For the first four centuries of the Church, there was no “bible” as we know it today. Rather, Christianity was communicated orally and through the scattered writings of the Gospels and letters to the nascent Christian communities. In fact, it was after his discourse on a coming apostasy and the “lawless one”, the Antichrist, that St. Paul affirmed what we call today “Sacred Tradition”:
Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
Finally, at the councils of Carthage (393, 397, 419 AD) and Hippo (393 AD), the bishops defined the “canon” of Scripture — those writings of the prophets, patriarchs, and New Testament writers that were considered the infallibly inspired Word of God — that is the “Catholic Bible” today. Sadly, the Protestant reformation removed some of the books from this canon, such as the wise sayings of Sirach and the inspiring stories of the Maccabees that have begun to parallel our times.
The daily Mass readings this past week are recounting the time of the Maccabean Jews under King Antioch who pressured them to apostatize (apostasy being “the total repudiation” of the faith).cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2089
In those days there appeared in Israel men who were breakers of the law, and they seduced many people, saying: “Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us; since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us.” —Monday’s First reading
Here, we see the nub of the temptation to abandon the faith: “since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us.” It is the temptation to accommodate the world, to maintain the status quo, to avoid “stirring the pot”, as they say. It is the temptation to avoid offending, upsetting or disturbing anyone with the truth. Today, this kind of compromise with the world often falls under the broad banner of “political correctness.”
I think modern life, including life in the Church, suffers from a phony unwillingness to offend that poses as prudence and good manners, but too often turns out to be cowardice. Human beings owe each other respect and appropriate courtesy. But we also owe each other the truth—which means candor. —former Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., “Rendering Unto Caesar: The Catholic Political Vocation”, February 23rd, 2009, Toronto, Canada
Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers”, not “Blessed are the politically correct.” But sadly, many in the Church today have made an alliance with the world, if not formally, then by their silence, cowardice, and the lure of comfort. It’s just easier, right? But not without dire consequences. Ideological politicians and judges, especially in the West, have been able to run rough-shod over the natural law — redefining the nature of the unborn, of marriage, gender, science and now, freedom. Other than the odd collegial “statement” published on a website that few frequent, the hierarchy has been starkly silent and non-confrontational with a revolution that is boldly in direct confrontation with the Gospel. St. Pius X observed this process underway over a century ago!
Who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is—apostasy from God… When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the “Son of Perdition” of whom the Apostle speaks. —POPE ST. PIUS X, E Supremi, Encyclical On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, n. 3, 5; October 4th, 1903
Pope Francis describes this disease as worldliness:
…worldliness is the root of evil and it can lead us to abandon our traditions and negotiate our loyalty to God who is always faithful. This… is called apostasy, which… is a form of “adultery” which takes place when we negotiate the essence of our being: loyalty to the Lord. —POPE FRANCIS from a homily, Vatican Radio, November 18th, 2013
Do we in the Church walk, talk, and act like the world? Do we stand out from the crowd or do we blend in? Are the marks of the Gospel borne in our lives and witness such that people know where to find the Christians… where to find us?
This century thirsts for authenticity… The world expects from us simplicity of life, the spirit of prayer, obedience, humility, detachment and self-sacrifice. —POPE PAUL VI, Evangelization in the Modern World, 22, 76
Something is wrong when the Church appears more like an NGO (non-governmental organization) than a blazing sign of contradiction.cf. The Popes and the New World Order – Part II
Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father… blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life…. (Matthew 5:16; Phil 2:14-16)
Someone once said, “Those who choose to be married to the spirit of the world in this age, will be divorced in the next.” Today, we have to ask ourselves if out of fear, attachment to sin, or cowardice, are we compromising our loyalty to the Lord? Are we ashamed of the name of Jesus? Are we afraid to confront what we know is wrong or unjust for fear of losing our reputation, status, or job?
This past year, we have seen the Church hand over unprecedented power to the State, to the point of depriving people of the Sacraments. Has fear or faith ruled the day? As such, the Church is on a dangerous precipice. Once the apostate Jews compromised with King Antiochus, he did not make peace: he demanded more.
Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, each abandoning his particular customs. —Monday’s First reading
Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675
Sounds great doesn’t it? Let’s all be one and just get along. So too, for the sake of the “common good”, we have watched the State in 2020-2021 utterly trample upon individual rights and freedoms whilst proclaiming: “We’re all in this together.” And now? Whether one is vaccinated or not, freedom has disappeared: If you are unvaccinated, you are to be expelled from society;cf. Wait a Minute – What about natural immunity? if you are vaccinated, you will soon be forced to take “booster shots” as often as you’re told — or lose your prized status.cnbc.com And according to global tech giants in cooperation with the United Nations’ initiatives,id2020.org all of us will soon no longer be able to “buy or sell” without a digital ID tied to one’s vaccination statusbiometricupdate.com; cf. Wait a Minute – What about natural immunity? that can be stamped and stored directly under your skin.freewestmedia.com/2021/11/15/introducing-subcutaneous-vaccine-passports/ Why is this bringing us to the climax of the apostasy that has been slowly eating away at society this past century? Consider St. Paul’s words:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
Where the spirit of antichrist is, there is control... and the temptation to abandon truth and righteousness in order to simply live, eat, and exist, will be nearly irresistible in days to come — except by grace alone. This is why Our Lady has been given as an “ark” for these times, to help her children survive the satanic flood that has already begun to overflow the banks of liberty.
This fight in which we find ourselves… [against] powers that destroy the world, are spoken of in Chapter 12 of Revelation… It is said that the dragon directs a great stream of water against the fleeing woman, to sweep her away… I think that it is easy to interpret what the river stands for: it is these currents that dominate everyone, and want to eliminate the faith of the Church, which seems to have nowhere to stand before the power of these currents that impose themselves as the only way of thinking, the only way of life. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, first session of the special synod on the Middle East, October 10th, 2010
That was the blackened heart of King Antiochus as well. And whoever would not bow before his dictate “for the common good” was put to death, as we read in today’s first reading.
It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law.
Sound somewhat familiar to our new culture of “mandates”? None of the sons apostatized as their mother begged them to remain faithful to God’s law — not the king’s unjust laws (see The Hour of Civil Disobedience).
So too with the elder Eleazar. He refused to even pretend to capitulate to the king. And so, he lost his freedom and his life. But his witness lives on to this day…
“The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that, although I could have escaped death, I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging, but also suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to Him.” This is how he died, leaving in his death a model of courage and an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but for the whole nation. —Tuesday’s first reading
The greatest apostasy since the birth of the Church
is clearly far advanced all around us.
—Dr. Ralph Martin, Consultor to the Pontifical Council
for Promoting the New Evangelization
The Catholic Church at the End of Age: What is the Spirit Saying? p. 292
The times predicted from Fatima onwards have arrived —
no one will be able to say that I had not given warnings.
Many have been the prophets and seers
chosen to announce the truth and the dangers of this world,
yet many have not listened and still do not listen.
I weep over these children who are being lost;
the apostasy of the Church is increasingly clear —
my favored sons (priests) have refused my protection…
Children, why do you still not understand?…
read the Apocalypse and in it you will find the truth for these times.
—Our Lady to Gisella Cardia, January 26th, 2021; cf. countdowntothekingdom.com
Because you have kept my message of endurance,
I will keep you safe in the time of trial
that is going to come to the whole world
to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming quickly.
Hold fast to what you have,
so that no one may take your crown. (Rev 3:10-11)
—Mark Mallett is the author of The Final Confrontation and The Now Word, and a cofounder of Countdown to the Kingdom
Political Correctness and the Great Apostasy
Compromise and the Great Apostasy
|↑1||cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2089|
|↑2||cf. The Popes and the New World Order – Part II|
|↑3||cf. Wait a Minute – What about natural immunity?|
|↑6||biometricupdate.com; cf. Wait a Minute – What about natural immunity?|