a seeming contradiction

matt 12:30 whoever is not with me is against me

vs

mark 9:40 whoever is not against us is for us.

what’s a good resource to understand this?

how does this relate to those outside the church?

Subscribing because I’m interested in this, too. :popcorn:

These can both be true. Both indicate that there is no neutral ground.

The second passage does not indicate what it means to be “against us.” If we understand being “against us” to mean not believing in Jesus Christ, and therefore not believing in the Church, then to not be against us means that one must believe in the Church. It might seem like an obvious passage when stated like this, not worthy of much more thought. I feel, however, that even this explanation deserves some reflection. Can one believe in the Jesus Christ and still be against Him? I say not. How could one turn his back on Christ if he has come to believe in Him? How can you understand His majesty and not be compelled to follow Him? Note that understanding here is not just an intellectual level if having heard of Jesus. It is having come to a personal revelation about His nature.

I think context is key. I know at least in the quote by Mark that one of the apostles saw a man dispelling demons in Jesus’ name.

We need to consider many of these quotes IN CONTEXT. What were the circumstances surrounding them? In those circumstances, Jesus was telling the apostles not to stop someone who is doing the work of God, that they can’t dispell demons without God, so not to worry.

So again, take quotes in their proper context, in the situation they were associated with, and I think you’ll find they make a lot more sense.

St. Augustine explains it…

We must take care that this saying of the Lord appear not to be contrary to that where He says, “He who is not with Me is against Me.” [Luke 11:23] Or will any one say that the difference lies in that here He says to His disciples, “For he that is not against you is on your part,” but in the other He speaks of Himself, “He who is not with Me is against Me?” As if indeed it were possible that he who is joined to Christ’s disciples, who are as His members, should not be with Him.

How if it were so, could it be true that “he that receiveth you receiveth Me?” [Matt. 10:40] Or how is he not against Him who is against His disciples? Where then will be that saying, “He who despiseth you, despiseth Me? [Luke 10:16] But surely what is implied is that a man is not with Him in as far as he is against Him, and is not against Him in as far as he is with Him.

For instance, he who worked miracles in the name of Christ, and yet did not join himself to the body of His disciples, in as far as he worked the miracles in His name, was with them, and was not against them; again, in that he did not join their society, he was not with them, and was against them.

Be because they forbade his doing that in which he was with them, the Lord said unto them, “Forbid him not:” for they ought to have forbidden his being without their society, and thus to have persuaded him of the unity of the Church, but they should not have forbidden that in which he was with them, that is, his commendation of the name of their Lord and Master by the expulsion of devils.

Thus the Church Catholic does not disapprove in heretics the sacraments, which are common, but she blames their division, or some opinion of theirs adverse to peace and to truth; for in this they are against us.

Clear Water :thumbsup: Context is So important for understanding. :slight_smile:

should not take these words out of context, these words were our Lord said at the journey of that time at that situation, but does not mean we should use these words like that at our life now.

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