|Empty church pews|
Religious News Service reported on November 19th that prominent U.S. evangelicals Russell Moore and Rick Warren blasted the sexual revolution at a Vatican conference Tuesday (Nov. 18) and stated it is destroying the institution of marriage. See details of article here,
What an incredible indictment this article is about institutional religion. The Catholic Church with a historically dismal record on ecumenism has suddenly found two sympathetic soul mates in fundamentalist preachers by the name of Russell Moore and Rick Warren.
If the Vatican was genuinely interested in solidifying the 'institution of marriage' and the family why does it not consult the laity? If the ‘institution of marriage’ appears to going downhill according to the experts why was the laity not consulted in preparation for the recent Synod on the Family? If we are indeed living in a culture obsessed with sex then yesterday’s religious experts have failed the laity miserably. And perhaps no one failed more in this area than the institution itself on the matter of sexual abuse of children. Part of the failure must be attributed to the very unhealthy, outdated and damaging teachings on sexuality from the Roman Catholic Church itself. Take for example the teachings on homosexuality, masturbation, inVitro Fertilization, the use of condoms and other means of birth control, celibacy, etc., one would think like St. Augustine, that human sexuality was not a gift from God but from the devil. Why would anyone consult a group of celibate men to describe what sexuality and marriage should mean to a modern family? What about family life itself? Most families today require that both parents work in order to meet the monthly bills to pay for inflated mortgages, transportation costs, while raising children among staggering education costs. What do celibate men know about these daily challenges? Experience is still and only the best teacher.
Instead of condemning families and their sexual behaviour meet families where they are – not where religious institutions would have them be. For a small minority to hide behind much needed changes on homosexuality (which has long since been identified by ALL major medical institutions as a hormonal issue) is a betrayal upon its victims. While the Bible does offer its readers warnings about sexual deviation it has nothing to say about homosexuality any more then it has to say about inVitro Fertilization.
Survey after survey suggests that more than 90% of people believe in God. Thus It should be obvious to religious institutions particularly the Roman Catholic Church that the reason why so many have left the church it is because they no longer believe in an institution that does not listen to them.
Religious leaders have yet to learn not to denounce people from their self appointed empirical position and instead climb down from that misplaced ladder and like Jesus learn to dine with and be with the sinner.