A Father’s Day in a Fatherless Nation

On a day like today were fathers are honored, there are many thinking who will they have to honor. It is a sad reality that the majority of our social problems can be traced back the absence of fathers; who are not doing the job that they were called to do. Boys who grew up without being taught how to be men and women who grew up to not know how to be treated by them because their role models were non-existent, even if a father lived in the house.

“For if a man know not how to rule his own house,
how shall he take care of the church of God?”
1 Timothy 3:5

Fortunately we have those others. Those fathers who have taken their role serious. Those who know that being a father is more than a biological deposit and more than providing a roof.  Those who know that their responsibility is to correct, guide, support, teach, and develop the life that was entrusted to them. Those are the fathers who we honor today.

“Don’t fail to correct your children.
You won’t kill them by being firm,
and it may even save their lives.”
Proverbs 23:13-14

I also want to honor those who have stepped up to the job  for those children who are not biologically theirs, but they have taken their job just as seriously.

“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a
wise son will be glad in him.”
Proverbs 23:24

Finally and more important I honor and praise Our Father, for creating us, providing for us, loving us, teaching us, and even sacrificing the life of His Son to give me eternal life.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,

that we should be called children of God!”
1 John 3:1

I encourage you to pray for all men, to recognize the higher calling and privilege that has been bestowed on them through fatherhood.

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Sex Scandal in the Catholic Church

Church Sex scandals are a hot button topic these days and have maintained high visibility in the media recently.  I was moved to write this because I believe that the passion and intensity surrounding this issue has skewed a lot of people’s opinions and perspective and I believe that I can give a more balanced view on this issue.

It is terrible that as a people we have to be watchful even with those who we have been conditioned to trust, namely men and women who claim to come in the name of God. Sex scandals have not been exclusive to the Catholic Church, many preachers and pastors have fallen short of the grace and those things have become public. It is always disappointing.  I think part of the disappointment comes from forgetting these individuals are merely men and women. We have the tendency to elevate their position because of the part they play in our communities, social settings and the body of Christ. The reality is that yes, their responsibility is to lead and teach us about the Lord, but their humanity doesn’t leave with their calling.  Actually, as Christians we need to pray harder for our leaders because their attacks and strongholds are often as large as their calling.

I’ve heard people blaming celibacy for these events. I respectfully disagree. Priests and nuns know that this is a requirement of the commitment they have made. If sex was the driving force then priests having relations with Nuns or other secular adults would be just as, if not more, prevalent. The truth is pedophilia, rape, and sexual abuse is not sexually driven. They are driven by a deeper disturbance; it’s about control and power more than the sex itself.

 The other part where I respectfully disagree is where it has been commented that because it was male priests with male boys, that it was due to homosexuality. Homosexuality is not equal to pedophilia. Statistics show that the majority of sexual predators are heterosexual.

Now the thing that really bothers me about these cases is the way they have been handled. Whether the abuse was committed by clergy or the man down the street, the inequities in the handling of the situations are abhorrent. The fact that many of these priests were simply relocated to new communities, with no consequences or rehabilitation program, is ridiculous. On top of that, the new communities were not advised of the person’s past behavior. If the church wanted to take care of it internally, like the military handles issues that pertains to soldiers; I don’t have issue with that, however, relocating them to another community is unacceptable. Instead they should have been placed in some manner of recovery program and then reassigned to work in a position where they didn’t have access to children at all. Is that lack of forgiveness and mercy? No! That’s wisdom. Slapping their wrists and telling them to not do it anymore, without true rehabilitation, placing them back into the communities to do more damage, is irresponsible, dangerous and ultimately criminal.

It is hard for me to understand why servants of God would think that this would stay hidden forever?  The word of God says that “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV) which means that nothing that they were doing was going to remain a secret.

I encourage you to pray for our religious leaders. They have a great responsibility and with it great lengths of attacks. I pray that they take the authority that has been given to them by their calling and correct appropriately those who have been entrusted to them.

I pray for those who have committed these terrible acts that they find themselves in true repentance before God. That they turn their hearts, make amends when possible and face accountability for their actions.

 I pray for the victims. I hope that their hearts continue to look to God for redemption and healing. God can restore anyone, and He can restore the souls of these who are suffering and their loved ones.  I encourage you to pray the same

Be blessed.