The church long ago abdicated its moral authority when it became one with the world and declared that there are 'many ways (other than Christ) to heaven.' Pastoral misconduct may have prompted this idea.
With that, the church began a rapidly increasing downhill plunge as a soft Christianity was installed that required no character or effort, with new determination to adapt to the 'changing' world rather than the world adapting to the image of Christ.
It became an emerging church with lazy Christianity that promises all the rewards and benefits of heaven without any effort or commitment.This spiritual malpractice cost the church the respect that had long been its strength and opened the way to attacks by a world that in times past would not even think of vandalizing a church or showing disrespect to a minister or priest
Instead of demonstrating solid belief, the church became wishy washy and ineffective. The government that had strict guidelines regarding the church and protecting freedom of religion, now became one of the enemies of Christianity, with such shocking hostility that the namecan no longer be said in a public prayer.
God cannot be mentioned in a commencement speech, and the latest is that Bibles are forbidden in Walter Read Medical Center for wounded service men and women. Furthermore, any expression of Christianity such as a priest coming in to do the last rites for military personnel is now against the law.
Preaching against sin is considered so politically incorrect (a term coined by Adolph Hitler) that ministers can be arrested for counseling a homosexual who wishes to be freed from the "gay" lifestyle.
All of this, thanks to preachers who seem to have lost their stirrups, forgotten who they are and the solemn vows they took before God to faithfully preach the gospel and reflect God properly. Even those who reject Christianity respect those who are steadfast in their faith.
The Catholic Church has begun to reassert its moral authority having been pushed by the government too far. The present administration has ruled that Catholic organizations must provide contraception, birth control pills and abortifacients in their insurance coverage for employees and provide these things in Catholic run hospitals, which flies in the face of the sacred beliefs of the church itself.
The government had been poking previously by demanding that catholic adoption agencies place children with homosexual couples.
The Catholic Church is rightfully fighting back since these latest government edicts is an outright attack on the church and religious liberty.
XVI who is striving to bring purity back to the church recently pounded the table of a group of nuns in the U.S. who began rebelling over church teaching and demanding the church loosen up on worldly issues including abortion, homosexuality, male-only priesthood and they began promoting radical feminist themes. So what are they doing in the Catholic Church when they refuse to adhere to church doctrine?
Of course feminists like NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd accuses the Vatican of "Trying to muzzle American nuns." Ms. Dowd's column intimates that this is part of the war on women, men want to bring women to heel, put them in stocks and the "Shut up and sit down sisters." syndrome.
Good for Pope Benedict for taking the stand he has for church doctrine and faith. Hopefully, with the Catholic Church taking the lead, protestant pastors will take the reigns as well and stand firm in the faith, not stand wobbly in the faith.
This writer has been pleading for pastors to take back their pulpits for years. Hopefully, this will spur them on to "go and do likewise."
Our thanks to Helen Trautman, CEO-Results Unlimited of Pittsburgh for alerting us to the NY Times column written by Maureen Dowd.
Rev. Austin Miles is a Protestant minister and chaplain. Visit his website at: www.revaustinmiles.com