By What Authority?
Yes, we weep for the sins of our fathers and of those still present with us. We weep for and with their victims.
And I think of my much valued Catholic friends who are truly holy people passionately in love with Jesus. I think of their weeping in light of the present very public revelations of the sins within Church institutions. And no, I do not exclude or excuse other branches of Christendom in this.
There is no excusing as has been truly said.
But how to have a voice in society in this background of evil in our midst?
How to speak against evil in our world when by association we can also be judged guilty? When we have not confronted sin in our fellows within the church? When we have extended “forgiveness” and not changed practices within our churches and not built in protective boundaries and not ensured accountability? When we have failed to protect the vulnerable?
Jesus was so clear in his indictment of those who “lead little ones into sin”. He said it would be better for them to be cast into the sea with a millstone around their neck.
Can a sexual abuser – or any other abuser – be forgiven? Yes, wonderfully and mercifully and gloriously yes! Think of the criminal on the cross who acknowledged his sin and who called Jesus Lord (how did he know?). Today you will be with Me in Paradise was Jesus’ answer. Think of the wonder of how Jesus handled the situation of the woman taken in adultery and brought to Jesus by the self-righteous religious leaders “go, and sin no more”.
Was Jesus silent when it came to confronting the hypocrisy of the religious leaders? No, it is worth reading Matthew 23 again and imagining Jesus as He delivers those astonishing accusations. John the Baptist of course lost his head after confronting Herod.
Should we confront and hold accountable our Christian brethren, church leaders, teachers and others in positions of responsibility who betray trust? Yes, without doubt, absolutely. In love, it is our duty.
Should we also confront – and condemn – leaders in our world who seek to introduce legislation that will ensure that our children will be exposed to evil and led into sin?
Yes, and that’s what the so-called Safe Schools Program seeks to do. And those political leaders who – in their wilful ignorance of these programs and the motivations of their designers for gender and sexual diversity education in our schools – are by their vigorous support also deserving condemnation.
And, fellow Christian, when it comes to the ballot box we must not, cannot, waiver in our responsibility to cast a vote against this evil. Otherwise we too are complicit. We too may have to accept our part in being cast into the sea.
Lachlan Dunjey. 7 Feb, 2017 rev. 11.