I’ve been on a kick lately concerning ecumenism. My thinking is if the human race is divided between those who believe and those who do not, those who believe should be united. Christians hating and disagreeing with each other hurts the whole church.
Just to clarify, I’m not suggesting non-Christians are a sort of enemy, but rather, if someone is on the fence we don’t want to scare them away. We also do not want to make fools of ourselves.
Today I was working at the hospital. My patient was watching a Baptist Church service. She asked where I go to church. I said I’m Catholic. I said something like “We’re more alike than people might realize. People who attack other churches usually don’t know their own faith or don’t know the faith they’re attacking.”
The patient gave what could be the worst possible answer, “They need to read the Bible on their own.” She meant, the way to know your faith is to study the Bible. This in itself is a good answer. Why is this such a bad answer? The answer is what causes the division in the first place.
The Bible is full of apparent contradictions. Google it, you’ll see. Just the contradictions between Christ and St Paul alone require a monumental effort to explain away. Each contradiction is like a fork in the road for the private reader, “Do I believe this or that contradiction?” Enough twists and turns in private and you can end up not agreeing with anyone.
On the time of the coming of the Lord:
 the night is far gone, the day isat hand.
 Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name,
saying, . . . `The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.
On the sum of the commandments:
 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
 This is the great and first commandment.
 And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
 On these two commandmentsdepend all the law and the prophets.
On whom God has mercy:
 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
 So it depends not upon man’s will or exertion, but upon God’smercy.
 So then he has mercy upon whomever he wills, and he hardens the heart of whomever he wills.
 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
On forgiveness of trespasses:
 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
 who was put to death for ourtrespasses and raised for our justification.
 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you;
 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
On being justified:
 they are justified by his graceas a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,
 For we hold that a man isjustified by faith apart from works of law.
 Since, therefore, we are nowjustified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
 for by your words you will bejustified, and by your words you will be condemned.