the various bishops sounded like they were auditioning for a Jack Chick tract. Ricochet’s Catholics debated over the culpability of the Pope in this, invoked the Saints to pray for them, and cheered on as the faithful tossed the idols into the Tiber.

Then, like many of these discussions, it shifted to yet another iteration of the Catholic-Protestant debate. I understand – I am Protestant, and I actually carefully considered Catholicism before rejecting it. I did not reject it out of ignorance, and I am not shy about explaining it. However, my encounter with a devout Newman Center at my alma mater gave me a deep appreciation of just how much we have in common. Jesus Christ is the center of the Mass, as it is center in a Lutheran service or a Foursquare service, and He is acknowledged as Lord and Savior. More to the point, we all still desire to bring souls to salvation – that was what led me to the Newman Center, since I thought they had signed a document renouncing evangelism – it was not the case. When we read this verse, we can sense the understanding from both the Catholic (unity) and Protestant (toleration of variation) viewpoints.

However, there is a deeper layer that dawned on me as I was writing this. What were these maverick disciples doing? They were casting out demons. Catholics and Protestants share not only a common Lord, but a common enemy. The Devil, and his various minions, are active and threatening to all of us, and the diabolical ideology that says we need to kneel before a pagan deity is a plague on us both. Pachamama is bad, but how is this different from the Re-imagining debacle? The Lord is warning us not to spurn allies in our spiritual warfare.

So, I suggest next time the question “Is the Pope Catholic?” seems less rhetorical, hold off on pounding another 99 theses into your brothers and sisters in Christ. There will be other times for that discussion. Pray and encourage them, so that our allies can resume laying siege to the gates of Hell. He who is not against us is for us.

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  1. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin

    We can take this further – the Children of Israel are also called to reject false gods and cast down idols. In this we are united.


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    • #1
    • October 23, 2019, at 10:24 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The part of New York I grew up in had been majority Protestant only a few decades before. By my day, it was solidly Catholic, with a relative handful of active Protestants and a lot of fine looking mainline churches that, by then, were lightly attended. Now many of the Catholics have died or moved away, and it’s becoming Greek Orthodox (the Greeks bought the Epworth Methodist Church across the street).

    You find your allies where you can. 

    A mile away, a mini-town that was almost 100% Jewish in my childhood has also suffered the effects of people moving to the sunbelt or aging out of active participation, and it’s become nearly completely Chinese. This same switchover has happened in other suburbs of NYC; the Jews and Chinese have similar attitudes towards a surprising number of things, socially and politically. But needless to say, not religiously.

    • #2
    • October 23, 2019, at 10:34 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Saint Augustine Member

    This is a good OP, OP.

    I have much in common with good Catholics: Scripture, a lot of tradition, Augustine, the Nicene Creeds. And the current situation is very troubling.

    (Gee, I hope I didn’t overdo it on the earlier thread. I wasn’t kidding about the last paragraph of # 39!)

    • #3
    • October 24, 2019, at 6:33 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. JoelB Member

    I believe that C.S. Lewis said something to the effect that true Christians of any label (Protestant, Catholic, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, etc.) have much more in common with each other than they do with nominal believers within their own organizations. I have been trying to look it up and don’t have the time to do a thorough search right now. 

    The other thought that enters my mind upon seeing the linked piece is “Abomination of Desolation”.

    • #4
    • October 24, 2019, at 6:47 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    OmegaPaladin: However, there is a deeper layer that dawned on me as I was writing this. What were these maverick disciples doing? They were casting out demons. Catholics and Protestants share not only a common Lord, but a common enemy. The Devil, and his various minions, are active and threatening to all of us, and the diabolical ideology that says we need to kneel before a pagan deity is a plague on us both. Pachamama is bad, but how is this different from the Re-imagining debacle? The Lord is warning us not to spurn allies in our spiritual warfare.

    To be an ally, it is not enough merely to cast out demons, although that is not a bad thing. Jesus was referring to someone performing a miracle “in my name” as “not against us [but] for us.” 

    • #5
    • October 24, 2019, at 7:12 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Old Bathos Moderator

    I think an era of Christian unity is near at hand because we will be sharing foxholes and bunkers soon enough.

    • #6
    • October 24, 2019, at 8:42 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I think an era of Christian unity is near at hand because we will be sharing foxholes and bunkers soon enough.

    Agree. The short version of the OP is Sun Tzu’s “know your enemy.” It’s neither other serious Christians (and observant Jews) nor Trump voters. Stay focused. 

    • #7
    • October 24, 2019, at 8:57 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Scott Wilmot Member

    Thanks for this post. The Father of Lies is manifesting himself in many ways these days in the Church. Keep up the fight.

    • #8
    • October 24, 2019, at 10:46 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Saint Augustine Member

    JoelB (View Comment):

    I believe that C.S. Lewis said something to the effect that true Christians of any label (Protestant, Catholic, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, etc.) have much more in common with each other than they do with nominal believers within their own organizations. I have been trying to look it up and don’t have the time to do a thorough search right now.

    The other thought that enters my mind upon seeing the linked piece is “Abomination of Desolation”.

    Maybe some introductory material in Mere Christianity?

    • #9
    • October 24, 2019, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. JoelB Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):

    I believe that C.S. Lewis said something to the effect that true Christians of any label (Protestant, Catholic, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, etc.) have much more in common with each other than they do with nominal believers within their own organizations. I have been trying to look it up and don’t have the time to do a thorough search right now.

    The other thought that enters my mind upon seeing the linked piece is “Abomination of Desolation”.

    Maybe some introductory material in Mere Christianity?

    Yes, I thought it was there. Here it is:

    It is at her centre, where her truest children dwell, that each communion is really closest to every other in spirit, if not in doctrine. And this suggests that at the centre of each there is a something, or a Someone, who against all divergencies of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks with the same voice.

    • #10
    • October 25, 2019, at 8:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes

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