It Doesn’t Matter
When the Arab Spring was raging, I mentioned to a fellow non-denominational Christian that I believed Isaiah 19 was unfolding before our eyes, and that it was the beginning of a very bad time. My friend looked at me with a smile and said, “we won’t be here for any of that”– meaning that we would be raptured before things got too bad, so there was nothing to be concerned about. That was five years ago, and we’re still here. The bottom line of my friend’s attitude was that it doesn’t matter.
When I finished reading the Bible cover-to-cover and saw that the pre-tribulation was nowhere in the Bible, I was shocked. By then, I had heard the pre-trib rapture taught as fact countless times from the pulpit, and on Christian radio, not to mention the multi-million-dollar book and movie industry built around the pre-trib rapture. The Bible over and over tells us that a rapture happens at Christ’s second coming, not seven years before it, and not three-and-a-half years before it. Most of my fellow non-denominational Christians refused to even have a conversation about the fact that a foundational tenet of their faith is nowhere in the Bible. Among the few who actually would discuss it, I noticed a repeated theme. Even though they wholeheartedly believed that the rapture would happen before the Great Tribulation, they said it doesn’t matter when the rapture will happen. Excuse me?
The Root Causes
I can name other questions posed to non-denominational Christians, for which “it doesn’t matter” is a standard response, but you get the point. Let’s get to the root. The “it doesn’t matter response” has two causes. The first is that non-denominational Christians are certain (let’s be honest here) that they are right about the Bible, and that Catholics are wrong. The idea that non-denominational Christians could be just as wrong (let alone even more wrong, as I increasingly believe the case to be) than Catholics is a concept so foreign that I am sure it never enters most non-denominational minds. It never entered mine, but those days are over.
The second cause of the “it doesn’t matter” response grows out of the first, but is even more devastating. It is the idea that all we need to do for salvation is believe in Jesus Christ, and then we’re forever saved no matter what. I have been writing this blog for four-and-a-half years, and there is not one jot or tittle on it supporting “once saved, always saved,” because I never believed it. I have heard non-denominational Christians say many times that because a topic does not affect their salvation, it doesn’t matter. So actually, nothing matters because nothing can affect my salvation.
What Difference Does It Make?
Why bother with church? Why bother with fellowshipping? Why bother with reading the Bible? Why bother with tithing? None of this affects my salvation, so what difference does it make?
I am merely turning the mirror around to non-denominational Christians. If we can answer others with “it doesn’t matter” and “it doesn’t affect my salvation,” then we can answer each other with that too. Why not pray to Mary? After all, it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t affect my salvation. Why not pray to Saints? After all, it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t affect my salvation? Why not tell people they must be baptized to enter heaven? After all, it doesn’t… well actually it does.
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water [the Catholic Sacrament of Baptism] and the Spirit [the Catholic Sacrament of Confirmation].” ~ John 3:5-6
In Catholicism, Things Matter
The striking contrast I see between Catholicism and non-denominational Christianity is that in Catholicism, things matter. All of Christ’s words matter, not just a handful of select verses. Sin matters. Considering the fact that eternal consequences are at stake, I am leaning more and more toward the movement that is 2,000 years old, and traces its roots in an unbroken and fiercely guarded line directly back to Jesus and the Apostles– the Catholic Church, where things matter.