Thursday, February 16, 2012

Colombian Priests Kill Themselves to Hide Private Shame

Honestly, I am not surprised to see such widespread dysfunction and allegations of perversion emanate from religious institutions.

Clergy (and other religious) are officially held to rigorous standards -- by themselves, by their parishioners, by their superiors, by the world. They are expected to be vicars of Christ in this world. They are expected to act in concert with the commands listed in Bible -- in the Old Testament.

However, religious institutions fail to rightly divide the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15) For those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, they are no longer under law, but rather under grace:

"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14)

I am certain that the two priests who eventually hired assassins to execute them were consumed with shame because of the thoughts, words, and ultimately the deeds which they practiced in private. They probably tried to stop on their own, but could not, as the law cannot make a man good, but rather exposes and exacerbates the sinful nature that every person is cursed with:

No one is good, no not one (Romans 3:!2). No matter if an individual takes holy orders, swears to be good, to obey God's law, if we rely on our strength, rather than doing all things through Christ who strengthens us (cf Philippians 4:19), we inevitably fall from grace (cf Galatians 5:4).

Why, then, could these two men not stop engaging in the perversion that caused them shame and led them to take their lives? The scripture is very clear about the effect of God's law on mankind:

"The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law." (1 Corinthians 15:16)

The law cannot make a man righteous before God. Our efforts to be obedient to God's law, from the Ten Commandments to the ceremonial law contained in the Pentateuch, only engender more sin.

Paul counsels his charge Timothy regarding the proper use of the law:

"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers" (1 Timothy 1:9)

The law was designed by God to show up man in his attempts to be holy on his own, that he could not do it:

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." (Romans 3:19)

Ouch! The Law does not help us, but rather demonstrates that we are helpless. Paul continues:

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:20)

Then what is a man to do? He must be righteous to avoid eternal condemnation, but how?

"And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:39)

Faith in what? or rather, in whom? Christ and His Finished Work on the Cross:

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

"But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3: 24-26)

Paul also writes:

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)

In Christ, there is victory, for He became sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him, and this righteousness is a gift (Romans 5:17), one which we cannot lose once we received it by faithful confession (Romans 10:9, 17)

There is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1) None! Not a smidgen, not a trace, not even a hint.

The two clerics, like many religious, are not skillful in the right standing they receive by faith, through the operation of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Cf Galatians 5:16)

"For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." (Hebrews 5:13)

If they had known their indelible, unalterable state in the perfect love and unquestionable favor of Christ, they would have received power to reign in life over their sin (Romans 5:17), to overcome the sin in their lives (Romans 8:37), to renounce their shame (2 Corinthians 4:2), and come boldly before God to the throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16).

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