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Within The Church

Mankind contains within it the sinful for we are all sinful. There are those who commit, murders, rape, incest, paedophilia, theft, violence and who are greedy, selfish, immoral and distorters of the truth. Yet within mankind are many good people who try to live lives of goodness, kindness. love, generosity, peace and compassion. Many of the sinners are those who are trying to overcome their weaknesses and failings and trying to be good people. So often this is a lifelong struggle and needs constant vigilance to overcome that which would draw people into the darkness of evil.

It is the same within the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church for the church is made up of people, it is full of mankind and of mankind's weaknesses. So while it is extremely disappointing when those in the church succumb to their weaknesses it should be expected that some at times will not be able to overcome their failings just as many outside the church cannot. Sadly just as in the rest of the world terrible and disgusting crimes will happen within the church and there is no excuse for this and it is impossible to justify. However, to condemn the church for this and to declare that the belief of the church is worthless or hypocritical is truly a misunderstanding and distortion of what is happening.

The Church never accepts or encourages sin it always encourages people to be good, to aspire for holiness. The church tries to inspire people to be better as it wants to raise people up in the grace of God to be people of love, peace, kindness, gentleness and truth. The church reaches out to sinners not condemning them but inviting them to be part of the church so as to find the right way to live in God's love. In that love the church explains what is wrong in the eyes of God and what is the right way to live and tries to lead all to true life. Even when people fail the church does not give up on them it is there reaching out in true love. Some in the world cannot accept the church's right to state what it believes is right and what is wrong yet believe they themselves have the right to say what people should or should not believe or accept. Some try to enforce by law on the church what it should believe or what it can say is right or wrong. That surely in itself is hypocrisy.

The church even though it is full of weak sinners must and should continue to proclaim the truth of Christ and never change it to suit the whims of mankind for if it did then it would no longer be the catholic church. It should continue to reach out to all and invite all to be part of it but this does not mean it should accept the wrongs of the world when in doing so, it should do quite the reverse. The church should also never try to hide the problems of those who have committed heinous crimes while part of the church but should openly confront them and do what is necessary to overcome them. The Holy Spirit within the church guides and leads the faithful to face up to the wrongs committed and to do everything to put right that which is wrong. Thankfully after some painful mistakes the church is coming to terms with this.

While at times the rest of the world may not be happy in the way the church handles these matters (sometimes justifiably) the way the world handles them is often far worse. Governments, police forces, politicians, judges and society at times close their eyes to serious offences before them often hiding these crimes when it suits their agenda, or when they do not want to offend people of a certain belief system, or when they do not want to believe something exposed is true. Mankind also chooses at various times to change what is right and what is wrong, what is sinful and what is not, what is illegal and what is not. How then can there ever be true justice? The truth never changes it is just mankind's understanding of it that does.

Society so often condemns the church for its wrongs but then so easily can justify or ignore its own wrongs. Even those who profess to be part of the church can do this for they are part of society. So many within the church separate themselves from the church and God but do not recognise this because they are too busy following society and its pack of baying wolves. So many who profess to be Catholic openly oppose Catholic teaching and accept that which is so obviously sinful and evil but cannot see that by doing this they are no longer Catholic. Some professed Catholics become enemies of the Catholic church frequently attacking and condemning it. Yet the church always calls out in forgiveness to these people and tries to help where possible. The church opens its arms in love to even those who would destroy it doing so in imitation of Christ. The church does not condemn but offers forgiveness and hopes to bring all to forgive it too for the wrongs done within the church. As it does so often it is ridiculed, condemned and mocked. Yet the church does not and will not stop proclaiming the love of God in His church for mankind. Nothing can stop this and nothing will. Even if in proclaiming the truth of God's love makes the rest of the world uncomfortable the church cannot stop proclaiming the truth as that is what it is here for, that is why The Lord formed the church, to do as He did in proclaiming the truth. Sadly many do not understand this and do not understand that the truth cannot ever be overcome and as the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church contains the truth of God despite the weaknesses and failings of people within it the church cannot ever be overcome. Let us thank God for the church and pray that those of us who are within it do not succumb to our weaknesses.

Alan Ames Ministry

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