Shaken By That Joshua Man
In the last post I shared some of the portrayal of Jesus given by that retired Roman Catholic priest, turned author and speaker, Joseph Girzone. I wanted to envision such a Saviour, perhaps a more inclusive one than I had ever considered before, or at least since my conversion experience of 1982.
Here was a friend of sinners (imperfect people) who was so immersed in the spirit and love of His Heavenly Father that He saw the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15 as no exaggeration of the truth. Girzone would state that as in the case of plants and animals in nature there are phases of development during which the organism is doing exactly what the Creator knew that it would do. But with the passing of time in God's sovereign schedule, maturity is reached. He says the same thing about spiritual maturation and explains that God is so much more patient than conservatives in the Church. You know, the catechism reciters, the dogmatics, the line-drawers, the ones who 'believe that every word of the Bible is true', except the one that says "judge not lest ye be judged".
We have a sure hold on "one-way Jesus", the Four Spiritual Laws, the Sinners' Prayer, the Moment of Decision, but we foster coldness and censure. In this fashion we will do damage to the unity which Jesus envisioned in his prayer of John 17.
I can go to another exceptional teacher, also celibate, but this time Protestant, bringing home the same message. 'At time of judgment by the Lord it will not be a question of adherence to creeds, but rather of love extended, service rendered and help given to the hurting, needy and lonely. In essence the litmus test of Matthew 25.' In this other case it was the Scottish professor Henry Drummond in his classic The Greatest Thing in the World. See our earlier post of September 21, 2009 entitled Love in Shoe Leather.
So perhaps I have waived the club, raised the torch, in challenge to supposed heresy or lukewarmness, when I might have been shown "a more excellent way" by the likes of Papa Girzone. I have sifted these matters while barbecuing three good looking steaks and listening to the glorious bells of St.Agnes Parish ringing the evening hour in our neighbourhood.