The End of Christendom?

I saw an article from 2/21/20 that came up in a recent publication: The Pope: Christendom no Longer Exists.  This from Pope Francis as he wrestled with whether to ordain married men in the Amazon due to a shortage of priests.  The context of his comment was the ongoing tension between pure traditionalists and those who think the church should adapt to the current times.

This is where we need to clearly delineate the meanings of the terms we are using.  When adapting to current times we are not to dilute God’s Word.  When it comes to tradition there is room for movement.  Admittedly, some traditions are long-standing with good reasons for them.  Those same traditions, however, are not part of Holy Scripture.

Let’s take the Catholic celibacy issue, starting with the first pope, St. Peter.  He was married.  Matthew chapter eight tells how Jesus came to his house and healed his sick mother-in-law.  Again, the first pope was married.

St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians that he favors celibacy:

It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband…I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that…But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.    1 Corinthians 7, selected verses.

This is Paul expressing his own opinion on the issue of celibacy.  However, he tells us plainly in verse 6, “But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.”

See?  There are well-founded traditions which can be adapted to the times.

This is an example of the schism in the Catholic church and other denominations between traditionalists and more progressive voices who seek to adapt their means of spreading the Gospel without changing the Gospel itself.

Indeed, St. Paul demonstrated as much in Acts 17 when he noted the alter to an unknown God in Thessalonica.  He left behind his manner of preaching the Gospel in other situations and improvised.  Can you imagine standing next to a pagan alter, using it as your “Show and Tell” to introduce the people to Yahweh?

Paul went with what was going on around him; he adapted to the places he went, but he never improvised the Gospel message!

With this tension going on around him, Pope Francis bemoaned the end of Christendom.

I’ll grant that he might be talking more about the Christendom that he is so familiar with, but Christendom will always survive.  The church of Christ will always remain, both now and forever.  Please hear me on this clearly –

The church of Christ will always remain, both now and forever!

Just as Pope Francis was feeling the pressures of new times on his beloved church, so we might now be feeling the increasing tide of opinion against Christendom in the USA.  We might well feel that Christendom is declining; clearly it is.  But the end of it?  That would only happen if God goes back on His word to sustain us and bring us into eternity with Him!

Christendom may be weakening here, but I assure you it is gaining elsewhere with people starving for the Gospel!

I recently got the following comment from Pastor Babu and his wife Sara in India:

Dear Brother in JESUS. Greetings to you from INDIA, How are you Doing and Saints with you, Thank you so much for your Spirit filled Teachings and Messages and I am Studying and Sharing with our Churches and Gospel Teams and we are Strengthening much Spiritually, Please send me regularly and we are Praying for you, remember us in your Prayers for the Evangelism we do in these interior regions in INDIA. in JESUS LOVE, Pastor Babu and Sara and Teams. http://www.suvarthavani.org The Voice of Gospel. INDIA.

First, I’m not sharing this to brag but, rather, to share with you how Pastor Babu’s work in India is “strengthening much spiritually.”

You can read previous articles that also show how God continues to expand Christendom around the world wherever people hunger for His Word!

May 1, 2014 – China More Christian than the USA?  Did you know Chinese Christians send missionaries here?

September 14, 2020 – We Are Living in Biblical Times!!  This article covers a few examples to support the title, but the important part for my purposes here is the part dealing with Jesus coming to the Arab world.

Christendom is alive and well even if it isn’t happening in our neighborhood.  The important thing is to remain diligent in studying God’s Word, not isolating from other Christians, and prayer!  Our corner of the world sees the Christian pendulum swinging away from God while other parts see it swinging beautifully back to God!  We must continue God’s work wherever we are!!

The church of Christ will always remain, both now and forever!

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