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How Pope-Critics Misuse Scripture

Schismatic groups of Christians like to quote passages of Scripture that suggest that there should be a small number of Christians in the world. They pull quotes like this:

“How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!” (Matthew 7:14)

Then, they reason like this:

1. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it.
2. Our members, who oppose the Pope, are few.
3. Therefore, we have found the way.

Obviously, if you have reason, you can see that this is not reasonable, nor would they ever present their argument in a logical manner like this because it would appear ridiculous, but this is, in fact, their argument.

The real problem with their argument, however, is not merely in their inability to reason. It is in the false use of the quoted Bible verse, which is impossible.

They suggest that, after thousands of years, Christ’s Church should be composed of only a small percentage of men on earth. It should be a tiny, hidden group of believers.

The first problem with this is that they simultaneously believe that churches should be large and ornamented, decorated public buildings funded by monarchs and nobles.

Obviously, this desire and their belief that the Church should consist of few members can’t both be true. Reasonable people would realize this–but they are not reasonable people.

Even more importantly, the passages they quote are taken from the 1st century of the Church when there were very few who knew the truth and followed Christ. To the first followers, they had to overcome the concern that there were few and Jesus taught them to not let that distract them. He was speaking to those present as the Catholic Church was first being planted in Israel.

However, in the Gospels, He taught that it would not be so for long:

“The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. Which is the least indeed of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come, and dwell in the branches thereof.” (Matthew 13:32)

Yes, reading the parable literally (which has to be true for any spiritual reading to be true) it would start small, as a grain of mustard seed–but it would not remain small for long. In fact, it would be greater than all the plants of the garden.

Do the “trad Catholic” groups fulfill this parable?

Absolutely not.

Does Pope Francis’s Catholic Church fulfill this parable?

Absolutely. Over 1.4 billion members, all over the globe.

The Catholic Church has grown into the greatest plant in the garden, a tree in which the birds of the air (i.e. the saints) dwell.

Having said that, it remains true that relatively few enter the kingdom of God. But there are billions of people in the world and millions can still be considered “few”. How many people in your circle of neighbors, co-workers and family are Catholic? Probably few.

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