|By: Dr. Ted Baehr; ©2002|
|The recent news headlines regarding pedophile priests have raised a mixture of reactions—e.g., anger, disbelief, and compassion. But Dr. Baehr contends that this is also a good opportunity for Christians to point out that salvation does not come through priests. It comes through Jesus Christ!|
- “Jesus wept.”—John 11:35.
Contemporary headlines read, “Pedophile Scandals Shake Catholicism to Its Core.” Reactions could be mixed, from anger to disbelief, but those who are compassionate will weep for all those who were hurt by abuse, for the priests who did it, for the church that’s being shaken, and for the millions who will be led astray.
In this time of crisis, which affects every Christian, whether Protestant or Catholic, it is important to realize that Augustine got it right when he defended the faith from the false teachings of the Donatists and the Pelagians. It is not the priest or the Christian who is holy and the arbiter of God’s grace. Rather, the priest, the minister, the Christian, all of us are unworthy vessels who have fallen short of the Glory of God, genetically defective so-tospeak from the beginning, and it is God alone who acts through us and in us, the author and finisher of our faith.
This is the time for all those in the church to point to Jesus Christ, a personal relationship with a personal savior, who died and was resurrected for the abused children and the abusive priests and presbyters. The call now is to remember the truth of the Gospel, repent and reclaim the victory, which is only available through God’s grace, not man’s works.
Priests are people too, as Augustine noted. It is Jesus Christ alone who saves us.