Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hoskyns: cruelty and frankness

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
    For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
    —1 Corinthians 8:10-13 (NIV)
    [The Church] sees that human life must be lived in the quite fearless recognition of this insecurity of relationship between one man and another.
    Now, once again may I ask you the question, Is the Church cruel when she points this out, and demands that men should see it and take account of it in all the arrangements of this life? Surely the cruelty lies with those who talk glibly about the brotherhood of man, and superficially about peace, and romantically about marriage, as though the disturbances in Church and state and family were introduced into human life by a few evil-minded men. This is the real cruelty. How will you face up later to your married life, to your administration of affairs, to your life in the Church, in fact to any real part of your lives, if you are taught to think that your “neighbour” will or ought to agree with you in all points, will accept your solutions of his problems, will in fact be a reflection of your image? Once we get this stuff and nonsense into our heads, we shall never be able to live with anyone or with any group of men. We shall sulk when we are crossed, or run away from the Other, for Other they are. We shall certainly remove ourselves from the Church when we find it full of friction and yet proclaiming the love of God.
    ... Sir Edwyn C. Hoskyns (1884-1937), Cambridge Sermons, London: SPCK, 1938, p. 110-111 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 8:10-13; Pr. 2:3-6; Luke 11:13; Phil. 3:15; Jas. 1:5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, teach me to love the brethren.
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