“We hope Catholics understand that
the highest expression of love
is grounded in truth.”
— Thomas Horn & Cris Putnam
If there’s one thing I should have remembered, it was that doctors don’t always know everything. But I still felt a little offended when the nurse who had just removed a wax plug from my ear said to me, “I’ll tell you something that I learned a long time ago from another nurse. I’m not sure why doctors don’t seem to know this.”
She was referring to the problem I’d mentioned concerning the “crust” that appeared daily on my outer ears. I’d been dealing with the annoyance for over a year, but I assumed it had something to do with growing older, and I’d simply have to live with it. I wasn’t asking her for a solution. After all, after many disheartening years, I finally had a primary care doctor I felt I could trust with any concern and he would have the answer. And I didn’t feel up to discussing whether he had correctly diagnosed the root cause of my symptom.
“What kind of hairspray do you use?” the nurse asked. “Pump or aerosol?”
I had no idea where this was going. “Pump,” I replied, feeling a little irritated.
“It could be that when you’re spraying your hair, you are also spraying your ears. When it dries, it produces a light film that will appear ‘crusty’ and peel off.”
I responded politely, thanked her for the advice and headed home. Within the next few days, I was amazed to discover that when I placed my hand over my ear while hair spraying, the film did not appear. The nurse had been right!
Funny how there seems to be a hierarchy of belief when it comes to trusting professional people. Obviously, I had assumed, a doctor would necessarily be wiser than a nurse — just as a priest or pastor must be discernibly more knowledgeable than a layperson; an author better studied than his or her reader; a highly regarded speaker more worthy of respect than those in the audience who are simply interested in that person’s area of expertise.
In my case, the Holy Spirit needed to revise my naïve view of reality. I’m convinced that He has made use of my fibromyalgia symptoms to sit me down and teach me a thing or two about the human predicament. In other words, He has gradually revealed to me that not everything I need to know about Jesus was taught in Sunday school. And not everything that I’ve learned from well-meaning teachers over the years is inescapably true.
I’ve learned over the course of writing this book that some crucial facts are embedded in the carefully guarded (and often rewritten) history of the Roman Catholic Church. As I mentioned previously, the Roman Emperor Constantine formally legalized Christianity in the fourth century A.D., temporarily making life easier for the average believer. It didn’t take long, however, for the newly elevated state religion to become even less tolerant than the Roman dictators who had been in charge before them. The “Edict of Toleration” gave a foothold to power-hungry “men of the cloth” and gradually the tables started to turn. The Church began to assert itself over the will of kings!
According to the written accounts of Matthew and Mark, at the moment Jesus died on the cross, the curtain that separated the temple’s Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was divinely “torn in two from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38). Though the height of the curtain is debatable, it was likely close to 15 feet tall. And according to Jewish tradition, the Second Temple “veil” was as thick as a man’s hand.
The Jewish priesthood became ineffective after the risen Christ took His place in heaven as the ultimate High Priest who intercedes for everyone who calls on His Name (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21). The writer of Hebrews put it this way: “But when this priest [Jesus], had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins [His own blood], He sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12).
The religious leaders who dominated, both during Constantine’s rule and throughout the centuries following the emperor’s death, chose – for one reason or another – to preserve his legacy and continue to combine worship rituals. They traded relationship with the Savior for the worldly benefits of religion.
Brutal times lay ahead for those who refused to deny their Lord and align with men who declared themselves infallible representatives of the “universal” Church.
“Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked …
They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim their words like deadly arrows.”
A RUST REMOVER …
Think about it: “It is possible to be so active in the service of Christ as to forget to love Him.” – P.T. Forsyth