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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Betrayal From Within (Modernism Part 50)

Readings: Acts 20:28-38 John 17:11b-19

There have always been traitors in the Church, including those in the inner circles. First, there was Judas himself. As to Paul, there were Demas and Alexander. And throughout the history of the Church, there have been top leaders who have betrayed the cause of Christ. It is the same today. Today we have the modernist hierarchs, who teach heresy and distort the truth of Christ and the age-old teachings of the Church.

Such betrayal is especially shameful and reprehensible, given that they are entrusted with the care of the flock. “Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers” (Acts 20:28a). Such betrayal is condemnable, as it weakens or even destroys the very people of God that Jesus suffered and died for on the cross. “You tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood” (Acts 20:28b).

Thus Paul warned God’s people: “savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock” (Acts 20:29). Well, we know Satan opposes everything that is of God, and continually assaults His people. That is expected. But what if the enemy is within? “And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them.” (Acts 20:30). This is especially contemptible, given that (1) it is from within, from the brethren, especially from leaders; (2) it focuses on perversion of the truth, which makes it a rejection of Jesus who is the Truth, and an embrace of Satan who is the father of lies; and (3) it results in Christians being taken from Christ and being led on to perdition.

So Paul says, “so be vigilant” (Acts 20:31a). How? First, we must know the tragic reality of traitors being in the Church and even in the hierarchy. This way we can be on our guard and discerning about what is being told to us. Second, we ourselves must know the truth so that we can assess modernist teachings against the very word of God. This means ongoing formation and especially reading and studying the Bible. “And now I commend you to God and to that gracious word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.” (Acts 20:32).

But even this would be challenging, since formation is provided by modernist teachers and pastors, and the Bible is referenced by them. As they are in positions of leadership and authority, many Catholics would naturally just accept what they say. So what are we to do? We go to the very source: God Himself and His word, both the living Word Jesus and the written word the Bible. In particular, we do three things.

One, remain in Christ. Jesus has already prayed: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me” (Jn 17:11b). Pray without ceasing. Take on the mind of Christ. Strive for holiness. Act according to his ways.

Two, be grounded on the word of God. “I gave them your word” (Jn 17:14a). Read the Bible daily. Meditate on it. Study it. Base your life on it.

Third, remain in the truth of God’s word. “Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.” (Jn 17:17). With the first two, with Jesus the Truth and the Bible the word of truth, we can know the truth. But we must embrace it and live it out. We must reject the falsehoods of modernists.

With these, we help protect the flock and keep out the savage wolves. We remain united in Christ. As Jesus had prayed to the Father: “so that they may be one just as we are.” (Jn 17:11c).

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