One of the surprising outcomes of my ecumenical experiences with non-Catholic Christians was getting to know John Armstrong. He is the definition of paying the price for his Christian love. He followed the teachings of Christ (John 17:21) even when he found it in conflict with the beliefs he was brought up to follow and faced many struggles due to his determination.
He recently published Costly Love through New City Press, the publisher for my upcoming book, Challenged to Grow. I asked John a few questions about his book and we will cover his answers over the next few weeks. If you are interested in the book, click the photo or the link behind the name of the book above.
As you moved into chapter 4, I was stuck with a new theme or tone that to me seemed to be, ‘as a fellow Christian I have to argue what I believe is the truth but I cannot let my passion leads to me condemning you as a non-Christian’. Can you discuss these theme?
John replied: "Because we all 'see through a glass dimly' as St. Paul says we can never say, 'I’ve got it. I am right and everyone else is wrong unless they line up with me and my understanding.' This does not mean we deny placing authority in the church or the community and the tradition of the faith but rather that we cannot ever know Truth perfectly in this life. If this is true there is no place for condemnation of the other since I cannot judge a person or their life in God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of how we treat sinners and uses the words that suggest we enter with them into a human relationship of 'respect, compassion and sensitivity.' This is how I understand the starting point between us and all people, but especially with other Christians, both Catholic and non-Catholic. All who are baptized in the Triune name and confess Christ are fellow Christians according to Vatican II. All the baptized are 'in the church' but some are not in perfect communion and do not receive the Papal See as final authority. We are thus divided at the Eucharist but we work daily to see how the Holy Spirit might lead us into deeper unity so that someday this bridge too might be crossed without compromise. We must first 'build bridges' with one another before that day can come under God’s grace."
For more information, please visit www.costlylove.com