The Real "Crisis In Truth"
The President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops opened their Dallas conference on June the 13th by admitting their "crisis in truth." He was not confessing that the Roman Catholic institution is in violation of Biblical truth, or that it was a product of rebellion against the simple teachings of the apostles (1 Tim. 4:1-5; Acts 2:42). His reference was to their "failures in addressing the crime of the sexual abuse of children and young people by priests and Church personnel."
The sexual abuse of children is outrageously immoral. The guilty ought to be punished to the full extent of civil law, and in the absence of repentance they face eternal punishment (Rev. 21:8). In the same manner, those who enable, conceal or ignore the practice thus share in the guilt (Eph. 5:7,11). Every form of sexual immorality ought to be exposed (1 Thess. 4:1-8; 1 Cor. 5). All illicit sexual practice (including adultery and pre-marital sex) should be renounced, by telling people plainly what God has said (Heb. 13:4; Matt. 5:31,32; 19:9).
But the "crisis in truth" is not limited to these episodes of abuse, as repulsive as they are. The real crisis in truth is -- the whole system is wrong! The Roman Catholic Religious Institution, System, Dogma, Structure and Papal Idolatry is not what God has said He wants men to do in response to Him; it is not the pure and undefiled religion of Christ. With or without the horrible acts of individuals who are part of it, it remains a corrupt system that opposes and exalts itself against God. The whole institution has no valid existence in the eyes of God; this has been true since its inception. And if every priest were to abstain from all sexual sin, the corruption of the system would remain.
The current exposure of corruption affords us an opportunity to urge our Catholic friends to re-examine the system they are part of. Let's ask them to look carefully into the Bible and realize the complete absence of authority for the institution (Matt. 7:21-23). How refreshing it would be for individual Catholics to discover what "the Church" really is, on the pages of the New Testament (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2; Eph. 1:21-23). What a tremendous spiritual revolution (conversion) if Catholics would come to see Jesus as the real Head of His church and the Scriptures as the perfect and sufficient guide out of sin, into Christ and to heaven (2 Tim. 3:16,17). Perhaps we can find occasion to tell them the essence of real worship is our response to deity, not our compliance with human tradition and ritual (Jno. 4:24; Col. 2:18-23). Let us impress upon them the real remedy for sin in the blood of Christ, not the sacramental pronouncements of men who find their authority only in seminary papers and carnal hierarchy (1 Pet. 1:18-21; 1 Tim. 2:5). Can we help them see that Peter refused to allow men to worship him and made no claim of papal authority (Acts 10:25-26; Lk. 22:24-30)?
Building a human religious system and promising access to God through that institution is the real crisis in truth. Let us endeavor to put the Bible into the hands of everyone, to be read, believed and obeyed just as it is written (Jno. 4:42; Eph. 3:1-5; 5:17). This is urgent because the Lord said: "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted," (Matt. 15:13).
By Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 9.7, July 2002