Saturday, September 5, 2015

We are Still the Church

It's easy to get discouraged in the Faith these days. As people who are attempting to be Christians in the 21st century, we are afflicted not only by the wickedness without, but also the wickedness within. Many of us, myself prime among them, have compromised with the world in ways that the early Chruch would have found unimaginable. When asked to offer our pinch of incense, we've bowed the knee to whatever we needed to live a somewhat comfortable  life in an unhealthy age. 

It would be quite easy to make one of two mistakes here. One would be to give into the sin of despair, to sit and weep and do nothing, firmly convinced that you are going to hell, and you can do nothing to change that. Jesus Himself made sure to counsel against this very situation in the Parable of the Talents.

The other is even worse. Instead of keeping the focus of their hate on their own failings, it is easier for some to transfer that hatred to the God whose standards they have failed. They blame the Church for its hypocrisy, even as they have become not merely a hypocrite, but an open traitor to what they once believed.

Don't give up. I don't know what your sin is, your shortcoming, your hamartia. What I do know us that God has a place for you anyways, even if purity and its rewards are beyond you. To this day, nobody has any clue what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was. Do men often recall that Moses wasn't allowed to enter the Promised Land? That David was forbidden from building the Temple? 

These men had sins of blood, pride, and frustration with God on their hands. Nonetheless, Yahweh used them to His glory. And nonetheless, this glory shone through, accruing to them an honored place among the righteous dead.

It cannot be disputed that this age marks us with us with a malign character, that it poisons us with a destructive decadence. These things do create real stains on our soul. But...
"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)
The stains will burn away, but what works we do, if they be of such stuff as to survive the flames, will remain. Therefore take courage! No matter how how much straw and hay you have piled up on the foundation, there is always room for some gold. 

No comments:

Post a Comment