Problems Within the Church

If you want to help the Church, correct yourself
Abbot Tryphon | 25 May 2018

Whenever we hear of problems in the Church it is our natural inclination to want to read all about it and root out all the details. Yet if we really want to benefit our soul, we should take the advice of the Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos. His advice: “If you wish to be calm do not read rebellious books or pamphlets that mention Church matters, since you are not responsible for such serious affairs. You have need of books that will assist you in your repentance. If you want to help the Church, correct yourself and immediately amendment is made to a small part of the Church. Naturally, if everyone did this, then the Church would be put in order.”

As long as we struggle against the passions and sins of this world, there will be problems in the Church. Just as nations and all human institutions suffer because of the passions of people, so does the Church. Although divinely instituted by Christ Himself,  the Church is made up of sinful men and women who bring in the baggage of their sinful nature. This very place of healing, like all hospitals, houses both the healthy and the sick. If we desire to become numbered among the healthy, we must remain aloof from the din of Church politics, and leave the governance of the Body to the hierarchs.

When we witness the fallen side of human nature within the walls of the Church, we must not respond like news reporters seeking out all the details. Nor should we think knowing the inner workings of the Church will make a difference. Better that we concentrate on the nurturing of our own soul and remaining above the fray. Let those who have been called to service in the Church, the bishops, do their job. If we trust God and pray for our bishops, the Holy Spirit will guide them in their roll as our shepherds, the Church will stay the course, and the “gates of hell shall not prevail against her (Matthew 16:18)”.

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