Monday, November 23, 2015

Scandals of Christendom

I'm still a bit stunned from seeing the film Spotlight last night. It is the story of how a band of reporters at the Boston Globe exposed the coverup of the pedophile priest scandal in the Catholic Church. A conspiracy of silence, from the hierarchy to the family of the child victims to even the press, had all kept a cover on it for decades to preserve the facade of holiness in a truly corrupt system.

Even though I have followed the events over the past fifteen years and am very familiar with it, seeing it acted out left me with anger and tears. I was raised in the Catholic Church, and though I never observed sexual abuse, I did see physical abuse toward children close up. The system was corrupt from the get-go.

When I got saved as an adult and attended Bible-teaching churches, I assumed there was safety from such predators there. The PTL scandal of the 80s busted that bubble. From then on, there was one after another -- the Paul Crouch homosexual pay-off scandal, the Ted Haggard gay sex and drugs scandal, the Bob Coy adultery/womanizing scandal, and a plethora of others - some highly visible, some lesser known.

The mystery of iniquity is hard at work. And prophetically it's only going to get worse. Bad behavior and bad doctrine go together.
Yet we all must keep a guard over our own hearts. The devil is ramping up his attack and knows our weaknesses. We need to be on the alert and not get drawn away from abiding in Christ when we are tempted. The battle against sin must continue to be a battle -- we must not give in. 

While signs and wonders followers are seeking metaphysical power, we must rely on the LORD for His power over our sins. Don't be fooled by those who say we can sin all the more that grace may abound. The enemy that stumbles us is sin in our own hearts. Confess those things to Jesus whenever they come up. None of us is immune to temptation. 

Pray for one another. We're not in this battle alone.

"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
- 1 John 1:6-9

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil, Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;'
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
Come now, and let us reason together,'
Says the LORD,
'Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.'"
-- Is 1:16-18

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