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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Back to Basics (Modernism Part 62)

Today’s readings:

Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18

Psalm 103:1-4,8,10,12-13

1 Corinthians 3:16-23

Matthew 5:38-48

Today’s readings provide much input on the life and mission of Christians in the world. Unfortunately, most of these are no longer happening. This is especially the case with the onslaught of modernism in the world and in the Church. We need to get back to the basics.

Modernism is a heresy that is to be condemned. Yet modernism in the Church has emerged strongly. Those in authority are looking to the wisdom and culture of the age rather than the wisdom and ways of God. Paul says, “Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool so as to become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God” (1 Cor 3:18-19a). Modernists are wise in the culture of the age, which is dominated by the evil one. But it is all foolishness to God. “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” (1 Cor 3:20).

What are the some of these basics and how are these being impacted by modernism?

A most basic call is the call to holiness. “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” (Lv 19:2). Jesus himself defines this in a most extraordinary way. “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48). But modernist teachings bring Christians to unholiness, with acceptance of LGBT, with liturgical abuses, with condoning abortion, with blessing of same-sex unions, with giving Holy Communion to those in irregular unions, and so on.

Then there is what Jesus would later say is the second greatest commandment. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” (Lv 19:18b). But modernists have misunderstood love of neighbor, in the sense of political correctness, taking it to mean just acceptance of all sinners without calling out their sin. That is not love, as it allows the sinner to remain in his sin. It is false mercy.

Then Jesus tells us, “love your enemies” (Mt 5:44a). Again, modernists misunderstand this. For us we must know that there are indeed enemies, first of all the evil one, and second all those who allow themselves to be used by him. Thus it is not just looking to everyone as nice, as friend, as brother. There are those who would destroy the faith and you. But still we are to love such enemies. And here is the second failure, which is understanding the meaning of love. Love is not just an emotional fuzzy feeling, just wanting to get along, just being nice to all. Rather it is a desire for the other person to know God and His righteousness. Thus sin needs to be called out.

If we do not do this, then we do not love but rather we hate. But “you shall not hate any of your kindred in your heart.” (Lv 19:17a). We must desire the best for others, wanting them to be reconciled with God. Thus we love the sinner but hate the sin. So you “reprove your neighbor openly so that you do not incur sin because of that person.” (Lv 19:17b). We are our brother’s keeper. If we do not speak about his sin, we help keep him in his sin. And for hierarchs in the Church, they have a greater responsibility. If they do not speak the truth, and if one remains in sin and suffers the loss of his soul, they are complicit, and because of their position and authority and influence, may have the greater sin.

“Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger, abounding in mercy.” (Ps 103:8). Modernists take this to mean that God will not condemn anyone to the fires of hell. Or they say there is no hell at all, because it is contrary to the love of God. As one modernist hierarch puts it, “no one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the gospel.” But indeed the gospels tell us that there is eternal punishment for those who refuse God’s love and salvation.

Let not God’s patience and mercy be misunderstood. “He has not dealt with us as our sins merit, nor requited us as our wrongs deserve.” (Ps 103:10). God just gives us more time, not to remain in sin, but to turn away from sin. He is our loving Father, and “as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” (Ps 103:13). This is not license for us to abuse his mercy and love. This is not to just look to His compassion but to know His justice. We must fear God, and act accordingly. Then God will have mercy on us.


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