Kergyma or Catechism?
Lordshome asked this question on 8/22/2000:
I read some of your answers and you sound like some one who knows Jesus, but I think if you really know Him you would not be preaching any other way to heaven but repentance and full acceptance of Jesus. To me preach other things like doing good deeds and so as a way of going to heaven is denying what Jesus did on the cross and his final words "It's finished". Of course good deeds and going to church and tithing and more is good and is expected of someone who is walking with the Lord but that is not the way to heaven according to the Bible, God's word.
mscperu gave this response on 8/22/2000:
The joy of the risen Lord be in your heart.
Thank you for your post.
I believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God, incarnated in the Virgin Mary who died for me and rose to sit at the right hand of God. He sent the Holy Ghost from the Father and He will come again to judge and then submit all power to the Father.
My faith is best expressed in the Creed.
Now regarding your question:
Pope Paul VI in his Encyclical "Evangelii Nuntiandi" distinguishes two ways of teaching.
One is the kerygma, i.e. the announcing of Jesus Christ the only Savior of those who accept Him as their God and Lord like Saint Thomas proclaimed him when he hadn't accepted the witness of the co-Apostles who had seen the Lord.
The other way of teaching is the catechism. It's about confirming the brother in faith and showing how this faith in Jesus Christ is applied to life and love. In Acts you read that they were ever together in the teaching of the Apostles. In word and deed the Apostles taught the faithful how to live their faith. The letters of the Apostles are catechism, teaching how to live the faith in Jesus Christ under the actual circumstances of their times.
So when there is no profession of faith or kerygma that does not mean it's not the foundation of all preaching.
Let me offer you an example. A husband because he loves her very much asks me how to make his wife happy. I don't begin telling him he should love her. I give him according to my knowledge suggestions how to do it.
Look it's like the ten commandments. If people talk about the commandments it may seem that this is the center of life. Not so.
What are the commandments? They are the consequence of the declaration of God's love to His people: "I will be your God and you will be My people." The commandments show how to be His people, how to answer this undeserved love.
It's a question of perspective.
May I offer an additional explanation?
The Protestant brothers have only the Bible in order to know the ways agreeable to God how to express their faith. Saint John says that the whole world would not contain all the books if everything about Jesus would be written. But this "everything about Jesus" has not been forgotten. The Church has transmitted it through the centuries. We call it Tradition. That's the reason of our 7 sacraments, of our liturgy, of our hierarchy. They all are ways willed by God in Jesus Christ in order to express our faith, nurture it and prepare for the moment when He will come again.
Generally my posts are catechism. I concede you that I should express more the foundations of my faith!
Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior. Why don't we repeat the prayer of Saint Augustine?
"Lord, give me what you wish and then command me what you want!"
Pray for me!
Lordshome asked this follow-up question on 8/22/2000:
Thanks for answering the question. But I still believe that when we teach Jesus as the Only Way we can't teach alternatives. I see catechism as a way of teaching the doctrines of a church but not the teachings of Jesus. For example, to keep the Sabbath holy means to rest and separate that day unto the Lord. A day for worship, adoration and exaltation of God. When we preach Sunday as a day of going to a service just as one of the other ways of going to heaven we're forgetting and not estimating the sacrifice of Jesus that is the only way. I believe that preachers are responsible for their teachings and they will have to give account to God if they are teaching things outside the word of God. Let's not forget what the book of Revelation says in Ch 22:18, 19 ...if anyone adds anything to them, God will...
and if anyone takes words away.......God will....
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people.
mscperu gave this response on 8/22/2000:
Ma'm I'm stumped. I don't get it.
Let’s contemplate a comparison:
Suppose you send a message that you will arrive.
I sweep the sidewalk
I open the door and put signs with the directions
I put out the red carpet
and hope you will find easily the way.
Then when time comes you have gone to an other address.
What do you expect me to say?
Ma'm, you haven’t read my answer or it is so complicated that it is impossible to understand it.
Your re-post has nothing to do with my answer.
Since when the letters of Saint Paul are an alternative to Christ?
Since when the reunion of the Apostles hasn't been called ekklesia - convocation = Church in English?
Item: I have spoken nothing about going to services or preaching going to services or ...or ... and since when services aren't worship, adoration and exaltation of God?
Item: I could take every phrase of your re-post and show you that it hasn't to do anything with what I said.
Item: If in spite of this you think you are writing about my answer I must ask you to forgive me because I don't know what I said.
Item: Probably you will say that I didn't understand or that I misinterpreted you. So be it!
PS. Are you Baptist?
Lordshome asked this follow-up question on 8/23/2000:
I'm sorry if my question was a bit confusing.
The reason I mentioned things in my question that were not related to your answer is that I was relating to other answers that you have given to other people. Please forgive me for that.
I'm not a Baptist. I grew up catholic. I thank God for nuns and priests that taught me things from the bible and high morals that helped me through life. But I also know that if I had died before I was born again I would've gone to hell. The reason why is because I was taught also a lot of things that I was suppose to do in order to gain my salvation. I was taught that I had to go to church every Sunday otherwise I was committing a mortal sin. I was told that if I go to church every first Friday of the month during 9 months I would go to heaven. (Actually I was a Sunday school teacher and I was teaching that too according to the books that I was given to teach with. I was told that in case of need I could pray to one of the many saints and ask it should be given. We were raising godly men and women to the category of God. Godly men and women are just mere mortal. Remember when Paul and Peter said that to the people that wanted to adore them and knelt down in front of them. He stops them right there and direct them to the only one that deserves the honor and the praise.
I see that you are a man that spent 40 years or more in ministry. My question to you is have you been making converts to Jesus or just to the church? I wouldn't like you to leave this world without knowing that it's not religion what saves but a relationship with God. Of course after we are one with Him good works come but not as a requisite.
I thank you for your time but I urge you to question your faith. Please ask yourself if I was to die today where would I be spending eternity? If you find in your heart that it's heaven, please ask yourself another question, what would be my justification? Brother I just have in my heart this urging for you. Jesus loves you and He longs for your complete devotion and adoration to Him alone. May the Holy Spirit fill you. May the Joy of the Lord be your Strength. In His love!
mscperu declined to answer on 8/23/2000:
You are repeating yourself and you haven't paid attention to what I wrote. Thank God that you have had an experience of being saved. You serve God your way I will try to do it in His.
Jesus says: If you don't eat my flesh you haven't eternal life. When do you celebrate the Eucharist?
And married people don't have to tell the other one: Look since I have met you I’m happy. Isn't it implied when they pass a day together wrapped up in the other one?
You have been instilled the typical ideas of a sect! They can exist only by bedeviling the Catholic Church because if they would listen once they would understand how deviating there creed is. Only God knows who is condemned.
It seems you have really known only the outer shell of Catholic faith. So more's the pity. It seems you never experienced the gracious love of Christ in His Church.
Catholicism is not a religion it's Good News!
But what do you care? You have your fixed ideas and you will be saved because even if you follow your (erroneous) conscience God loves you!
Who is right?
A denomination of 200 years or a Church with uninterrupted teaching from Christ up to now!