I was reading an article today about an LA Times religion beat reporter who lost his faith in the process of reporting all the bad news about things like the Catholic priest scandals. This makes me very sad, and even angry.
It makes me angry because of all the people who are walking away from God because of those who shame the name of the Lord by their actions while claiming to be one of his servants. It disgusts me.
It also frustrates me that people walk away from God because of all this. I understand why those who have been hurt by the church are so disillusioned by it. At the same time as I ask this question: If someone is a mean school teacher, does that mean the Board of Education does not exist? Or if someone is a crooked cop, does that mean the Ministry of Corrections doesn’t exist? Of course not. The institutions still exist, even though the people working under them made terrible choices out of their own free will.
The same thing is true of God and the church. Many claim to be of God who are not. But still there are those who are saved and then fall from grace and do foolish things. This is done out of their free will. God cannot be blamed.
For those who still have difficulty, I ask this question: Do you blame God for the things you do? Do you claim that it is God who makes you do everything in your day, even the bad? The answer is no, you are aware that you make your own decisions as you live your life. The same is true of the priest who molested children. He made a sinful choice, but it was his choice to make. If we did not have free will, we would only be robots, and not really human.