Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Satisfying Religion of Hypocrites


"Behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, "I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home."
- Proverbs 7:10-20

The father of this narrative is directing his remarks to his son, to beware of the immoral woman. However, I want to concentrate on what we see of the woman.

Her opening remarks to the naive young man regard her spiritual activities. To paraphrase, she tells him that she has gone to church, sung in the choir, so she has extra brownie points stored up with God. "Why don't we," she asks, "invest my extra credit in a little messin' around?"

Isn't this a sickness that infects so much of American evangelicalism? A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor cited a survey in which only 19 percent of self-described "born-again Christians" agreed with the statement that a person is not saved by good works. Given that the popish doctrine of justification has conquered eighty percent of evangelicals, one should hardly be shocked when one of those evangelicals claims that his spiritual activities on Sunday leaves him free to live as a pagan the rest of the week!

Such a person reads this proverb without a shiver because he sees himself as the innocent young man. I put to you that God sees him as the whore.

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