July 30, 2010

Confusing Christ with the Church

I have never really heard of author Anne Rice (@AnneRiceAuthor) before this week and must admit that I have never read any of her writings but I have talked to plenty of people who feel the same way she does. On Wednesday she wrote on her Facebook fan page that as a Roman Catholic she was "quitting Christianity" because she was troubled by the scandals that have plagued the Church and its response to such abuse, as well as issues of being anti-birth control and anti-feminism (CBS News article here).

A blog post from friend Andrew Schleincher (@AJSchlei) about Anne's decision got me thinking...Is it possible that people confuse Christ with the Church?

Here's what I mean, people think that the Church and Jesus are the same thing and as a result, wrongly associate things like hypocrisy, being judgmental and hate-filled with Christ. The Church, which is made up of imperfect humans like you and me, is striving to be like the perfect person of Jesus and unfortunately falls short on a regular basis. This fact does not negate the love of Christ or the significance of being a Christian, it does however, remind us that only He is perfect and we are merely trying to be and because of this, the Church is not perfect and won't be until in Him all things are made complete. I hope and pray that people can and will find the perfect Christ through and despite of, the imperfect Church and realize that when the one fails miserably, He never does.

Do I think we, as the Church, unfairly give Jesus a bad rap sometimes...Yes.
Do I think that regardless, He not only loves but uses the Church...Yes.
Do I think this adds a weight of responsibility to the Church today and that we must continue to strive to become more like Jesus...Yes.


Gisele said...

I love a quote I've heard attributed to Mother Theresa: "If all Catholics were good Christians, everyone would want to be a Catholic."

If you read Anne Rice's works, you can feel her struggle with her faith; I've always thought of her as being very brave, because she puts all of her questions out there. I was hoping that through writing "Out of Egypt" and "Road to Cana" she was finding some answers. But what Rodney preached last week is true - our faith can only be filled by Jesus.

Matt Lipan said...

Gisele: thanks for the read and comment.

we do try a lot of other things to fill us don't we? funny how they never work and yet we keep trying.