Christ Wasn’t Always Civil

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by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  September 25, 2017   

"For the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up"

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Critics of Church Militant call us a "cyber militia" and urge us to practice "Christian civility" when refuting fellow Catholics who seek to normalize the sin of sodomy, e.g., Fr. James Martin. Christ, however, wasn't so civil in manner and tone when confronting evil that leads souls to Hell.

In his open letter to Abp. Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Dr. Timothy J. Gordon, a canon lawyer and Catholic philosopher, asked the archbishop if there is ever a time for outrage or righteous indignation when debating intrinsic evils like the normalization of perversion:

Is, then, the expression of righteous indignation therefore entirely to be excised from public discourse? Should outrage be excised from the life of the Church? What of the moral outrage of, say, a Bellarmine or a Catherine of Siena? What would these two have said about Fr. Martin's beguiling claims to our brothers and sisters in the homosexual community?

When confronting evil, Our Lord, the exemplar of Christian charity, was none too "civil." The Gospel of John 2:14–17 reads:

And He found in the temple them that sold oxen and sheep and doves and the changers of money sitting. And when He had made, as it were, a scourge of little cords, He drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen, and the money of the changers He poured out, and the tables He overthrew. And to them that sold doves He said: Take these things hence and make not the house of My Father a house of traffic. And His disciples remembered that it was written: The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.

There's much talk today about making converts but with little emphasis on speaking the Truth. Our Lord  in a not-so-civil tone, calls out the Pharisees for this very thing. In Matthew 23:15, Christ exclaimed, "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, you make him the child of Hell twofold more than yourselves."

Watch the panel discuss how truth trump's niceness in The Download—Civility.


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