Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Complaints Against The Church, Good and Bad

There's been a lot to accuse members, and indeed leaders, of the Church of lately, and so a lot of people have been engaging in accusing. Given some of the ways that many of our shepherds have fallen drastically short of living up to the task which Christ has given to them, that's entirely right and proper.

And yet, as I watch people making their complaints, it strikes me that some come from a spirit of faithfulness while others from a spirit of rebellion. And while we as Americans have a soft spot for rebellion, when it comes to matters of God it's worth remembering that there's one great rebel in the history of salvation, and he represents the ultimate turning away from God.

One simple division which strikes me in terms of how people complain against the Church consists of complaints that members and leaders of the Church are failing to life according to the Church's own teachings, versus complaints that the Church's teachings been promulgated by "the powerful" in order to oppress the faithful. The former is a reminder that the doctrines which Christ gave us are greater than we are, and thus that we owe to them obedience no matter how difficult that may seem. The latter attempts to put ourselves above the Church's teaching.

In assessing all this, the difficult balance it to remember that at all times the Church has been peoples by sinners. Thus, at any given time, though in each time according to the spirit of that particular moment, people are living out the Church's teachings badly, and mistaking some of their personal and cultural preferences, the sins they prefer to indulge and mistake almost for virtues, for "what the Church teaches". And yet, we are told, indeed, we are promised, that the Church is no merely human institution. Despite all the sinful people responsible for the everyday running of the Church, the overall teaching authority of the Church is protected by God.

Thus, we must remember that at any given time, many of our leaders may be lousy Christians, and yet at the same time that if we find ourselves claiming that the Church is wrong on some issue, that e are rebelling against Christ not following him.

Calling on Catholics to dedicate themselves more deeply to following the Church's teaching is the path back towards Christ, demanding that the Church's teachings change is the path away from Him.

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