A most intriguing passage it is — especially for our time.
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).
Let this sink in:
While we look around aghast (and for good reason) at the clerical crisis, and note the possibility even of a “cold” schism, with Catholicism suffering more than it has in our lifetimes — the very credibility of bishops, cardinals, and even popes in question — it won’t stop there.
In fact, the current Church upheaval, long anticipated in private revelations — and now materializing — is just the first act in a general judgment, purification, or set of chastisements that, when it has done what it must in the Church, will move next to institutions and cultures of the world.
Thus, those in secular walks looking down their noses at the Church and other Christian denominations (which likewise are seeing scandals, albeit different kinds) will one day fairly soon face their own reckoning.
Institutions that we have exalted, that we have depended upon, that we even have idolized, are beginning to crumble, for we are meant to depend not on the world but on God. How is Congress doing? And the court system? And education? And the medical field? The financial community? The media? And the legal world? All these and more are next in line. The first winds of a cyclone already bellow.
This is a reason why the Church found itself vulnerable to demonic infiltration: since the “Enlightenment,” it has accommodated worldliness and a new theology, a False Church, arose, one that instilled clerical arrogance and idolatry of the institution instead of Who was behind it.
It strayed fantastically from the ways of the disciples.
And so purification comes — and should be welcomed. Let the truth come out. Let us also be fair to everyone involved (as opposed to pointing only at a single person).
In evangelical circles in just the past few weeks have been major resignations at one mega-church due to sexual abuse of two disabled members; resignations elsewhere due to financial malfeasance; and even the preachers at Aretha Franklin’s funeral (he apologized — at the cemetery — for inappropriately touching a singer as she had taken the stage in tribute.
When we see the severity of what now afflicts Catholicism, and when we see the signs in the weather, in the fires, in the quakes, in the heavens, we can now that the time of chastisement is now upon us. It is worthy repeating the passage: “If it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
There is also the Scripture that says (Hebrews 12:5-8), “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.'”