Thursday, April 10, 2014

Legio Maria: A Religion in the Making

The rise of Legio Maria from Roman Catholic is something many Legios are still proud of till today. Like early Christians, the current Legio Maria faithful stand in a transition moment. They face ridicule for claiming that Simeo Ondeto is God just as early Christians faced massive ridicule. They face opposition from almost all Christian denominations because of their unique claim to have a Son of God whose name is not Jesus but Baba Simeo Ondeto. This too is similar to the predicament of early Christians who were the only ones to follow the claim that they had a messiah, son of Yahweh, incarnated as a man.

Religion Is Spiritual

While religion is purely a spiritual affair, many early Christians never considered it so. Indeed, some held to the belief that Jesus was a human and political Messiah who would soon return to give Jews their long cherished kingdom. They never fully comprehended the difference between a spiritual Messiah and a physical Messiah. Therefore, during the time of Paul, we see him plant a spiritual religion only to be opposed by Judaic sympathizers who considered Christianity incomplete without the Law of Moses. The famous Jerusalem Council under the guidance of James saw a huge leap forward for Christianity. James and the principal apostles endorsed a spiritual religion and distanced themselves from compelling Gentile converts to be circumcised.

So, through the incisive intellect of Paul, a spiritual religion emerged and got nurtured. Paul nursed early Christianity by supplying the initial theological arguments for its independence as a religion. Paul's letters inspired early Christians to recognize their unique position in history and to stand for a spiritual conception of religion.

Legio Maria Faithful Should Seize Their Moment

For Legio Maria members, the same old challenges that faced early Christians have returned. They are told that Simeo Ondeto cannot be the Son of God because Jesus has not returned physically on the clouds. This argument by Christians appears favorable for use in denouncing Legio Maria and Simeo Ondeto, but it is also an argument against the same Christians. If Christians insist that a true return of Jesus Christ must be as predicted in the scriptures, then they should carry the same argument to the foundations of Christianity.

At the beginning of Christianity, the Jews argued against Jesus being the Messiah because he did not physically fulfill all the biblical prophesies about the expected Messiah. To overcome the arguments for a physical messiah, Christians made flight to the spiritual Messiah. So, here, Christians and Legio Marias are all the same. Their Sons of God are both spiritual and not the physical fulfillment of the coming of the son of God. Religion serves the spirit. Yes, it does serve the body too, but both Christians and Legios alike would agree that they are seeking a heavenly Kingdom and not an earthly Kingdom.

The Destiny of Legio Maria

Legio Maria is destined to being one of the world's religions. Its claims, while based on the foundations of Christianity, will not always be justified through the Christian Bible. The Christian Bible cannot justify the return of the Son of God as a human being again because it is not a record of what God revealed in the age when the bible was written but is what God is revealing today. While the Bible is a record of truth, it is deficient in some truth because there are things about the second coming of Christ that had not been revealed at the time of the composition of the Bible. Therefore, the Bible will not justify the appearance of both Mary and her son on African soil, and the filling with the Holy Spirit at John Baru's home, because such events had not been revealed to early Christians and writers of the Bible.

So Legio Maria members must take heart. They must know that theirs is a new way that is explaining certain truths that were unknown to the past ages. And they must know that while the road ahead for Legio Maria is long, it is not impossible for Legio to grow into what God has planned it to be. All world religions began with opposition, with small congregations, and with rejected claims. They overcame the storms through clarifying their theology and through missions. Legio Maria needs to publish its books and not to depend on the Roman Catholic Church Tassera and prayer books. It needs to tell the world about its history, its beliefs, its prophecies, its morals and its God. Then, God who is faithful will do the rest.

“Our Lord Simeo Melkio, lead us in ministering your word to those who do not know you. Amen.”