Failure of Churches, Whose Fault

Loutzenhiser's picture

This question has been circulating in my head for the last few days and seems to be a subject of prime interest among several members here, so I thought to start this thread to try to answer the question.

First let me be clear in that I do not believe that all churches or pastors are failing in thier resposibility to God. But I do see many churches and pastors failing or struggling in the winds of adversity that blow through the religious community today. WHY?

Let me set up our situation here. We live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, west of Seattle on the Kitsap Peninsula. We are home to some of the richest and most technical businesses in the world, ie., Microsoft, Real Player, etc.. In this region the fastest growing religion is Wican. That is New Age witchcraft. In our area the highly praised kids are the Crystal and Indigo children. For more information on crystal children link here. Church attending christianity is some %6.5 of the population. The large churches here (average membership 600 to 5000) either teach christianity/hinduism or prosperity message. For example Casey Treat. On the small end we have several congergations that use sheperding such as the Apostolic Lighthouse. (I feel for the women in that church. TJ and I have "rescued" 3 of them from thier controlling/abusive husbands.) The fastest growing christian community in the area is the storefront pentecostal movment. Small churces of between 5 to 50 members. The problem here is the lack of umbrella or oversite allows for some "intersting" beliefs to flurish. The Church of God of Prophecy is the largest number of this group. Here one can find everything from Mary, Jesus' mother as the literial wife of God to "It is not your fault you are failing in life. You must remove the Demons that are controlling your circumstance". A little something for everyone. We even have large congeration with an excellent pastor who teaches that water baptism died out with the Apostles (extreme dispensationalism), Grace Bible Church.

Can one wonder that I am seeking for the tenets of the original church?

The highest category of failure among the mainstream pastors in this area is "the other woman" and the second is (and this shocked me) pastors who come to believe that they are Jesus or are a direct messenger of God (in other words their words have precedence over the bible). Latest victim to that one, one of our local Nazarene churches.

Now the question is what do we do about it and how can we go about purifying God's church. Or do we just start over again with a new movment? How about the Spiritual Cleanliness Movment? What basic tenets should God's church embrace? How do we keep the pastors and congergation pure and inline with God's word?

jwmcmac's picture

This is my view of the

This is my view of the structure of the Church CHRIST built way back there on the Apostles while HE walked this earth and where that Church is today.

The Church was set up on ordinary people called and commissioned by CHRIST to go forth Baptizing all those who Believed all things whatsoever CHRIST had commanded them to Believe during the time while HE Lived and walked the earth . . .

. . . this Church being a Church structured with a Head on Earth, Peter, to be the visible part of HIS Mystical Body to go along with the, so to speak, Invisible HEAD of the Church in Heaven, this being JESUS.

The Church on earth was and is and always will have a visible structure on earth to go along with the invisible Structure in Heaven up to the day that they both come together on the last day.

The Church on earth was given quite a bit of Autonomy in that they were given all Authority in Heaven and on earth to bind and loose and to forgive or retain sin. The Church on earth exercises Her Power and Authority even today in matters of Faith and Morals, but does not exercise power or authority in matters civil . . . except as proper to Church internal government or Vatican City/State arbitration type influence. But the Authority and Power of the Church is definitely in the realm of Faith and Morals and is not in the realm of civil government except as the government is attempting to usurp its’ power and authority over the realm of Faith and Morals. The Church’s main weapon against evil is Christian witness often resulting in Martyrdom.

Some Catholic Saints, and some other Christians, have been put to death by political forces seemingly acting in cahoots with the Church. I believe this to be more politics than religion . . . is on every side of religion . . . is wrong . . . and we all went through it and all did it . . . but that is not the Church.

Because of the Action and Grace of the HOLY SPIRIT, which came upon the Church at Pentecost, the Visible Church has grown in age and Wisdom and Grace before both GOD and Man . . . and this in spite of every human frailty and in spite of Judases in Her and in spite of Wolves in Her and in spite of heretics acting to derail Her from time to time and in spite of every form of persecution of Her members from without and some from within.

The Church non-stop has been being built up, restored, renewed, purified, perfected . . . and has been making-Holy Her members through Her Sacramental Life of Grace and Faith since the days of the Apostles. Since the day Judas the Apostle was replaced in his office, the Church has been renewing and continuing Her mission and expansion into the world to conquer the world for CHRIST.

Now . . . either the Visible Church of the Apostolic day was, is and will always be the Church which hell shall never prevail against . . . or . . . She never was and never will be the Church which the gates of hell shall not prevail against.

We cannot have this both ways. Either She failed from the start and fails now . . . or . . . She is even today the same Church She was then . . . just as the Catholics claim. She is older in age . . . more pure in Grace . . . more formed in Wisdom . . . even now growing as She was then.

I understand that this is not even a possibility to be considered by the vast majority of Protestants and is no longer considered to be so by very many so-called Catholics (in name only) of today as well . . . At least in our 'American' individualistic and relativistic culture and society, this seems to be the situation. Many many Catholics have never even been taught or have never actually Believed what their Faith actually Teaches. Many Catholics are almost as poorly informed about their own Faith as are so many Protestants misinformed about the Catholic Faith. Many Catholics and Protestants seem to think one so-called Christian Church is the same or as good as another. No True Catholic Believes this. No True member of any particular Protestant denomination probably believes this either. It is better to be hot or cold and not luke-warm, the Scriptures say.

A True Catholic will 'respect' the Faith of his separated Brethren . . . but will not agree with him as to which Church is the True Church. A True Believing Catholic will not say his separated Brethren are going to 'you know where' but will be more than happy that he, the Catholic, is not in their boat . . . despite the shambles the Church often finds Herself in. We are just delirious that we are onboard this Catholic Ship . . . no matter the storms from without or from within.

We various Christians of whatever persuasion may come up with our own personal version of some invisible Church that we alone each can 'see' in our own imaginings . . . but to me . . . that is what it is . . . imagining. CHRIST was and is the Real SPIRIT and Truth of our natural and HIS Supernatural Natures. CHRIST was and is visible and Invisible. CHRIST is Incarnate and now Glorified. CHRIST’s Church has all of these attributes as well.

To we Catholics, the only visible Church that can possibly fulfill the first and last conditions of 'was, is and will always be' is the Catholic Church.

No matter how many wolves, how many heretics, how many Judases are now or have been in Her midst . . . She is the One True Church or there is not and never has been a True Church.

Think about it. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church which CHRIST established on the Apostles. She may appear to be destroyed at the end of time . . . only to rise on the third day . . . if that were so.

If we are still waiting for the Church to appear, denying the One Who stands before us, we as Christians would then be like the Jews still waiting for the Messiah to appear . . .

Please don’t be offended. I Hope we can see that this is the only position a True Catholic can take who actually believes in CHRIST and CHRIST’s Church. We actually Believe in the Church being One with Her Master, then and now. We do not always understand the sins of some of Her members, but we still Believe that She is the True Church with the True Faith . . . and this despite the bad actions of some of her members and more often because of the Beauty and good actions of some of Her Members, the Saints.