Nowadays, many people lose their religious devotion and piety, while some others become demoralized. Some also, on a serious note, threaten to become atheists or become antagonistic to the teachings and doctrines of the church. A good fraction of these set of people provide many excuses: one of such is that church leaders; that is, Bishops, priests, pastors, seminarians and even lay faithful, do not
adhere to what they preach. They do not adhere to the words of the scriptures in the book of James chapter 1 vs. 22 which says “Be ye the doers of the word”. Their argument is based on the premise that the church and its doctrine was founded on scandalous histories. This has led some to question the church, her deeds/actions and her doctrines.
Why did pope clement issue out a Papal bull on the 22nd of November 1307, which led to the execution of the Knight Templars; who were wrongly accused of apostasy, idolatry, homosexualism and many other scandals, despite the fact that they fought and rendered their services to the church? Meanwhile they were tortured by terrifying means which include roasting of their feet to the bone, crushing their testicles and some were put on the rack and stretched until their shoulders dislocated. They unavoidably confessed to all sorts of horrible offenses including spitting on the cross. Indulgences are supposed to be given freely to any penitent who partook in good deeds and show remorse. Why then did the church, in ancient past, partake in the sales of indulgence to sinners without remorseful heart? Again why was Galileo Galilee’s discovery of heliocentrism termed false and discarded? Why was he under a threat of excommunication whence was forced to denounce heliocentrism? Also, why was the seat of peter moved to Avignon in France (during the era of Avignon papacy) due to political strife?
Well, these are mind-boggling questions, but judging by the caption of this write-up, the above accusations and many more leveled against the church are misguided. Why do I say so? Because, those mistakes were actually made by “humans” who represented the church and failed to live up to the morals prescribed by their offices. Even among the apostles there was Judas, you know what that implies. The “Church” is governed by all those who are her members by virtue of baptism. It is not restricted to those who are in the authoritative positions, rather it includes everyone who was baptized into Christ’s death and who believes sincerely in Christ. It also includes holy men and women who died for the sake of the kingdom of God. A good number of people who point accusing fingers at the Church, and whose reason of deviating from the catholic faith is based on the negative things done in the name of the church, will never think of the beautiful deeds done by individuals like Mother Theresa of Calcutta and many others. There are people, perhaps, clerics who tarnish the image of the church, but they can never surpass the number of good men and women in the church.
Therefore, if anyone feels that the church has erroneous doctrine, because some clergy persons in the church fail to be responsible, I now ask, why not apply common sense and look up to the ones who have responsibly lived out the word? Again, stating the obvious, have you forgotten that being a Christian suggests an interest to follow the steps of Christ and not the steps of the priest or pastors, as the case may be? In the same vein, for those who hold on to the flaws and frailties of the priests and pastors as a reason for losing their faith, I ask again, will you fall into fire or drown if they do so? I guess it is only reasonable to follow walk under the guidance and tutelage of Christ, more so, those who represents him faithfully.
About the Author
Aniekwe Lotanna C.
Contact him via email – firstname.lastname@example.org and instagram @ itz_charlemagne