Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Free to Do Good

Continuing with yesterday’s post about being free to follow the Church, today’s Epistle reading reminded me that the Law of the Church can and is many time abused by people trying to control others. When we consider the Holy Canons of the Church as a way to control behavior, we are already in a state of abuse. In truth the Holy Canons, also known as Canon Law, is meant to guide people into a holy life in Christ.

St. Paul's First Letter to Timothy 1:8-14 (RSV) - TIMOTHY, my son, we know that the law is good, if any one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, immoral persons, sodomites, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. I thank him who has given me strength for this, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful by appointing me to his service, though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and insulted him; but I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

When the Holy Canons are used for good, they lead others to Christ. When they are used for control they turn others away from the Church. My guess is the person who left the comment I blogged about yesterday has been abused by the Church. If He had felt the loving guidance of the Church and wanted to live with Christ, he would see the goodness in the Holy Canons and not evil.

If you find yourself considering how the Holy Canons are good to control behavior, I invite you to consider another point of view. When you are seeking control over others, it is more likely you are the one with a choice to make. Do you use the Law for Good or evil? You are free to do Good. Now go do it.

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