Somewhere in the Good Book it says “You cannot serve God and Man.”
This rural scribbler queries, should these clergy preach the Church doctrine or should they preach to satisfy the laity?
We have men and women in our society who habitually neglect their religious duties. When they bring a child to Church for Holy Baptism and pronounce to obey God’s holy will, whilst they know, and everyone in the Church knows that they themselves neither do, nor intend to do any of these things.
Or again, we see the sad sight of a dead body of a person who all their life denied the claim of Jesus Christ or who set at nought the moral laws of God. They are brought into Christ’s Church in order that a service may be read over the body, which, whilst alive they utterly scorned.
To those loose laity, immortality of life is no bar to the legal use of the Burial or Marriage service. In the one case the law. In the other custom, more powerful often than the law, compels the duties of a clergyperson in a practice which he or she cannot justify. Who then can justify these things?
Many of the laity regard morality not to be an essential part of religion. They see every man, whatever his belief or his character, admitted without question to the highest privileges which the Church can bestow.
These laity bring the services of the Church into disrepute and make them an open scorn. These people think and speak of the Church as “mere forms.” God is not mocked. Services used in the name of God are high and holy things, sources of real blessing. To degrade them into “mere forms” is a serious offence to God.
It is the duty of every clergy to uphold morality and to defend religion. For a clergy to give into these laity, he or she cannot uphold morality nor defend religion. It’s a matter of conscience.
These laity believe that it is their duty in a world of imperfection to tolerate the imperfection which they cannot remove, whilst they strive after the perfection which they desire.
Every clergy ought always, at all costs, to act according to the dictates of their conscience. When their conscience tells them that a thing is wrong, they ought not do it. Whatever the consequences may be it is better to do anything, to suffer anything, rather than to live under the condemnation of that voice which speaks to us with the authority of God.
Christ’s teaching about simplicity of aim, singleness of eye, is directed to such difficulties as these.
He meant to teach us to refuse to be blinded by doctrines of expediency, and side issues. If we obey His command we shall find that in the end we have not missed the other.
Please read the above and inwardly digest what I have written. Keep an open mind and ponder these things in your heart. Status quo salvation is not the answer. Only God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So we must all change.
What say you?
Thanks for reading!