Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Cox: after forty years

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
    Commemoration of Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Friar, Priest, Martyr, 1941
    So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?”
    He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”
    —Mark 7:5-8 (NIV)
    The dual role of personification of the past and preserver of a subcultural ethos, a role clergymen play quite avidly, takes its toll when they speak of God. Because of the role they have been willing to play, when they use the word God it is heard in a certain way. It is heard, often with deference and usually with courtesy, as a word referring to the linchpin of the era of Christendom (past) or as the totem of one of the tribal subcultures (irrelevant). The only way clergy can ever change the way in which the word they use is perceived is to refuse to play the role of antiquarian and medicine man in which the society casts them; but this is difficult, because it is what they are paid for.
    ... Harvey Cox (b. 1929), The Secular City, New York: MacMillan Company, 1965, p. 246 (see the book)
    See also Mark 7:5-8; Eze. 33:31; Matt. 15:2-6; Mark 7:3-4; John 5:41-42; Gal. 1:14; 5:1
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have set Your people free from the vain imaginations of men. Help us not to prefer bondage.
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