There is much talk at present about the Church listening to young people and hearing what they have to say. Therein might lie a problem. The only person anyone, the Church as a body should be listening to, is God. Is what the young people are asking for what God wants, or just what they want?
Following God isn’t about what people want as individuals, it is about what God asks of us. This is the only thing priests, bishops and the clergy in general should be talking about and teaching. It is the only thing those professing to believe in and follow God should be listening to and wishing to uphold.
The problem we have seen for far too many years now, is that since the Church went away from what had made it stand strong for so many years, it started to fail and fall apart. That is when people started walking away from the Church and from God. What made that happen?
For too many years – since Vatican II in fact, the Church has listened to what people said they wanted. They stopped listening to God in favour of man’s whims in a bid to modernise itself and pander to demands from lacklustre Christians.
Everyone who is lacklustre wants something different. By listening to man instead of God, religion and the Church has shown itself as having become very separate from Him in too many ways. It is this that needs changing.
God is not a fashion. He is neither modern nor dated and old fashioned. He just ‘is’. God started this world and will end it. He will control all that happens in between. We are only here by His will, not our own. Everything around us is as He created it, not man. It is God we should be listening to and serving, not man, nor priest, nor layperson. We are ALL God’s obedient servants – or should be.
People for too many years now have wanted God to fit in with their own lives, lifestyle choices and level of ability to do – or not do – His will. Priests have sadly become no different. Too many have lost their way and Church leaders are not always the strong leaders they should be.
In desperation to be seen as popular and hoping to gain even more people in their churches, they have instead lost them. They have lost the majority of the faithful in favour of a smaller congregation of watered down Christians whose demands outweight God’s.
Our leaders have started to ask what mankind wants instead of telling them what God wants. Church leaders have moved away from doing God’s will and teaching it to those in their congregations and are instead, too often doing what man wishes.
When the Church as a body only listened to God and did His will – the churches were filled to the brim. When bishops obeyed the pope and priests obeyed the bishops, the Church was strong. The followers sitting in those churches were loyal and faithful to God, and most of all, they were obedient to Him.
Now, the world is filled with people who want everything to be done their way or no way. Far too many institutions and authority figures have pandered to this demand. The Church has been no different. Protestants have become far removed from God ways due to man’s – mainly women’s in recent years – demands and the Catholic Church has slowly been following the same slippery slope.
Yes, it is good to listen to the people, but only when the things those people are saying or asking for fit in with God’s wishes and when those wishes are to fix what has gone wrong. When the Church has made mistakes and not obeying the God’s laws, it is right to step in and be heard.
Instead, the Churches and people started trying to fix what wasn’t broken. In doing so, like all lazy workmen, they destroyed what was unbroken rather than making it better or stronger.
God does not mould Himself to fit with people’s demands of how they want Him or His Church to be, they’re meant to mould themselves to Him – to be as Him and to obey Him.
It is good to listen, but it is bad to change what was once strong and built on solid foundations to something now weakened. It is weakened due to being on very shaky ground made up of lots of little individual pebbles that are ever changing their shape and form.
A solid foundation holds anything built upon it firm, unmoving and almost indestructible. God and His teachings is that solid foundation. Man’s ever changing demands has removed it to one of loose shingle. Shingle that’s now made His Church unstable and therefore, crumbling. That shingle is the people disrupting what was good.
It is time the Church went back to listening to God, not man. If any person cannot accept God in all He asks of us, they are not true followers nor part of His family, they are followers in name only and not deed.