February 16, 2012

The Saint That Almost Never Was Churches were growing in influence. Many of them drew large crowds of people to their services. Church leaders were not merely spiritual leaders, they were civic and social leaders as well. They had created educational systems to train children and found ways to care for the poor. But as the church became an essential part of the fabric of life, there were dissenters that arose. There were those who protested the large institutions, condemning their wealth. These dissenters want to "get back to how things were." They wanted to live as the early Apostles did. Many of those who were in various ways part of the "Apostolic Life" movement embraced poverty, lived simply, and spoke harshly against the Church. The Church returned the favor by marginalizing these preachers as lunatics and condemning these wandering preachers as heretics. There was one wandering preacher, a friar, who gained a large following and was especially well-loved by the populus. He, however, refused to speak against the church. In fact, he sought a meeting with the pope to ask for his blessing on his way of life. His humility was met with graciousness. The pope said that he could keep preaching, but to keep his sermons to moral preaching, and to stay away from theological issues. After all, the young wandering preacher was only semi-literate, considered an idiotae to the clergy. The young preacher agreed and his movement continued to flourish. Were it not for his refusal to curse the institutional church and his desire to seek their blessing instead... Were it not for the Church's willingness to listen to his prophetic critique and bless his ministry... ...we may not have known St. Francis of Assisi. This is a sketch of the cultural landscape of "Western Europe" in the 11th and 12th centuries. Sounds...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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