Relevant?

So I was heading to a friends house last night and saw a billboard for Relevant Radio. I had heard about it like a year before from a Starbucks cashier who was wearing a ‘Relevant’ shirt (I thought it was a Relevant Magazine thing).

Anyways, I decided to tune in…

It’s all Catholic all the time — but born again, holy-spirit filled, Jesus loving Catholics — they are an interesting bunch.

Their slogan is “bridging the gap between faith and everyday life.” They tell you this… about every 3 minutes or so. Literally. They beat it into you.

Programming seems to be mostly call in Q&A shows with lots of little ‘thought moments’ and little devotionals sprinkled in. They have some very interesting callers/hosts/guests…

I listened to an interesting show last night that had a former AG pastor talking about his conversion to Catholicism from Protestantism. Apparently this guy was on a mission to get Catholics ‘saved’ and it backfired on him. They were talking deep theological stuff like the immaculate conception of Mary which is a concept I was ignorant of. Their logic getting there is a bit of a stretch in my opinion, but it’s some interesting stuff. I’ll try to paraphrase (forgive me if I butcher it).

Mary is the new Eve (mother of the new saved generations) and needed to be born immaculately and be ‘full of grace’ (without sin) to carry Jesus (holy) in her and not taint Him. So apparently Catholics believe Mary was without sin and is set apart from the rest of us sinners and has a special place in heaven where she prays and intercedes for us (which is why they pray to her so she can pray for them). Now there is ‘scriptural basis’ for all this (of course), and it goes deep into the Greek meaning for things and such, and I can’t discount it at this point, but it was interesting that they were treating it as this ‘holy grail’ of knowledge. They kept talking about a ‘fullness of faith’ and how sad it was all us protestants didn’t get it. They came off very arrogant and demeaning, as if Jesus shed blood on the cross wasn’t enough for a fullness of faith.

Then this morning the lady answering questions made a comment to the effect of “the Catholic Church is the one true church and that’s why it’s being attacked.” In the same 5 minutes she talked about the body of Christ… but I think she meant within the Catholic church. It’s something I’ve never run into before- sure I’ve got a few criticisms on how Catholics practice their religion (no communion to non Catholics is one), but we are all one body in Christ, and it’s Christ that joins us, so it’s weird to hear a fellow believer (a sister in Christ) cutting me out of “The Church”because mine says Vineyard on the door.

Overall though I could sense that they knew Jesus and just had different beliefs in some areas. They had a heart for evangelism and healing that many people do not.

The most interesting perspective though was applying this all to the “emerging church’ and wondering how we all must sound talking about this new “faith expression’ and a ‘new theology of creative expression’ and ‘alt.worship’ to name a few. Do we sound as arrogant and exclusionary? Do we put down ‘the modern church?’

I think we do, and it’s something we need to fix. We need to realize that we are one part of the church, the worldwide body of Christ, that knows no boundaries: physical, denominational, or theological. I think Paul puts it best in 1 Corinthians 13:

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Before we ever think we have it all figured out, and those people over there don’t … we need to realize that no one this side of eternity has it all figured out and that we are all pilgrims on the same road.