April 19, 2008

Sinners not allowed?

i have some misgivings about this article (enough to abruptly break my over-three-month-old "blog fast"!):

(i'll reprint the entire article here only when it is no longer stored in the Inquirer archives.)


Reyes further said the [Couples for Christ] had always been against artificial family planning but that Gawad Kalinga had been receiving funds from companies manufacturing contraceptives.
“If you do that, you are forgetting Christian values,” Reyes said.
“You can always work with everyone—Muslims, Buddhists—but still not forget Christian values. We can remain Christians. We should not forget our Christian values,” he said.

---> There was a good disclaimer about being able to "work with everyone" but maintaining high standards for "Christian values". But how do we draw the line? How different would refusing donations from contraceptive manufacturers be from, say, *not* greeting an adulterer or *not* praying for the corrupt politician? Even if we have God's standards of holy living, we must be careful not to judge others because we have all sinned anyway.

Without going into a debate over the immorality of contraceptives (a 'bad' thing, according to the Catholic Church), shouldn't the companies who manufacture them at least be lauded for supporting GK (perhaps we would all agree is a 'good' thing)? Are we keeping 'sinners' from doing the little 'good' that they can still do? Do these sound like "Christian values"? Shouldn't we rather work together and even encourage each other to do good? Each deed is a good place to head in the right direction.


According to Reyes, the letter carried a quote from Pope Benedict XVI that said: “Whoever does not give God, gives too little.”
“That’s before the part where it says CFC should counterbalance the overemphasis on social work,” the bishop said, adding:
“Overemphasis on social work is not good when you are already neglecting your relationship with Christ.”

--> Truly we must have God as the God of our lives, whether we serve the poor or work for the rich and so on. It's important to be reminded to put "your relationship with Christ" first.

But that relationship is personal and cannot be judged by others on the basis of appearance or behavior. Just because someone is helping the poor doesn't make him less spiritual, or distant from God. On the contrary! The one who helps the poor is actually more likely to be following the God of mercy and compassion; and one who says he follows God should be obeying what He says about unconditional love and goodness.

Are the Pope and other leaders signifying that GK should do less social work and instead preach more (and/or pray more)? I've learned that there are different approaches to sharing about God, because people have different personalities and different needs (financial or otherwise). Can a homeless man listen to a preacher above the growling of his stomach?

Serving God entails feeding His sheep. Even if the most important aspect of this context is spiritual, will we merely say "God bless you" to a hungry man before walking away?

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