Christian divisions

Christian divisions

Jack Blair

As another lay Catholic Christian, it seems to me counter- productive for Gary Crowthers (June AD2000) and so many others to constantly regurgitate the past in order to blame other Christians for tragedies in church history. Should not all Christians learn from them and move on? The past has gone and should be dead and buried.

There are enough scandals and problems to focus on that affect the Church in contemporary life: sexual confusion, the decline in Christian faith and morals, married clergy, survival of Christian marriage and family, clerical discipline, pro-life issues and co-operation between mainstream Christians. Aren't these problems enough without whimpering over the past?

The exchange, on occasion, of Anglican and Catholic pulpits I see as a practical, if timid, expression of the gospel of Jesus, "all mankind will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another". The world watches the great scandal of Christianity - its disunity and fragmentation - and turns away.

If we cannot put our house in order, who can blame a secular society for turning its back and marginalising us?

When people see eight churches in a single suburb, anathematising and ostracising each other, what do we expect them to conclude from our stubborn, ecumenical bankruptcy?

If unforgiving pride and power are so entrenched among Christians, why am I not surprised that Western civilisation is degenerating? Pulpit exchanges at least reflect a little Christian charity which disappeared so long ago and may just help us towards realising that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what our differences.

All Christian communions have failed our Lord. Let us stop playing the blame game and try a little humility and learn to forgive one another. Jesus told us to love our enemies - but from the world's perspective, we don't even love our friends, except as a superficial exercise. It is not the indifference of the world I find troubling, but the indifference of those calling themselves Christians.

Glenhaven, NSW

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