The Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal: Putting Your Faith in Jesus Alone

I am horrified. As most of you know, thousands of men, women and children have recently reported that hundreds of priests and catholic clergy members have sexually abused them as children, leaving these victims of such heinous crimes reeling and forever scarred by their experiences.

I don’t need to expound upon why this makes me ashamed to be a Christian. While I am not a Catholic, I also know that it is not only Catholic priests who have traumatized those that they should have shepherded and protected. There have been stories of physical abuse in Christian camps for gay youth. Adultery and sexual abuse found with Christian men advocating for family values. Many stories of abuse have come up in many different denominations; in some denominations in the south, the practice of older men “courting” minors is accepted as perfectly fine. Over and over again, men (and women) who were held in positions of trust took advantage of their position, subjecting people whom Jesus Loves to unthinkable horrors.

This grieves my heart for obvious reasons. People get their impressions of who Jesus Christ is based upon His followers. It has been said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ,” and in this instance, it could not be more true. People have failed to show the watching world who Jesus Christ really is.

Humans have failed. But friends, readers, I want to remind us all of one thing: While humans have completely and utterly failed at loving others, Jesus Christ never has. Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ is our High Priest, coming to be the perfect mediator between us and God the Father. Jesus experienced the brokenness of this world and every temptation we have ever faced, while also providing His Sacrifice, “gaining eternal redemption for all who come to God through Him” (source).

Anyone who has put their faith and hope in a religion will be disappointed at some point. Anyone who puts their faith and hope in a priest, or a pastor, or a community leader, will come to realize that even those put in such high positions can fail miserably. It is faith and hope put in Jesus Christ alone that will never disappoint. As we view these diabolical stories of abuse unfold, I pray that it gives us all a reality check, reminding us to put our faith not in religiousness or even a man such as the Pope, but rather putting our trust in Jesus Christ alone.

alone

These stories are evil. They anger us and make us feel ashamed. But may we re-look at where our Hope is at—and draw close to Jesus, not farther away from Him. He is the only High Priest who will never, ever disappoint—and He is has done all that is needed for us to be saved.


­­­­­­­­­­­­­Do you know Jesus?

“For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.”
(Hebrews 7:26-27, ESV)

Jesus Christ left the glory of heaven in order to save humankind from the sin they had committed themselves. We were helpless; Jesus came in and saved the day.

Learn more about Jesus Christ, what He did, and how He has saved those who believe in Him, here.


Please pray for…

  • The men, women and children being directly affected by sharing their stories of abuse. I cannot imagine the pain and PTSD they are experiencing. May they come to know Christ if they do not already, and may He continue to heal them as only He can.
  • The clergy members involved in this. May they be brought to justice, and to know Christ.
  • The judicial system. May it not fail those who rely on it for justice.
  • Christians everywhere—that they would come closer to Jesus, and not farther away from Him.

Thank you for your prayers!

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Resource: Christian Non-profit Organizations working directly in Nigeria/the Boko Haram Crisis (UPDATE: additional secular organizations added)

As a follow up to the last post, this quick post is to help equip you, as readers, in practically living out what was written, and encouraged in this post.

A lot of the time, money– or another physical contribution– is one of the most valuable things we can give, especially in a fight that includes poverty, and extreme physical need. But, it is sometimes difficult to choose a target for a donation, that is reputable, financially accountable, and actively working in the region one feels led to give to.

After much prayer, and searching, I have found a couple of non-profits that are working directly in Nigeria, and/or especially pertaining to the Boko Haram insurgency, all for Jesus’ glory. Praying that this blesses you as you choose where to give, Here it is:

**I HAVE NOT BEEN ASKED BY ANY ORGANIZATION FOR PUBLICITY OR RECOMMENDATIONS, AND THIS BLOG IS IN NO WAY SPONSORED BY ANY NONPROFIT. THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST; I HAVE SEARCHED FOR, READ THROUGH, AND CHOSEN THESE NONPROFITS BECAUSE OF THEIR MISSION, FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY, AND ABILITY TO HELP THOSE AFFECTED BY BOKO HARAM. It’s my mere opinion; but I pray it really blesses you! Please let me know if you know of any reputable nonprofits to add to this list. 

 

  • CHRISTIAN AID MISSION

 

Founded in 1970 by a man named Dr. Robert Finley, Christian Aid Mission focuses on supporting missionaries, ministries, and churches that are already in places where there are few, and/or persecuted, Christians– especially in nations where foreign missionaries are unwelcome, or cannot legally enter. Their own website says, “Christian Aid Mission seeks to establish a witness for Christ in every nation by assisting indigenous ministries that share the gospel with unreached people groups.” While Charity Navigator cannot rate them due to not being required “ to file the full IRS Form 990,” they claim to have extensive ethical and financial accountability (learn more here). They are working to both help Christian ministries in Nigeria flourish, as well as to help those suffering because of Boko Haram. Support native African missionaries, and the persecuted African Church through Christian Aid Mission, here.

  • CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES

Since the early 2000’s, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has aided numerous farmers, local non-profits, and catholic churches in the Niger and Nigeria region. More recently, CRS has increased its aid to those displaced by Boko Haram in the region, especially in Diffa, Niger (source).

Working with Niger’s local non-profits like Demi-E, CRS has provided clean drinking water, as well as access to food through food vouchers, to hundreds of displaced peoples in the region of Niger and Chad.

Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. Bishops’ international aid and development agency, aims to “to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching” by helping aid in disaster relief, as well as encouraging and supplying third-world communities with the resources to “achieve their full potential.”

Catholic Relief Services have come under fire in recent months, being accused of going against traditional catholic teachings, such as prohibiting the use of birth control, and collaborating with secular charities and non-profits to achieve the giving of aid, globally. Catholic Relief Services have replied to these accusations, in this webpage— and affirm that while they do work with “secular” organizations to give aid, they do not participate in projects or causes with secular organizations that go against catholic values (source).

While many core doctrines of Catholicism focus on earning one’s salvation, by good works (which is completely unbiblical: Ephesians 2:5), there are many Catholic Christians, who have been saved, by faith, through grace, and have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Ephesians 2:8-9). Catholic Relief Services supports, and supplies, millions of Christian Catholics (and people, in general), with the resources to give in a reputable, and financially responsible way, to those in this disaster who need it most. Learn more about what CRS is doing in Nigeria, here, and how you can donate to the cause, here.

  • SIM USA

SIM USA has been working all over the world, spreading the Gospel, and helping to educate those within Nigeria. They are passionate about letting Jesus be known, everywhere. They are also working to evangelize unreached people groups, “developing SIM teams in strategic centres in the core north, working with Evangelical Mission Society personnel, focusing on evangelism, discipleship, general and theological education, community health, development, and literacy” (source). Learn more about them, here.

  • CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN IN NIGERIA (NYE)

Church of the Brethren in Nigeria works directly with Church of the Brethren in various parts of the United States. The Church of the Brethren is very involved in the Boko Haram insurgency and in the kidnapping of the Chibok girls. Learn about how you can help them to help brothers and sisters in Nigeria, here.

  • *RECOMMENDED: GLEANING FOR THE WORLD

Gleaning for the world is a faith-based nonprofit, helping all kinds of people, regardless their backgrounds. They are helping within the US, in Syria and Iraq, and have worked on the ground in displacement camps in Nigeria, to do as their motto says: “alleviating suffering by efficiently distributing humanitarian aid.” They have provided food supplements and vitamins to displaced people who would otherwise have to go without in their bland, nutrition-less basic diets. They are also providing medical first aid to those hurt in fleeing Boko Haram. Because of their financial transparency, and high percentile of how much money actually goes toward their program, I recommend this nonprofit. I have NOT been asked to promote any one certain nonprofit, here; I am literally just recommending them completely of my own, unpaid volition.
Learn more about how you can help, here.

  • VOICE OF THE MARTYRS

Voice of the Martyrs says that they are “committed to providing widows and children of martyred Christians” through the support and encouragement of connecting them with churches, vocational training to widows (and quite possibly older orphans), and through discipling widows and orphans. They also help those “Front-line workers” who are working to share the Gospel in such hostile regions like Northern Nigeria. You can find a direct link to donate to VOM’s Nigerian Widow and Orphan offer here.

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WORKING DIRECTLY WITH/IN NIGERIA

 While these organizations are not Christian, they are reputable charities currently helping those displaced by Boko Haram.

  • ALIMA (THE ALLIANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL ACTION)

The Alliance for International Medical Action is a highly productive nonprofit, founded in 2009, with its headquarters in Senegal. Dedicated to eradicating treatable diseases within Africa, ALIMA has created 10 research projects in progressive medicine, partnering with other nonprofits and those on the ground in crisis areas to provide cutting-edge medical relief, primarily for malnourished and otherwise ill individuals (source).

ALIMA has worked in IDP camps in Northern Nigeria, specifically helping those who are malnourished. To read more about ALIMA, and help out their nonprofit, click here.

  • THE CARTER CENTER

The Carter Center, in its own words, “in partnership with Emory University, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering. It seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.” The Carter Center has been involved with various Nigerian medical and political phenomena and events since the early 1990’s, and even annihilated Lymphatic Filariasis (a disforming, mosquito-created illness) in Nasarawa and Plateau, Nigeria in 2017. The Carter Center has supported the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health in other ways, as well. Learn more about their effect in Nigeria here.

  • THE FISTULA FOUNDATION

The Fistula Foundation aims at surgically healing women who have gone through traumatic childbirth, and have become incontinent through it. Women who give birth in third world countries can have many complications in childbirth, often resulting in the loss of their child. More than this, a woman can develop obstetric fistula, a condition where the vagina tears down to the anus. As a result, these women are left incontinent, and are at times rejected by their husbands and communities because of the incontinency.

The Fistula Foundation funds the best organizations known for fistula operations. Learn more about them, and how you can donate, here.

  • SAVE THE CHILDREN

Save the Children is focused on helping children to grow up healthy and strong in communities where these resources are lacking. They are working in Nigeria (or, at least, were working hard there in 2017), fighting back against hunger. On their website, it says, “Save the Children in Nigeria is distributing food to vulnerable families, reaching nearly 16,500 people. Our teams have established therapeutic feeding centers and outreach centers that provide food for infants and young children suffering from malnutrition.” They have 3 out of 4 stars on Charity Navigator. Learn more about Save the Children, here.

  • INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS

The International Committee of the Red Cross is well-known for giving aid, but caught my attention after seeing that they now have a “Nigeria and Lake Chad Crisis Appeal,” an area that helps reassure donors that these monies will more directly be applied to everything happening within Northern Nigeria and Lake Chad. Read more about this fund, here.

 

 

Again, let me know if you know of any other nonprofits I could add. Thank you, for reading and praying! Praise Jesus for you! 🙂

“Dear Father God,
I praise you, Father, for the community of people, here, who both read, and pray, over the requests written, here.

As these men and women are led, by Your Holy Spirit, to give for the cause of those caught up in the Boko Haram insurgency, specifically those in IDP Camps, the Church there, and those otherwise affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, I pray that You would bless their hearts with remembering all that You have done, for them.

Dear Father God, Thank You for giving all, Father God, so that we might have a Personal, Saving, relationship with You! I pray that, in view of Your Kindness, You would search our hearts, and show us anything keeping us from a closer, richer, more beautiful relationship with You (Romans 2).

Bless them, today, Father God.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen!”