From today’s reading...
When they arrived in Jerusalem they were welcomed by the church and by the apostles and elders, and gave an account of all that God had done through them.” Acts 15:4
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is like the Catholic Church in that we can all trace our lineage back to the founder, but not all branches of Christianity can say the same thing.
If I remain healthy and continue training, I should receive my black belt in about two years.
If I were to open my own school, people would rightfully want to know what my credentials were, and I could point to my instructor, who is a 76X IBJJF Champion, 5X IBJJF World Champion, and #1 in the world in 2017-2018.
He is under Master Royler Gracie, who is the son of the co-founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Grandmaster Hélio Gracie.
Coming from that lineage, I could then argue that I’ve received great instruction, and after 8+ years of training 5-6 days per week, I am qualified to run a school and teach others the art.
Now compare that to the local New Covenant Harvest Enlightenment and Guitar Center in the local strip mall run by that hip young man in ripped jeans and the $75 fade who is also a DJ, a realtor, and does a little web design on the side.
His credentials are the ability to pray with his eyes closed and his hands raised while repeating “Lord Father God” for 17 minutes straight, and he once attended a tent revival in a Kentucky Holler where he received the sweat-soaked handkerchief of a no-foolin’ snake handler, which is practically the second Pentecost, so you know he is filled with the Holy Spirit and ready to lead you to the Promised Land! CAN I GET AN AMEN, BROTHERS AND SISTERS?
I was moved there for a moment and got caught up by the Paraclete Himself.
Do you see the difference?
The typical protestant church is led by literally anyone with a good marketing plan and a sound system.
There is no apostolic succession.
There is no Magesterium.
There is no Code of Canon Law.
There are no elders or Catechism that ensures the faith is both adhered to and taught correctly around the world for all eternity.
Jesus established one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church, and getting into it and remaining in it is the only way to...
Stay the course.
Keep the faith.
Market like you mean it. Now go sell something.