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by Matthew Kelly
The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity
by Fr. Bob Sherry
How do you like being lied to?
If you’re like me, the answer is “not much.” Over the past twenty-five years of speaking and traveling, I’ve witnessed countless lies being told about Christians and Christianity. And if I’m being honest, I have to tell you that I’m really tired of it.
That’s why I’m excited to tell you that this month we shipped our Ambassadors the first copies of my newest book, The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity. For two thousand years, non-Christians have been spreading lies about Christians and Christianity. The world lies about this subject more than any other. Some of this has been done intentionally and maliciously, while most of it has probably been caused by simple ignorance. I wrote this book to respond to those lies.
I have two great hopes for the book.
First, I hope it inspires you to fight the good fight. That in the face of the many lies that are told about you and your faith, you will be inspired to press on and live authentic Christianity—Christianity that spreads hope and love to the world.
Second, I hope this book is something you can share with your non-Christian friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family. I hope that in passing them this book you will open a door for them. A door out of the lies of our current secular culture and into the light of truth.
The current secular culture is bankrupt and becoming more so with every passing day. Today’s culture is becoming harsher, colder, increasingly brutal, and plagued with an attitude of every man and woman for themselves.
As modern Christians, we need to dedicate ourselves to living beautiful lives of simple holiness. Lives defined by gentleness, humility, thoughtfulness, generosity, courage, kindness, service to our community, and hospitality. If we do this, the world will beat a path to our doors, begging for a chance to belong to our dynamic Christian communities. We will have something the world desperately wants and needs.
At Dynamic Catholic, we think the world needs to hear the truth about Christianity and Christians. So we have a historic offer for the book: $1 per copy. Free shipping. You read that right. Right now, you can order paperback copies of The Biggest Lie for just $1 each to give to everyone in your parish this Christmas.
I hope you will join me in the mission to spread the truth in our culture of lies. Get a book for yourself, and get a copy to give to a non-Christian neighbor, friend, or coworker. Let your pastor know about our $1 promotion. Imagine if your parish ordered enough copies so that each parishioner was given two books: one for themselves, and one to give. The world will change when each of us decides to reach out to just one person and make a difference in their lives.
May God bless you and all those you love this summer,
“Transforming people one at a time is at the heart of God’s plan for the world.”
— From The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity by Matthew Kelly
Once upon a time there was a very successful business owner. His company had faithfully served millions of customers for many years. But lately business had not been so good, and his competitors were just waiting for him to fail. For months the man pondered the crisis, but the problems were so complex, and solutions seemed nowhere to be found.
Everyone was wondering what would happen to this great company, so finally the businessman announced that he was hosting a dinner for all of his employees; he would unveil a plan that would save the company and return it to its former glory. He wanted to convey to them how important each person was to the future success of the organization.
The morning of the dinner, he was sitting in his study at home working on his speech, when his wife came in and asked if he would mind watching their son for a few hours while she ran some errands. He was about to say, “I really need to focus on finishing my speech,” but something caught his tongue and he found himself agreeing, if reluctantly.
His wife had only been gone about ten minutes when there was a knock on the study door, and there appeared his seven-year-old son. “Dad, I’m bored!” he exclaimed. The father spent the next couple of hours trying to amuse his son while also trying to finish his speech. Finally he realized that if he could not find some way to entertain his child, he was never going to get his speech finished in time.
Picking up a magazine, he thumbed through the pages until he came to a large, brightly colored map of the world. He ripped the picture into dozens of pieces and led his son into the living room. Then, tossing the pieces all over the floor, he announced, “Son, if you can put the map of the world back together, I will give you twenty dollars.”
The boy immediately began gathering the pieces. He was keen to earn the extra money, as he needed just twenty more dollars to buy a toy he had been saving for since his last birthday. The father returned to his study, thinking he had just bought himself a couple of hours to finish working on his speech, because he knew his seven-year-old son had no idea what a map of the world looked like.
But five minutes later, just as he was settling into his speech, there was another knock on the study door. There stood the young boy holding the completed map of the world.
The father said in amazement, “How did you finish it so quickly?”
The boy smiled and said, “You know, Dad, I had no idea what the map of the world looked like, but as I was picking up the pieces, I noticed that on the back there was a picture of a man.” The father smiled, and the boy continued. “So, I put a sheet of paper down, and I put the picture of the man together, because I knew what the man looked like. I placed another sheet of paper on top, then holding them tightly I turned them both over.” He smiled again and exclaimed, “I figured, if I got the man right, the world would be right.”
The man handed his son twenty dollars. “And you’ve given me my speech for tonight. If you get the man right, you get the world right.”
Transforming people one at a time is at the heart of God’s plan for the world. It is also essential to developing dynamic marriages, loving families, vibrant Christian communities, thriving businesses and economies, and extraordinary schools and nations. If you get the man right (or the woman, of course), you get the world right.
Every time you become a-better-version-of-yourself, the consequences of your transformation echo throughout your family, friends, business, school, neighborhood, church, marriage, nation, and beyond to people and places in the future. It is God who does the transforming, but only to the extent that we cooperate. God’s grace is constant, never lacking. So our cooperation with God’s desire to transform us is essential; it is the variable. Are you willing to let God transform you?
If you get the man or woman right, you get the world right. Such a simple message—yet we seem constantly obsessed with things we have no influence over, rather than focusing on where we can have most impact, which is with our own thoughts, words, and actions. It is our own thoughts, words, and actions that are at the epicenter of our circle of influence. The further we get away from them, worrying about what other people are thinking and saying or doing, the weaker our influence and impact becomes. Focus on affecting what you can affect and you will have the most effect. It all starts with you.
In June of 2012 my life changed: I retired from regular parish ministry in the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, and moved to the Cincinnati area to serve as chaplain at Dynamic Catholic. At that time there were seven people employed here with plans for more.
This past June, five new people joined our team at Dynamic Catholic on the same day! What a delight. For all of them, it was their first day of full-time employment out of college. Fresh, new, hope-filled, smiling, and eager. A great day. Do you remember your first day of work? How did you feel?
These new people, and the others starting this month, bring the total number of team members here to just over one hundred. Dynamic Catholic models what St. Paul spoke of years ago: “I plant the seed, Apollo waters it, but God gives the growth” (1 Cor. 3:6). This is the essential phrase: “God gives the growth.”
God initiated something by planting, watering, and nourishing a seed in Matthew Kelly twenty-five years ago. For seventeen years Matthew re-planted God’s seed around the world, 250 nights a year on the road speaking in so many churches and to so many groups. Nine years ago Matthew planted the Dynamic Catholic seed, and many of you have watered it with your various levels of support. But God still gives the growth.
I just returned from one of our Dynamic Catholic pilgrimages. This time the pilgrimage was walking the seventy-five-mile Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. Arriving finally at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the burial place of the apostle St. James the Minor, we thanked God for another way to take a step closer to him. This is the Dynamic Catholic Mission. Oh, yes, we want to re-energize the Catholic Church in America, but we know there are many paths to heaven. And every step on this or our other pilgrimages refreshes our hearts and souls on this life journey.
So when you call Dynamic Catholic or email us to order one book or one thousand books, or register for a pilgrimage, or schedule or attend an event, or ask for prayers, or request a Mass offered for your intention, you might speak with newly hired Dan, Clay, Ellen, Maddy, or Sam. Welcome them aboard the most dynamic ministry in the Catholic Church in America today. Over ninety others have come before them, and more will follow in their footsteps.
And always remember: God gives the growth. Let God work through you.
Dear Dynamic Catholic,
Our group from the Archdiocese of Denver wants to extend a huge "THANK YOU!" to your team for helping us with a mission abroad in Guatemala. I reached out in November to request some copies of The Rhythm of Life and Rediscover Jesus in Spanish for the teachers and administrators of a Guatemalan school, Escuela Integrada, in Jocotenango, Guatemala.
Recently, two priests from our archdiocese were able to transport the books and lead the teachers in a retreat and book study using Rediscover Jesus. Many of the teachers are Catholic, and the US-based nonprofit organization that supports the school is nondenominational Christian. The books helped us start a rich interreligious dialogue centered on prayer and belief in Jesus Christ. It was a huge step forward in connecting the school to the local Catholic community.
The priests also led seminars for the families, spent time in the classrooms, and went on home visits to bless the homes of the families who attend the school.
Your books are making a difference around the world!
Want to share your story? Write us at YourStory@DynamicCatholic.com
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