I was traveling a freeway
that is a major artery of traffic in this city. The
traffic slowed to a snails pace and I could tell from looking at my fellow motorists
that the levels of frustration and negative energy were rising. Impatience turned into anger. Why were we mired in this time-consuming mess? As I drove closer to the cause of this delay, I
noticed that one car was stalled in the middle of the highway. There was no accident, no injuries, just a stalled
car. After passing it, the traffic opened up
and everyone was driving at speed limit levels.
JUST one car was able to slow traffic for miles and cause such anxiety and
stress. I also noticed that no one tried to
help or at least try to do something. The
motorists continued on their way thinking that someone else would take care of the
situation. I pulled over and used the freeway
call box to report the stalled car and how it affected the traffic for miles. I was unable to get to the stalled car but I had
to do something. Soon, a tow truck appeared
and the scared senior citizen driver was taken to safety.
IT became very clear to me that one action could affect so many others. In this situation, one stalled car affected
literally thousands of other drivers negatively. My
one emergency call also affected thousands positively.
That made me think about our personal actions and choices and how these personal
actions can affect others.
MANY times, as Christians, we can obsess and focus only on our actions and how
it affects our relationship with Jesus Christ. We
go to confession, we pray for forgiveness, and even do penance for what we perceive to be
our sinful actions. But how often do we
actually think about the effects of our sinfulness on the body of Christ? And do we think about how our inactions also
affect the body of Christ?
THE term, CORPORATE SIN, is something that believers have
to struggle to understand and to be held accountable.
CORPORATE SIN does not mean something that companies or corporations do (though
they too commit sin). Corporate Sin has to
do with our actions as a body of believers. It
is a sinful act done by many to others.
AN example of this type of sin is mentioned in Exodus, Chapter 32. In this accounting, the people of Israel were
waiting for Moses to come down from Mount Sinai to deliver the Ten Commandments. The people waited for a long time, too long for
them. They worried that Moses was never
coming back and told Aaron, the high priest under Moses, to build a golden calf so that
they could feel safe spiritually and emotionally. They
corporately lost faith in one God and reverted to their old ways of idolism. When Moses came back with the tablets of stone
that contained the Ten Commandments, his anger was expressed by the destruction of these
tablets. All the people of Israel at the foot
of Mount Sinai sinned together so that they had to atone for their sin together. Together, they panicked, and together they made a
decision to worship false gods. Moses
made them destroy the golden calf, grind up the gold and other materials, and forced them
to drink it. Together, they had to atone for
TODAY, this kind of corporate sin still exists and many believers are
ignorant of their complicity in this kind of sin. We
will all be held accountable for this kind of sin because we participate by our
unwillingness to challenge the group or our own ignorance of what is going on before our
very eyes. A modern example may be seen in
the start of World War II. In Germany, the
voters of that country in 1933 elected a new chancellor named Adolf Hitler. Even after seeing his evilness, his anti-Semitism,
and his desire to take over the world, many continued to support his deadly and devilish
plans. How could this happen? Yet, it did because many good people didnt
want to get involved and thereby sinned by omission and inaction. The Lord will hold them accountable.
BUT how about the corporate sin being committed today? Look around you.
What are you participating in? One
obvious corporate sin is the sin of discrimination and racism. Once again, good people stand by and watch sin
happening and even participate in it for fear of being targeted by evil people. In this country, Martin Luther King took the
challenge to change peoples attitude and sin by sparking the civil rights movement. Yet, so much must be done including changing our
own personal sin of discrimination and racism. There
is still much hatred happening all the time and we will be held accountable for it. God have mercy on us. How about the doings of our representative
government? When evil happens at the hands of
our governmental leaders, we too will be held accountable since we voted for them or
remained silent when governmental wrongdoing goes unchecked and innocent people suffer. Pope John Paul II told his Polish countrymen not
to be afraid and together they brought down the communistic government that held them
imprisoned for so long. The people of Poland
did not sit silent and afraid. They made
their government accountable. The same
challenge is given to us in our own country. What
do we do when we see injustice or even governmental injustice or immorality? Once again, we will be held accountable for our
part in corporate sin. We could go on and on.
How about life issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty? How about greed in all its forms, personal and
business? How about sexual issues and
fidelity in marriage and family? I am sure
that you could add more to this list.
WHAT can we do? We are certainly
mired in sin for it is all around us. We
must speak out and do something when we see something wrong and immoral. We must not just let things pass by if we see
anything being done by others when it breaks the two great commandments of our Christian
faith: love God with all our hearts, soul,
and being, and love our neighbors as ourselves (John 13:34). Otherwise, we become guilty of sin and partaking
in the sin of others. Fear and
retaliation is not an excuse for participating in corporate sin. God doesnt take that as an excuse to sin for
it is written in the first letter of John (I John 4:18): There is no fear in love, but perfect love
drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet
perfect in love. What is the punishment
being mentioned here? We fear the thoughts
and reactions (therefore punishment) of others. So
what? Who cares what anyone thinks? All I care about is what God thinks of me because
it is Him that is my destiny forever. We are
here for a purpose and mission and that mission is to make the love of God and the dignity
of each human being present and real. When we
fail to do this individually and as part of a group of human beings, we will be held
accountable for it. But thanks be to God for
his mercy and forgiveness. Through His mercy
and forgiveness, we are able to learn from our mistakes and begin to live free from fear;
especially the fear of being rejected by others for standing up for what is true and good.
time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us,
the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" 1 Peter 4:17
Please use the link at the top left
side of this page
to comment or be added to the mailing list.