- 2 Corinthians 11.5, 6
Who made thee a judge over us? To such a man I answer before he speaks, that there is no impudence where there is an agreed need for the edification of the church; and if he takes exception to my person, let him consider not the character of the speaker, but the matter of my speech.
- Columbanus, Letter to Pope Boniface, Irish, 7th century
Columbanus was not the sort to go along with slip-shoddiness. His ministry in Gaul, in the midst of a comfy, moribund church and its suck-up prelates, was one of re-evangelizing the saved. And he didn’t mince words when it came to confronting the laziness, luxury, and laxity of the clergy or the sinfulness of the court.
He wasn’t very popular with the locals, but he couldn’t have cared less. His zeal was for the Gospel, the Church, and the progress of God’s Kingdom. These commitments guided all his endeavors, and every word that came out of his mouth.
Ours is a go-along-to-get-along generation. We don’t believe in confrontation. We don’t think we ought to comment about the way people live (or not) their Christian lives. After all, who do we think we are to insist that others should be more consistent in their faith than we are in ours?
But if we were more consistent, more devoted to the Lord, and more zealous for His Kingdom and righteousness, then we would not be able to keep from calling for the repentance and renewal our generation of Christians sorely needs.
Columbanus believed he was God’s ambassador to a worldly church and a pagan land. He didn’t care what anybody else thought, and he didn’t back down from his “offensive” words and ways.
That’s who he thought he was. And God used his holy impudence and stubborn resolve to bring revival throughout Europe.
So who do we think we are?
Psalm 82.8 (Aurelia: “The Church’s One Foundation”)
Rise up, O God, in splendor according to Your worth!
Rise up in pow’r to judge all the nations of the earth!
Rise up, O God our Savior, and hear our fervent call,
For You possess and rule o’er the nations one and all.
Lord, grant me perseverance in faith, and allow me to give faithful testimony for Your Kingdom for as long as I live. Adapted from Patrick, Confession.
T. M. Moore, Principal