Bible openMainstream Christianity can be peculiar.  Have you ever noticed that despite our ever-expanding lectionaries across the denominations that a bit of censorship has been going on over the past 20 years?

Every so often you’ll see an ellipsis (…) in the Sunday readings, especially during Ordinary Time.  The priest or reader will omit a few offensive verses.  Those are the meaty ‘yes-you’ ones, but because of the nature of Christianity today, you’ll have to read them on your own, unless you go to a church that believes in the unvarnished Biblical truths.

What follows are two of my favourite readings.  Yes, they may sound familiar, but you might not have heard one or two verses for a while, if at all.  Yet, they are as true today as they were in the early Church.  Today’s readings come from the Douay-Rheims Bible.

1 Corinthians 6:9-20:

Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 10 Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. 11 And such some of you were; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God.

12 All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful to me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Meat for the belly, and the belly for the meats; but God shall destroy both it and them: but the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 Now God hath both raised up the Lord, and will raise us up also by his power. 15 Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot ? God forbid. 16 Or know you not, that he who is joined to a harlot, is made one body ? For they shall be, saith he, two in one flesh. 17 But he who is joined to the Lord, is one spirit. 18 Fly fornication. Every sin that a man doth, is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body. 19 Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own ? 20 For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body.

‘Do not err’ — don’t be mistaken.  There are many who shall not possess the kingdom of God. Note verse 17: ‘He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.’ When we are obedient to God and do His will, we remember the price Jesus paid for our sins through His Crucifixion.  When we are truly at one with the Lord God, we no longer operate through the alternating dichotomy of sin and spirituality.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-14:

And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him: 2 That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 4 Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. 5 Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, 9 Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, 10 And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: 12 That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.

13 But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of God, for that God hath chosen you firstfruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the spirit, and faith of the truth: 14 Whereunto also he hath called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.

The revolt  in this passage is an augur of the downfall of the Roman Empire.  Later, the Catholic Church understood it to mean the Reformation.  However, it can still be considered today as the state of play which will occur during the time of the Antichrist and false preachers.  God will punish those who turn away from the truth with false wonders, or ‘the operation of error’.  To avoid this, St Paul counsels holding fast to tradition, scriptural and unwritten.   

I’ll have more forbidden passages to share with you soon.