Protestants prefer Jesus’ “Direct Commands”

Jesus gave us the operating instructions we’d need to get our souls into Heaven. His directions take two forms. The “Direct Commands” are clear. “Love God with all your heart and soul and your neighbor as yourself.” is typical. The Beatitudes, The Sermon on the Mount, provide His clear, “Direct Commands” in Mt 5, 6, and 7. They tell us, clearly and directly, how we should be.

Protestants, to their credit, accept much of what Jesus said in the most famous sermon of all. Protestants prefer Jesus’ “Direct Commands”. They are simple, clear, and direct. With Jesus’ “Direct Commands”, there is ready understanding.

Protestants prefer Jesus’ “Direct Commands” because they provide a framework that allows for some flexibility. Anyone can proclaim themselves a “Pastor” and start quoting The Sermon on the Mount and, with little effort, provide some real help and guidance. Want to have several wives? Nothing in the Sermon on the Mount says you can’t. Birth control? It’s not proscribed. Celibate priesthood? No mention of that, either. So, Protestants prefer Jesus’ “Direct Commands”

Since Jesus’ “Direct Commands” offer so much latitude, some Protestants are able to justify not only birth control, but also, abortion. And, when a group sizable enough to support a Protestant minister can be assembled around some belief or another, whether “liberal” or “conservative”, a new schism starts.

Now, there are 40,000 Protestant schisms. They call themselves “churches”. They aren’t. They are theological marketing plans in denominational form. What little consistency there is diminishes every time a new sect is formed or an old sect changes to “keep up with the times”.

On the other hand, there is The Church Jesus Founded. It obeys Jesus’ “Indirect Commands”. The difference is clear. A quick review of The Three Step Program shows why we need His Church:

Step 1. Jesus said: “You are My friends if you obey My commands.” (John 15: 14) His commands may be direct or implied. Both must be obeyed if we are to be His friends. If we choose to disobey His commands, His words clearly mean “You are not My friends.”

Step 2. Jesus said: “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Mt. 16: 18-20) The implied command: He is clearly telling us that He founded One Church. He put the first Pope, St. Peter, in charge. Just as The Church He Founded is still led by a successor to Peter, it also the power to forgive sins and remains immune to destruction by evil. Those who refuse The Church He Founded must let us know why Jesus would let His enemies into Heaven.

Step 3. Jesus said: “If you do not eat My Body and drink My Blood you do not have life in you.” (John 6: 53) This command tells us that if we choose not to do what is necessary to receive Catholic Communion, that we are dead. The first time He said those words, everyone but His most faithful disciples abandoned Him. Those words still divide His friends from those who are not His friends. His Words are a test for all time.

Those who take Jesus seriously enough to obey Him will ascend the three steps and arrive at The Church He Founded. Jesus affirms The Three Step Program.

4. Jesus affirms those who obey His “Indirect Commands”: In Luke 8: 19-21, Jesus tells obedient Catholics how He truly regards us: “The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.’ He said to them in reply, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.’”

We who obey fully enough to strive for the worthy reception of Catholic Communion are more than friends: We are family.