Wednesday, December 06, 2006

John Wyclif – Perfidious Heretic or Dearest Brother?

Okay, so John Wyclif is not only a heretic, but he is also a traitor. I went out to the battle with him last night to conquer the evils of the 14th Century Church of Rome. We were fighting side by side and watching the enemy fall at every step and then, out of nowhere, he turned on me and stabbed me in the heart! How’s that for “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”

I have a growing family and have been concerned about my current level of income for some time. I’m currently employed by a large Christian ministry and there is plenty of room up there above me on the ladder for climbing. I’ve been thinking of “networking” recently and was convincing myself that this is about the only way to make it these days, whether in a parachurch ministry or the real world.

But then, my cobelligerent betrayed me and spoke these awful words, quoting Gregory VII:

If there is any intervention whatsoever whether by special pleading, money paid, favor offered, or any temporal benefit handed over to any person so that an individual who is unfit obtains in fact an ecclesiastical honor, simony is committed.
But wait I objected, you are speaking only of ministers and not of laymen. Nay he replied, but all of life. For unfit judges who are appointed will destroy a country and unfit employees who are granted positions beyond their means will be a rottenness (like tooth decay) in a company or ministry. Try eating with a tooth ache sometime and you will see just how effective such a company or ministry will be.

Then, just to make sure I turned from any evil thoughts he added,

For one who thus strives to climb higher succeeds only in growing smaller while puffing himself up and in sinking to interior degradation while rising in external affairs. And so, dearest brother, …let a pure election be carried out so that we may believe that a person is brought … [not] by the vote of a salesman, but by trusting in God’s judgment.
So, I cry to the Lord from whence my salvation comes. He has provided and he will provide. I rest my case with him and delight to trust his judgment. John Wyclif, now I see that you turned on me for my good and are a “dearest brother.”

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