According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Sunday, June 14, 2020

How Does God Address Racism in the Bible?







Pete Enns & Drew Hart - Episode 130 Link





Pete Enns & Brooke Prentis - Episode 129 Link






John Flaxman RA, 'Hypocrites' (from The Divine Comedy)
'Hypocrites' (from The Divine Comedy), 1 May 1807

HYPOCRISY:
Holding Up A Mirror To Society


Hold up a mirror means to put a mirror in front of yourself so you can see your reflection.
Metaphorically, it usually means reveal to someone what they look like to the rest of the world.

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The Origin of hypocrite comes from the Greek word hypokrites' which means an actor.

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I'll watch your feet but not your lips. - Larry Cohen

----

 I’d never seen a sky
so full of stars, as if the dirt of our lives

still were sprinkled with glistening
white shells from the ancient seabed

beneath us that receded long ago.
Parallel. We lay in parallel furrows.

-- That suffocated, fearful
look on your face.

- Frank Bidart

----

The axes of your work, work that

throughout the illusory chaos of your life



absorbed your essential

mind, were there always—What was
there to be done.

- Frank Bidart



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O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise ...


The Importance of Worshipping
God  with a Humble and Contrite Heart

by R.E. Slater
June 14, 2020

My question for this morning:
"Did you know that obedience to God is more ancient than sacrifices?"
As a disciple of the Lord I would expect this. It seems the more natural. The more spiritual. The offerings of religious worship can never be substituted for the offerings of a humble and contrite heart.

The prophet Jeremiah understood this when he said that sacrificing was not part of the original dialogue between God and man:

Jeremiah 7:21-23 GNB - 
“My people, some sacrifices you burn completely on the altar, and some you are permitted to eat. But what I, the LORD, say is that you might as well eat them all. I gave your ancestors no commands about burnt offerings or any other kinds of sacrifices, when I brought them out of Egypt. But I did command them to obey me, so that I would be their God and they would be my people. And I told them to live as I had commanded them, so that things would go well for them."
The priest/prophet Samuel said the same thing (1 Samuel 15:22) - 
"And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams."
Also the prophet Isaiah (1.11) -
"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats."
What about the "Hard luck with faithless women" prophet, Hosea? Yep, him too (Hosea 6:6) -
"For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings."
Jesus? He saved His ire for the religious crowd; the pretenders to the faith (Matthew 23:23) -
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others."
What are the lessons here?
Obedience to God is very important. Much more important than religious rites put on by faithless hearts.
Is there anything else?
Yep, God hates those who pretend one thing but do the other.
Have we missed anything?
Perhaps that the obedience thing is part of the relationship thing? That obedience is just another way of saying, "Let's go at this together God. You and me against the injustice of the wicked and your faithless people."
What might be our response to hyposcrisy?
"Forgive us Lord for our lack of compassion upon the hurting, the suffering, the ones we dislike because we're taught and told to dislike them. Woe be to us for offering bitter tithes of worship to you when all you wanted from your people was to love one another."
Need a prayer? Here's one - 
"Remove the scales from our eyes O' Lord. Let our hearts see past our blind hatreds and legal posturings. Help us to pray for our brothers and sisters; to stand with them in their hour of need; to walk the path of the downtrodden. Help me to show compassion and mercy that I too stand with the sinners and not with scoffers who mock your name. Nor with religious Hypocrites whose worship you hate. Amen."






















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Perseus and Medusa.

To Obey is Better than Sacrifice

1 Samuel 15:22
"And Samuel said, 'Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.'"

Isaiah 1. 11 
"'What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?' Says the LORD. 'I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.'"

Hosea 6:6
"For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings."

Psalm 51:16-17
"For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

Proverbs 21:3
"To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice."

Amos 5:21-24
"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

Mark 12:33
"...And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."

Matthew 9:13
"Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”"

Micah 6:6-8
"With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

Jeremiah 7:22-23
"For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. But this command I gave them: 'Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.'"

Psalm 40:6-8
"In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.'"

Ecclesiastes 5:1
"Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil."

Matthew 12:7
"And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless."

Isaiah 1:11-17
"What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood."

Hebrews 10:4-10
"For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, 'Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.' Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ When he said above, 'You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law)...'"

Matthew 23:23
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others."

Psalm 50:8-9
"Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me. I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds."

Matthew 5:24
"Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."

Jeremiah 26:13
"Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you."

Jeremiah 11:7
"For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, 'Obey my voice.'"

Exodus 19:5
"Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine."

Jeremiah 11:4
"...that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, 'Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God.'"


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The Origin of 'Hypocrite' | Merriam-Webster

Hypocrite / Hypocrisy


Greek Word Pronunciation: hoo-POK-ree-sis
Strong’s Number: 5272
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5694
Key Verse: “… you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy.” -- Matthew 23:28

The two nouns, hypocrisy and hypocrite, are compound words, comprised of hupo (“under”) and krino (“to judge”). It means literally “to judge under,” as a person giving off his judgment from behind a screen or mask. The true identity of the person is covered up.

It refers to acts of impersonation or deception and was used of an actor on the Greek stage. In Greek drama, actors held over their faces oversized masks painted to represent the character they were portraying. In life, the hypocrite is a person who masks his real self while playing a part for the audience. Taken over into the New Testament, it referred to one who assumes the mannerisms, speech, and character of someone else, thus hiding his true identity; the person is judging another from back of the mask of his self-righteousness. Christianity requires that believers should be open and above-board. Their lives should be like an open book, easily read.

The verb form, hupokrinomai, is used only once in Luke 20:20: “They watched him and sent spies who pretended to be righteous …” (in KJV, “who should feign themselves just men”).

The nouns are used in the epistles once each in Galatians 2:13; 1 Timothy 4:2; and 1 Peter 2:1. In the Synoptics, they are always used of Christ’s judgments on scribes and Pharisees (15 times in Matthew; Mark 7:6; Luke 6:42, 12:56, and 13:15).

In MATTHEW 23, the hypocrisy is in jarring contradiction between what they say and do, between outward appearance and inward lack of righteousness. Hypocrisy is therefore sin: failure to do God’s will is concealed behind the pious appearance of outward conduct. Jesus sought to destroy the false, religious mask. Hypocrisy is: a hard taskmaster (verse 4), lives only for the praise of men (5-7); is mischievous (13-22); concerns itself with the small things of religion (23-24); deals chiefly with externals (25-28); reveres only what is dead (29-32), finds a fearful judgment (32-36); and receives an unexpected lament (37-39). It was Christ, the sole perfect reader of inward realities, who dared pass this judgment.



The Hypocrite

by Stephan Caraway


Oh what a hypocrite that I be,

To live in the sin that pleasures me.

It’s not on the outside that you see,

It’s the hypocrite inside of me.

I go to church and sing the songs,

Knowing that I don’t belong.

You might catch a tear in my eye,

But it’s sin where I choose to lie.

Oh what a hypocrite that I be,

To live in the sin that pleasures me.

Maybe I should, maybe I would,

To live a life that might look good.

Narrow and hard is the way;

But pleasure is the road I stray.

One night I had a frightening dream,

That I stood before our God Supreme.

Oh the hypocrite that I be, in my heart God could see.

The lies that I lived so burdened me.

The God I mocked began to scold,

To hell I would go, for the sins I sow.

Just as the flames began to heat;

Awaken I did, my death to beat.

Oh the hypocrite that I be,

No longer a desire found in me.

I fell to the ground on bended knee

That Jesus would set me free.

My heart He did change inside of me,

No longer the hypocrite for God to see.

Oh the hypocrite I used to be,

Washed in the blood that set me free!


Stephen Caraway

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