September 22, 2018 @ 11:05 PM
Recently a 47 year old Deputy-Warden of a juvenile detention center came to us in pain over his Catholic Church (CC). As a life-long catholic considering separation, he wanted to know what the ACW position was regarding all that is going on in his Church. As a good friend, we enquired why he wanted to leave the CC to which he replied the pedophile-problems of their priests was his chief concern, but he had no disagreement with the spiritual teachings of the CC.
There are many administrative answers that we could have given, but we dealt with the question focusing on his faith and encouraged him not to leave the CC because of the malevolent behavior of a few.
The CC is 750 million strong worldwide and 99.2/3% of its members follow its teachings. If he did walk away, he would learn that, wherever he goes, that church too has its problems. We in the Anglican faith have often had great difficulties, for example, King Henry II's relationship with Thomas a Beckett. That Archbishop did not walk away from the crisis with the King, in fact he died for his faith! As Anglicans we see our faith as our strength--it cannot and must not be bargained away. We do not see ourselves as qualified to render judgment on the CC's current problems. It is in fact an old one, and so our suggestion would be LET-PRIESTS-MARRY as having their own families would perhaps reduce or eliminate this particular nightmare.
In this changing world where allegations have become facts destroying the lives of many, we must search our hearts to safeguard our faith from the world's troubles.
All major denominations have their problems; none escape from sinful wanderings, but we must never lose that faith which binds us fast to Christ. Leaving your Church and going to another is not the answer: your relationship with God is. What is the result of running away from one set of problems? You will be forever running from other woes. You need to realize that spiritual growth is within you--leave the world behind when you seek God’s grace.
The Anglican faith is our life. We have chosen to live by its guideline encamped in the Holy Spirit. There is no place to run even when some branches of the Universal church violate God’s word such as the Episcopal Church (Anglicans) in the USA ordaining gay bishops. This distressed us, but we did not run away from our faith because of it. We held fast with prayer as our guide.
When in doubt--refine yourself through the word of God. It reminds us “heaven and earth will pass away but my word shall remain.” This we can rely upon and never resort to running from church door to church door.