Pastor's Corner

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Critical of a Saint

It has become popular to attack Mother Teresa these days, particularly since she was made a saint. Many of these critics are following a themed rant against her based upon arguments formulated by an atheist. I personally do not advocate for anyone being made a saint in the Roman church meaning of the term, but this is something bestowed upon her. This is all Romanish baggage I understand, but do not have part in.

I am no Roman Catholic. I grew up Roman Catholic, and this only culturally, but became a Christ-follower as a teenager. As a Protestant, I have important reasons for having chosen this way of following Christ. Nevertheless, if you understand Church history, we cannot ignore the familial ties we have to many good men and women throughout history, who despite the evils of various popes and Roman church leaders, followed Christ faithfully. Even Martin Luther, whom God used to begin the Reformation, was not intending on bringing down the Roman church, only correcting some important aspects of doctrine and practice.

Then there are the critics against Teresa, one critic has even called her a “moral monster.” It is always troubling to me how folks with a bias on an issue, can only see according to their bias, particularly those who would accuse me of this, while harboring one of their own. Mother Teresa began her work decades ago in a country which limited her access and ability to do what she was doing. She and her sisters committed themselves to doing important work, primarily aiding those in need, in a nation who cared nothing for them. She did not try and take on everything, and every form of oppression or critical issue. As a result of these factors, the sisters did not deal with some issues which could have made a greater difference long term. Anyone who has worked in, or is working in some of these countries, knows the complications of doing work there, even when what you are doing is good work. Nevertheless, they made a profound impact where they did serve, and serve they did. Whether Protestants like it or not, Teresa was known as a symbol of a side of Christianity the world needs desperately, compassion for the poor.

People like to tear down heroes, it is human nature to do so. For some sick reason we take pleasure when a leader falls, or we can take one down. In this case, there are a lot of critics criticizing, but not personally doing anything to help the poor – yet they feel free to criticize someone who was trying to do something. No Teresa was not perfect, and yes, she could have done some things differently, which in hind sight could have made a real difference. But to call her a moral monster is ridiculous. If those folks who are doing all of the talking would start doing something to help the poor with their perceived better concepts, I might listen to them. But for now… Teresa was a flawed human being who was doing her best with what she had – and when we criticize this, we look like fools. I can admire the good, and seek for better. Oh God, help me do better.

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