Professional Christianity and Hypocrisy
What names or ideas come to mind when someone asks a young person today about Christianity? That’s a scary concept. Chances are that you could tell your friend’s that the Anarchist’s Cookbook was on your bookshelf much more easily than telling them that the Scriptures and the Catechism takes pride of place. The truth is, the world is looking for a way to discredit our claims simply by pointing to the lives we lead. When someone who makes a living serving God and the Church fails in their duties, the world strings them up on the media flagpole for all to see. We are all too familiar with the sexual abuse scandals that have ravaged the church the the last decade. Though statistically, sexually abusive clergy are between 1-4% (depending on the source), the entire population of clergy are now painted with the same brush. Even when that statistic is far less than what studies have found in other professions, such as teachers or doctors, we are being fed the idea that we cannot trust our clergy, and that then trickles down to you and I sitting in the pews. The world is constantly looking for a reason to ignore us and at worst, to hate us.
In recent news, Tim Lambesis, lead frontman for the Christian metalcore band called “As I Lay Dying”, was arrested over allegations that he tried to hire an undercover detective to kill his estranged wife. Now, whatever your views are on “Christian metal” or “As I Lay Dying” in general, what we are seeing is another direct hit upon the credibility of Christians. The headlines make it very clear that Lambesis is the lead singer for a Christian metalcore band. Though As I Lay Dying’s fanbase is shocked and most of them are in disbelief, it appears that the evidence is pretty undeniable. This is just another example of hypocrisy among modern day professional Christians.
I recently watched the film adaptation of the book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. A clip from the movie really struck me, and I was reminded of it as I read the article about Lambesis. Here it is (WARNING: The language is a little foul):
Being a real Catholic in today’s world is tough. The current of relativism is sweeping the masses downstream and off of the edge of the world into the abyss. As Catholics living in the modern world, we must declare with our very lives that Jesus does make a difference in us; that the world, the flesh, and the devil have not won over us. In this time, there is no room for invertebrate Catholics. What the world needs today is Saints who can change the course of history by defending the truth in the professional world. We need clergy, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons to speak the truth without compromise from the Ambo every Sunday and every day. We need clergy who spend themselves for others. Christianity is not about simply being a nice person. It is about restoring the Kingship of Jesus Christ in the world by enthroning Him in the hearts of all people. It is about loving God and from that place, loving all of the people He has created. It starts with you, and it starts with me. It starts with renewing our Baptismal vows (or if you have never been baptized, it may mean being baptized) and from that renewal of those sacred vows, we then commit to the Sacramental Life, to prayer, and to growth in virtue, and from there to evangelization and the work of saving souls. We can see in the lives of those professional Christians who failed miserably that so much time was spent on themselves that they lost sight of Jesus. Pride is at the heart of lukewarm Christianity.
Humility is central to being a real disciple of Christ. Being a real Catholic means being keenly aware of our weaknesses and failings. It means keeping ourselves in check through the Sacrament of Confession, regular spiritual direction, and through brotherhood and sisterhood. It means being humble enough to admit we are weak. It means seeking to decrease so that Christ may increase in us. Jesus told us that the world would hate us because it hated Him first. Let us pray that the world would hate us not because of our sin but because of our radical holiness.
Posted on May 16, 2013, in Catholic, chastity, Christian Music, Church Corruption and Renewal, Current Events, Evangelization, Love, morality, Orthodoxy, Piety, Saints, scandal, Sexuality and tagged Blue Like Jazz, Christian Scandal, Donald Miller, Sexual Abuse Scandal, Tim Lambesis Arrested. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.