Men, The Catholic Church Has What You're Looking For

Men, The Catholic Church Has What You're Looking For

It's something the world fails to offer.

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In a world that berates your masculinity, assumes the worst of you, feeds you unhealthy and promiscuous images, and ultimately strips you apart - the Catholic church stands as a safe ground for our men. I know as I type this out there is a lot of brokenness in the Catholic church as a result of terrible things done by the male leaders in our church. But I want to make it clear before I go any further with this article, that this article is not about the evil and disgusting men of the Catholic faith. There are evil and destructive men anywhere you look. It's sad but it's true. This article is about the good, wholesome, strong, emotional, leaders who DO still exist and the community of good men that the Catholic church provides.

There are plenty of help groups, addiction aids, Bible studies, etc. But what men really yearn for is another good man to follow and walk beside. The Catholic church has made itself very clear throughout hundreds of years the importance of not only feminine women but masculine men as well.

The beauty of the Catholic church is that they embrace and welcome men in their strength as well as their weaknesses and encourage them into a deep deep relationship with not only Christ, but one another, that is founded on accountability, friendship, motivation, and assuredness.

After four years in college, I've experienced nothing like the friendships between the Catholic men on campus. Quite honestly, there's a beauty about it. Women share, relate, and create community almost habitually. Even without faith as a standing point, we do those things. But for men, there's no safe place in this world or on this campus like the men's group. And until there is a safe, consistent place for them to open up and feel comfortable at, men don't just share and relate and strike a conversation about super intentional things.

I was eating lunch with a Catholic, female friend of mine and she said she asked a couple of the men who were not Catholic, but who came to Catholic Bible studies, conferences, and events, why they came. And their response almost always was because of the community they experienced with other men their age. They had never experienced community with their brothers in Christ more than at these Catholic events that they kept coming back to.

So Catholic men, I encourage you to continue leading wholly and justly and constantly remain on the lookout for your brothers in Christ who yearn for more than your average worldly friendship, but a friendship founded in truth and righteousness. And men searching, I encourage you to reach out to that one Catholic man you know and see what happens, see if you experience anything different. Challenge yourself to know and be known by the depths of your heart because I fully believe the Catholic church offers men that, and when encountered, it's the most beautiful and refreshing thing.

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I'm Tired Of Trendy Christianity

Life with Jesus is so much more than one big coffee break.
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Okay, you're a Christian. After all, you have all of the tools you need.

You have your densely highlighted and underlined Bible, your Eno, your Chacos, your Patagonia backpack and of course, your beloved Camelbak or Nalgene water bottle that is covered in name-brand stickers.

Your days consist of going outside, chilling in your Eno and blasting "Oceans" by Hillsong and "Good, Good Father" by Chris Tomlin. Your room is decorated with lots of inspirational quotes, maps with variations of "send me" close by and probably some pictures of your last mission trip. Your Instagram page is full of pictures of your friends that are "gems," captions of how thankful you are for certain things and pictures of the last country you visited that say "take me back."

Oh, and you might have a tattoo in Greek.

Okay, if you know me, you know that I literally just described myself. So, when I say what I'm about to, I'm not bashing anyone at all. I am guilty of all of these things and God has really laid these things on my heart that I've found myself doing time after time.

It seems that in the time we live in, if you're going to be a Christian, you have to have all of the right things, and I'm tired of it. Christianity is not about having a certain look or personality, but about having a deep, meaningful relationship with Christ. I think a lot of people have the wrong idea about what being in a relationship with Christ actually looks like. I'm here to tell you that it's not anything like what I described.

Being in a relationship with Christ is not easy, and it's certainly not the most trendy thing out there (maybe on your college campus, but not in the real world.) It's about surrendering everything you have to a God who sent his son to be crucified for things you've done wrong.

It's more than just drinking designer coffee and Bible journaling and "being intentional."

It's about finding peace and joy in spending time with our creator. I know a lot of people just like me who fit the stereotype perfectly who have some of the deepest, most meaningful relationships with Christ, but I also know a lot of people who fit the stereotype who are just faking it.

I'm so tired of people who do not know Christ thinking that they have to have a certain look or personality about them and it hinders them from running into the loving arms of Jesus. We've made Christianity a club, and that's not okay. We have taken God's beauty and grace and made a fad out of it.

So, friends, I'm not saying that we can't have these things and still be Christians (because honestly, I like the way I live life with these things I've been given, and this is just who I am,) but I am saying that having these things are not what makes us Christians. So, be careful how you live out your walk.

Are you just doing it to be trendy, or do you have a deep and meaningful relationship with Christ?

Walking with Jesus is more than just a big coffee break.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr/Psalm Thirty Seven Four

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It's Called 'Prosperity Gospel,' And It's A Dangerous, Growing Sect Of Christianity

Jesus came to save, deliver, and sanctify believers. The gospel is not a get-rich quick scheme.

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Any typical Christian has likely heard of pastors such as Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and other individuals who push an ideology of faith that is so outrageous it is quickly rejected by many. Anyone who has read the Bible can easily debunk their claims on prosperity and "God's provision," as many of these men's views are unbiblical. However, these ideologies are no longer quarantined to the massive Southern megachurches.

Prosperity Gospel is seeping into churches around the nation, strangling believers and leading them astray.

What is prosperity gospel? It is the idea that if you follow God's commandment's correctly, he will literally reward your bank account. Ironically enough, pastors that preach this mentality often encourage their members to give large offerings because "God will give it right back to you tenfold in your bank account." Proponents of this belief often cite verses such as the following:

"And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." — Hebrews 11:7
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." — Matthew 7:7
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance." — Psalm 33:12

It is understandable to see where followers of this ideology obtain their justification. The problem, however, is that they are taking these verses completely out of context. The Lord has rewarded believers with eternal life, through the death of his son Jesus Christ, and with the fruits of the spirit to act in the image we were created in.

That is the reward.

Not riches. Not money. Not cars. Not nice houses. Some proponents will even go as far as to say that poor individuals must not have strong enough faith, otherwise God would have blessed them with money.

What kind of worldly lie is that?

Jesus called the rich man to drop everything to follow him and said many times that one cannot serve two masters: God and Money. If the motive for serving Christ derives for a hope of monetary reward, do you really think God doesn't see right through that? If your purpose for following God is in the effort of financial gain, you have completely missed the point of the gospel.

Christ came to save, deliver, and sanctify believers. The gospel is not a get-rich-quick scheme or something to be used to our own advantage. At that point, it's no longer the gospel, but our own sinful nature implementing a self-serving philosophy.

If your church holds these ideas, test them against scripture. If it doesn't stand against scripture, maybe it's a place you shouldn't be.

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