Friday, December 26, 2014

Chicken Parmesan Church

Chicken Parmesan
I wrote this some time ago after an interesting discussion with a protestant friend. 

I read the menu for a formal dinner to which I'd been invited.  One of the three options for the entree was Chicken Parmesan.  However, the description said that the entree is a lightly breaded chicken breast cutlet covered in marinara sauce and provolone cheese.  Now, how can one call an entree Parmesan chicken without Parmesan cheese?  It may look similar but provolone is not Parmesan.

It is like the Church or what some call "the church."  The Church I know now, the Catholic Church, is both the visible, holy, apostolic, united Church Christ founded for His people, and the invisible spiritual body of Christ.  However others, the ones who claim to be part of the mysterious, coincidentally hard to define, invisible church, are not quite the same thing.  It may have similarities to the Church, but none of these churches are the original.  Church is more than just a word or a name, it is the substance of the thing.  Just like the Parmesan chicken without the Parmesan, these other "churches" are not the Church without the rock on which Christ founded His Church.

Christ commissioning St. Peter
The Catholic Church claims to be the Church Christ founded.  Why?  The short answer?  Because He did found the Catholic Church.  The Church is founded on Jesus' words, "You are Rock, and on this rock I will build my Church", "Feed My sheep, Feed My lambs, Feed My sheep", "Go and make disciples of all nations.  Baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit", and "I will be with you until the end of the age."  But, because a mentally unstable German priest had problems with the abuses of the men in the Church in his country, and a rebellious and ambitious Frenchman decided to create a church in their own image, many left the Church for an imitation of the Church.  They left Christ's Church for someone's idea of what the Church should be; they left the actual Church for an imitation. 

The tragedy is that now so, so many don't realize that their "church" is an imitation.  They don't know the difference between Parmesan and provolone, because they've never tasted Parmesan.  What they have is something similar in name, similar in focus, similar in words, similar in appearance but not the same.  We all should pray for the unity of the Body--the intention of Christ.  He didn't say, "You all form churches that reflect your idea of what My Church should be" or "There will be many bodies."  It is tragedy that so many Christians spend so much time and energy fighting and disparaging His Church.  Let us pray for future Christian unity or at least understanding--that someday they, those Christians who are not full members of His Church, will come to know the "taste" of the real thing.

Recommended reading:
How to Become a Catholic by Catholic Answers
Visible Vs. Invisible Church by David MacDonald of CatholicBridge.com
Joining the Catholic Church by OurCatholicFaith.org

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