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CLARITY – 4-27-19 Cleaning House

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-27-19

Cleaning House

What’s Happening: “The Archdiocese of New York released a list yesterday of 120 priests and  clerics (the list actually includes Bishops, high school teachers, a Scouting Chaplain, and a Cardinal) for sex abuse. The list only includes those whose abuses have been substantiated. Most of the abuses stem from acts in the ‘70s, ‘80s or early ‘90s. Some have resulted in civil suits and the church has paid out over 65 million dollars to over 350 individuals (https://www.yahoo.com/news/york-archdiocese-names-120-priests-accused-sex-abuse-230007592.html). I realize ‘the shame that has come upon our church due to the sexual abuse of minors’ and I ask for forgiveness ‘for the failings of those clergy’ who betrayed the trust invested in them to protect young people. ‘It is my heartfelt prayer that together we as a family of faith may be healed,’ Cardinal Timothy Dolan said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “How embarrassing! Attendance was already down.”

Biblical Response:  “Yes…but I don’t know which is more shameful…the revelation that what some have suspected is really happening or sweeping it under the ecclesiastical rug for another generation! The Protestants, wisely, are being particularly quiet. I don’t imagine they have much room to throw stones (John 8:7). The scripture about laying hands too quickly also comes to mind (1 Tim. 5:22). Teachers (and essentially, that’s what all Christians are) have a special responsibility to live exemplary lives (James 3;1-2;  1 Pet. 5;3).”

“Christians? Since we believe in accountability, especially for leaders (Heb. 13:17), these abusers should be restricted from ministry. It’s kind of like asking a Christian former alcoholic to minister in bars – there might just be a little too much temptation. Some would even say: Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. One could also state: once a sinner, always a sinner…hopefully, saved by grace.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be ‘gentle, patient teachers of those who are wrong’ (2 Tim. 2:24); in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 3-30-19 Accountability Too Late

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-30-19

Accountability Too Late

What’s Happening: “In a last-ditch attempt at accountability, the Catholic diocese in South Carolina released a list of 42 priests (all but 11 have already died) Friday that have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children. Other lists have been previously released from dioceses in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Mississippi. The Catholic Church has released over 1,000 priests and others as part of a ‘house cleaning’ … but that number is in the U.S. alone. This latest list was only released as part of a class-action suit settlement reached in Charleston (https://www.yahoo.com/news/catholic-church-sc-names-priests-accused-sex-abuse-230433260.html).  ‘It is my fervent hope and prayer that publishing this list will help bring healing to the victims and their families who have been so grievously harmed by the betrayal of priests and church leadership,’ Bishop Robert Guglielmone wrote.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Wow! Over a thousand! What a tragedy!”

Biblical Response:  “Not to minimize the damage done to generations of the congregants, but what’s worse is it appears this was only done because it was forced. Aside from the natural tendency of the victims for silence, those that did know (or at least suspected) remained quiet, too. What happened to ‘when you see a brother overtaken in a fault’ (Gal. 6:1)? The church does not have to air its dirty laundry if it handles these things inside…EARLY.! It may also alleviate collateral damage.”

Christians? We believe in self-discipline and confession (hopefully the self-discipline eliminates the need for confession…or at least keeps the sin to impure thought, not allowing evil to mature to action)..”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, forgive the church for not dealing with the problem till it was forced…for installing the wrong men in the first place (1 Tim. 5:22); in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 9-13-18 Like Gasoline on a Fire

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-13-18

Like Gasoline on a Fire

 

What’s Happening:  “In case you haven’t been aware (or are living your life in a phone booth…wait, that metaphor is obsolete…or are living your life under a rock), there is a huge officially sanctioned persecution of Christians going on in China. The ‘underground church,’as large as 70 million (excluding Catholics), is under assault with church closings and threats (https://www.yahoo.com/news/prominent-chinese-pastor-defiant-church-closure-104056258.html). A pastor of one such 1,600-member church in Beijing, Jin Mingri, is reported to have said, ‘A church is more than just about a space. It’s about gathering together to worship, it’s about belief.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “At some point, won’t the underground church become extinct?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Probably not. Historically, some of the Church’s largest periods of growth came during the greatest persecutions (one only has to look at the birth of the underground church in China, when Mao killed 70,000 Christians per month during the Red Guard revolt of the 1970’s). The message of salvation is irrepressible.”

 

“Christians? We should not be surprised when the world hates us. It hated Him first (John 15:18). How do we respond to persecution? Be led of the Spirit. Some have done good to their persecutors (Rom. 12:21) Others, when threatened with bodily harm, did as they were called to do anyway (Acts 5:40-41). It’s kind of like trying to put out a fire with gasoline (Acts 5:42 through Acts 6:1).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, of course we pray for persecuted believers everywhere, but give us the courage of our convictions and may we do something today that fully convinces others of our primary love of You; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent