Broken Spiritual Thermostats

For the past two or three days, my husband and I have both been “under the weather”. Whatever this illness is, it has us both alternating between feeling hot and cold. Neither of us is perfectly healthy, so there is no adult in the house who has a true sense of what the thermostat should be set on.

One of us will turn on the heat (due to a case of the chills) and the other will come along and flip the thermostat to AC (because the house suddenly feels really hot). Then, our bodies will reset, and we’ll each be dashing down the hallway to reverse our previous thermostat settings.

That is exactly how it is when Christians think they can go it alone, without Mother Church to set the standard.

If there is no deposit of the Faith, no true North Star, then we’re all just out there deciding for ourselves what seems right. What is right to believe. What is right to do. What is right to teach others.

It is a recipe for disaster. The thermostat keeps getting changed. How are we saved? When are we saved? Can we lose salvation once we have it? If we are to go to the church with our disagreements and have those differences resolved by the church, what church should we go to? Some say one thing on the cultural issues of the day. Others say the complete opposite.

What if they are all suffering from a classic case of spiritual flu? What if we can’t really rely on anyone to KNOW anything for certain?

That third pillar of the Protestant Reformation — the one called “Sola Scriptura,” which is really personal interpretation — opens the gates and lets almost anything in.

Everyone puts complete trust in feelings. I think that verse means thus and so. You’re crazy, it means this. And I can back it up. Look up this other verse over here. See where it says this?

Right now, I feel chills. I need to turn on the heater. My husband thinks it’s burning up in here. He’s ready for the AC. Neither one of us is right.

The thermostat is set at 70 degrees. And we know, regardless of how it feels, that 70 degrees is just about perfect. We’re the ones that are a little broken.

And that is how it is with the deposit of Faith.

Private interpretation cannot be trusted. The Church that is over 2000 years old can be trusted. The Church that goes back to Jesus and St. Peter and the Rock and the Keys – Her dial is set exactly right.

If something else seems to be the real deal, you might just have something out of whack with your personal thermostat.

There are over 33,000 denominations (and counting). They all teach something different even though Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead the Church into perfect Truth.

What is your thermostat set on?

Mine is set on Mother Church.

Denise Bossert


Denise Bossert is a convert and a syndicated columnist. Her column has been published in 60 diocesan newspapers. She attends Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri.

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