Let's go in the name of Jehovah! [I Samuel 17:40-45]
1. If a frog is placed in a pot filled with hot water, the frog would freak out and try to get out of the water as quickly as it can. Here is a different scenario: Let’s place a frog in the cold, and begin to heat up the water slowly yet steadily. Frogs are cold-blooded amphibians and can adapt to the external temperature. Frogs are quite adaptable. When the water reaches the boiling point, the frog in the pot would die. The frog might have enjoyed the warm water and thought it could bear the heated water just a little longer, but the frog could not stand the boiling water. The frog missed the right time to get out of the water, and, eventually, lost its life.
2. It’s not that difficult to realize a quick and obvious change, but it’s quite hard to realize a change that is slowly and quietly evolving. When things are going bad quite slowly and subtly, people may get used to this deterioration and manifest little repulsion against it. However, such deterioration will present a point of no return. It would be too late. The damage can’t be recovered.
3. Some frogs can stand the heated water longer than other frogs. Some frogs may simply give up easily and quickly. But the fact is that the frogs in the heated water will face the same calamity. It’s not a matter of if but when.
4. There was an individual in history who had realized the significance of the pot, so to speak. It was Martin Luther, religious reformer. The year 2017 was the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The year 2018 will be the first year of the second wave of the Reformation. The water in the pot is about to start boiling.
5. Saint Peter’s Basilica built on the tomb of the apostle Peter is a beautiful and magnificent architecture. It took 120 years to construct the Basilica. The construction process, however, was not so beautiful. The aristocrats in these days offered a great amount of money to the Catholic before they passed away. The Catholic churches were operating in the red, and came up with an idea of selling indulgences in order to manage their devastated financial state.
6. An indulgence was basically a ticket to Heaven. There is Heaven and Hell. There is Purgatory somewhere between Heaven and Hell. This is a place for those who are not good enough for Heaven, but not bad enough for Hell. As soon as the children, siblings, or spouses of Purgatory-bound individuals purchased an indulgence, the soul in Purgatory would be saved and immediately teleported to Heaven. Indulgences were for sale in the name of the Pope. Myriads of people wanted to purchase indulgences even if it meant they had to get a loan. This unthinkable corruption was made possible in the name of the Pope.
7. Interestingly, this particular corruption was not caused by a financial hardship due to the construction of the Basilica. Not at all. Throughout the Medieval, the Church had experienced a slow yet sure corruption, and the level of corruption had reached the point where selling indulgences didn’t even cause people to raise a question. The entire generation had rotten. The corruption did not happen in the blank of an eye. We have to be able to see where this world stands.
* To be continued.