Politicians and priests, I’m sure there are others, have strayed from their duties of helping society as a whole and have settled for what is easiest and least controversal for them to do or what makes them the most money. At this juncture in history a repeat of the ugly past has overtaken the present. But I deeply believe that the future is not hopeless.
Leaving an analysis of politics and politicians I would like to focus on priests since I am one. How can I put this delicately…? Priests have abdicated their dual duties to preach the truth of the gospel that has been handed down by Jesus Christ and to challenge society in the errors that they cling to in an un-godly manner. (I’m including myself here.)
It is true that God will, “take us where we are”, but God does not want us to stay there. Scripture and science both teach us that if someone/something does not grow then they/it dies. As priests we have every right to challenge ourselves and our people to continuously grow in Christ. That has fallen out of favor. The reason? Money! Hell hath no fury like a parishioner who is asked to grow or who disagrees with the preaching of the truth. God forbid a parishioner be asked to grow spiritually or be taught the truth from the pulpit. They may leave the Church or stay, bitch continually and withhold their money. And that seems to be the most important thing doesn’t it.
I had a priest refer to a parishioners unwillingness to hear the truth or to grow as them being in their “comfort zone”. He went on to say we have no right to take them out of their comfort zone. That is not only wrong it is contrary to scripture and it is contrary to what Jesus did in his time in history. So God regularly took people out of their comfort zones in both the new and old testaments. As priests that is what we are ordained to do. St. Paul would be appalled to see what is really happening! You stupid Galatians…
St. Paul kept after people to live according to the love of God. St. Augustin did the same thing. “Bother” them and bring them back to the fold out of love. Augustin is a great example of a never give up on others attitude. (His mother St. Monica is a great example of that too.)
Our job as priests is to get ourselves into heaven and to get as many people as we can to heaven by our preaching and teaching the gospel. And if that is offensive to some people occupying the pews and to some priests also, well to damn bad. It is our job. It is our vocation. But money has trumped the truth and all priests, that includes bishops too, and me of course, need to forgo money so not as to forgo the truth. If the truth is offensive to some people then their money should be offensive to us.