I’m not sure of the tone I should take with this piece of writing. Homiletic? Rhetorical? Oh well, here goes.
Recently a pastor of a megachurch incurred controversy when a video of his sermon was released on the internet. It’s not a good thing when you are brought in by State Security. This has led me to think: Is it possible to preach the gospel with tact? Is it possible to promote our holy religion without pointing out the errors of others? Will I be counted as a seditionist if I do so?
I fear that these times are approaching. Nowadays if I were to condemn abortion, I’ll be branded as a oppressor of women and an enemy of choice. Yet poor women do not have the choice to keep their babies. This silencing has already begun even in democratic countries.
Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. To what extent?
I wonder if we can ever achieve a balance between preaching the gospel and religious tolerance. Is there a limit to dialogue? The goal of ecumenism is not to combine all religions together, but to promote understanding amongst all followers. Yet every man asks in his heart: What is truth? What is right and wrong? Unfortunately while philosophers and theologians fight it out, the atheist and the heckler are enjoying the spectacle. While terrorists plant their bombs and fundamentalists their churches, the starving starve and dictators dictate. Surely something is wrong here?
If St Francis of Assisi preached in a 21st century Muslim nation, he would be arrested and martyred. Such is the price of discipleship. These days it is not so necessary to be martyred by sword, as to be put on trial by media and executed by public opinion.
Can I be prudent in preaching the gospel? To what extent can I preach before being hauled in by State Security or being beheaded by Taliban? Recently I read Shusaku Endo’s Silence, which talks about two Jesuit priests entering Japan during the time of persecution. One priest is martyred, one becomes apostate. On 6 February we recall the martyrdom of St Paul Miki and companions. Was it possible for them to escape martyrdom by being discreet and prudent? Rather, I think if you are meant to die, you’ll die anyway.
I shall not mince my words: I do not like megachurches. They spread their poisonous doctrine fastidiously as microbes on agar. Yet how odd it is that we must admire their zeal!
If we who are part of holy mother church, both possessing zeal and correct doctrine, it should be possible to conquer the world. We must have Love, a selfless sacrifical love. This must be our weapon of mass salvation. The age for calling down fire on prophets of Baal is long past. We do not have to damn others to save them. If they do not accept the gift of the gospel, it is their free choice. It is our gift of love to them.
It is out of love that martyrs die.
Gospel speaks that man cannot serve two masters. Even worldly wisdom shows that we cannot please everyone. We do the best we can, to the further extent.