The Beginning of Clarity in Religion (Part 3)

Part 1

Part 2

Mankind has increased this obscurity in religion and added to it the obscurity of the natural world. For God, if he is there, is hidden. It is not true, however, that everything conceals God; and neither is it true that everything reveals God. For it seems to be the case that he has revealed himself to some, for there are those who claim to know him. And it is the case that God conceals himself, for some claim not to know him. Ironically, those who tempt God to reveal himself seem to be the ones who do not know him; and those who seek him, despite this hiddenness, seem to find him.

It seems, then, that men are both unworthy and capable of God. But, can man and God meet seeing man is unworthy?  History is abundantly filled with examples of men who exercise enormous effort to obtain things for which they know they are unworthy. Who has not seen a man in love strain every part of himself to have his heart’s desire and not seen that same man admit that he does not deserve it? Ask Columbus what he has done to deserve a fantastic voyage or grand adventure and he may not be able to tell you. Ask him what he can achieve and he will tell you he can reach the stars.

What can we draw from this observation of humanity? If a true religious man exists, he is a humble man who boldly embarks upon a romantic adventure without first having to perform some good act that would make him deserving of the journey nor having to make some payment. If a true religion exists, it must map out the journey that must be taken without asking for merit first. And, if there is a God, he is a God who provides a way to meet the unworthy adventurer on his quest.

But, what can we say about the man who tempts a God who does not appear on demand and yet does not undertake this voyage to meet him? We can say he thinks himself too deserving of God’s love. And what remains of love when it is made to jump through hoops and sing and dance like clowns in the circus, when it is made into a magician to conjure and entertain the arrogant whim of the self-entitled? I tell you nothing will remain. Love recoils from demands and shuns the arrogant self-entitled man.


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