In a recent interview after the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas Oprah Winfrey said she feels the reason behind the latest string of violence is that people are “missing” a “core moral center.”, “Churches used to do that… It was a central place you could come to and there was a core center of values about a way of living and being in the world. Until we can return to that, however that is, in whatever form, we will continue to be lost,” Winfrey told Renee Bargh during the “Extra” interview.
This comment by Oprah Winfrey about what churches used to do for society is very telling. It tell us that the witness and influence of the church today is either weak or non-existent. Churches used to set a moral standard until believers were told by their church leaders that they were being legalistic if they pointed out bad behaviour. “You cannot judge!” is the echo reverberating around in religious dogma today. Tell that to a society that is floundering and disintegrating before our very eyes in the West. Tell that to people who know instinctively what the Church should be, but isn’t.
Church leaders in our day think that they are doing society a favour in the West by watering down the requirement for moral standards based on Biblical teachings. They think they are more relevant, more likeable, more approachable, and more effective with the Gospel if they release people from accountability and responsibility for their actions and inner motives.
I’m thinking about the judgment of church leaders in the Day of Judgment and the responsibility that these leaders will likely bear for their decisions and teaching in our day and time. Perhaps direct responsibility for souls that were lost or damaged because they wanted a bigger church, a wider following, and a bigger paycheck.