Outward Behavior & Inner Spirit

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In Wisconsin five hunters were killed in a dispute over a tree stand. In Indiana Ron Artest was suspended for the rest of the season (73 games) after he leaped into a heckling, provoking crowd in a game against Detroit. And the NYT reports that while Americans vote for “values,” those same citizens actually consume “immoral” shows at the same rate as everybody else.

Welcome to the dissonance of beliefs and real life behavior.

Moralists seem to think the passage of laws or election to majorities will usher in a new golden Christian age, but appear not to realize that their passionate attention to the political calculus, if it means less attentiveness to the spiritual renewal of our citizenry, actually produces hypocrisy not regeneration. As the old Doonesbury cartoon proclaims, “hypocrisy is the essence of fundamentalism.”

External law will never be an adequate replacement for the law written on our hearts, and only deep faith produces the will to obey either.

Sunday I read that a new study has shed light on pollution in the church, a reference a study of the impact on asthmatics to dust, incense and assorted particulate matter. A more useful article would be a study of the inner pollutants that if left unfiltered result in outrageous behaviors at odds with what we say are our deeply held beliefs and values.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in November 22, 2004 by | No Comments »

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