Tuesday, November 05, 2013
We can pursue and abuse money, sex, and power in any number of ways and in a variety of contexts, including religious communities. In fact, religion often provides the perfect context in which the world, flesh, and devil may work, because those involved in the spiritual life are often trusting and devoted toward their leaders, and leaders learn quickly that there are many places and ways to hide in the world of the sacred.When there is scandal int he church - even when it is that congregation over there - the scandal reflects on all of us. Sometimes it is easy to denounce and decry, but sometimes it is also necessary to confess. IF we are part of the church, then we own part of that church's sin. I cannot help but wonder if wee confessed more, and denounced less, might the church not be a much better place? Might not our confession place that problem before the Throne of Grace and bring a healing to the situation that we cannot?
and came together, only to find that the world, flesh, and devil tend to make their presence known even at the Communion table, in the person behind the pulpit, when leaders come together to make decisions, and among the members of the congregation when people who are different and have different ways want to join in and be part of the community.
Ananias and Sapphira threatened to bring a financial scandal upon the Church in its earliest days. The Corinthians brought a world of sexually immoral practices into the sanctuary. A host of people in and around the Church followed the path of Diotrephes, who “liked to put himself first” and have the power. Etc., etc., etc.
Surely, from the beginning of the Christian way, it has been necessary for every believer to pray the words of Nehemiah: “Both I and my family have sinned.”
If our hearts know anything of God’s love in Christ, we will advocate for those who “hunger and thirst for justice,” the poor and meek who mourn and suffer under the leadership of those who are not merciful nor pure of heart, who seek power not peace, and who cause suffering by playing the part of persecutors rather than following the way of the Cross.
I must examine my own heart for in such situations I often enjoy the condemnation just a little too much - which is a sin of itself.
church humility scandal