A Real And Serious Problem
Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Scripture Readings: 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5, 8b-10; Psalm 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b; Matthew 23:13-22
My dear encountered couples:
Among some people, I am afraid it is really among many people, Christianity does not have a good reputation. Because of the way some preach religion I’m afraid it frightens more people away than it attracts. There are ever so many Christians who make life lived according to God’s ways seem dull and gray, boring and austere. So many Christians seem to think they must live and dress in drab, formless clothes, with no jewelry, no make-up, no laughter, no fun. God and religion are a serious subject, not only important to our lives but essential. But the way some Christians teach it and represent it I think Jesus himself would be tempted to leave the Church because of boredom and narrowness and lack of freedom.
Jesus criticized the scribes and Pharisees for driving people away from God instead of attracting them. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves!”
If Christian living does not attract lots of people we must ask ourselves why not. If people are repulsed by the thought of joining church people we must ask ourselves why. Is it because evil is really more attractive than good? Does the way of the devil touch the hearts of people more than the ways of God? Or is it because too many Christians are like the scribes and Pharisees and misrepresent the God they say they follow?
What is the main problem with Christianity? Is it us? Is it Christians? Serious questions, right? What do you suppose the answers are?