Today’s reading: 2 Cor 10
In keeping with his general themes throughout the letters to the Corinthians in today’s reading Paul again speaks of authority. Paul states directly that the purpose of authority:
For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave us for building you up and not for destroying you, I shall not be put to shame.
So the purpose of authority is to build up the Church and the faithful. Is there anything that could be more obvious? Isn’t this well documented down through history? The Catholic Church has been built up over two-thousand years to become a global entity that reaches to every corner of the globe. The Orthodox churches split from the Church and after they did they stopped growing and become regional national churches. The Lutheran’s split off and then grew and then split again into two larger factions. The Episcopalians split from the Anglican’s and it looks like they might soon split again over social issues. “Mega churches” come and go when their charismatic pastors rise up or fade away.
It is always dangerous to ascribe legitimacy to something just because it is big and a lot of people subscribe to it. That is not the point of the historical references above. The point is that only one church, through all the ups and downs, can trace its history back to the first century. Through all that history the Church has been built up, moving into new lands. Hundreds, if not thousands, have clearly been saints and miracles are a daily occurrence. All the while, historical records document that Church teaching today is the same as it was two-thousand years ago. Unlike all the other churches of the world, the Catholic Churches has diving authority which has worked to build up the Church over the centuries.
Tomorrow: 2 Cor 11