Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Ezekiel 18:23-24 - "Do you think I enjoy seeing evil people die?" asks the Sovereign Lord. "No, I would rather see them repent and live. But if a righteous person stops doing good and starts doing all the evil, disgusting things that evil people do, will he go on living? No! None of the good he did will be remembered. He will die because of his unfaithfulness and his sins." [Good News Translation (GNT)]Pretty condemning stuff, is ir not? I am not going to get all balled up in the theology of can salvation found be lost, etc, etc. etc.
Let's focus on one simple lesson that can be drawn from this text - Evil performed by those that operate claiming God's authority is somehow worse than evil done by those that do not. In other words, the Catholic child abuse scandal is much worse than the Penn State one.
The why is straightforward. Evil is evil, but evil in God's name is doubly evil for it also sullies the name of the most holy.
There is a difference between personal forgiveness and corporate forgiveness. The pedophile priests can and probably should be forgiven by family and friends - maybe even their victims. But their victims will never trust them again, nor should they and the church has no choice but to cast them out. None. Whatever personal redemption they may find, they have done the church irreparable harm.
Ezekiel put it in straightforward language - why do we make such a hash of it?