The expression “false pretense” is very strange. By definition, a pretense is the act of[…]Read more
The expression “false pretense” is very strange. By definition, a pretense is the act of giving an appeance. In the Bible, anything that presents an apperance is already a lie, the depth and breadth of which is evident without the use of a modifier.
In Matthew, the pretense of humility amplifies human arrogance, even as the appearence of charity faciltiates selfishness. Are you humble because you look humble? Are you generous because people saw you giving alms to the poor? Since all pretense is false, it’s hard to say. But Matthew, like the Apostle Paul, won’t enter the debate since even humility and generosity—no matter how sincere—are rendered unrighteous by the credit your pretense earns in the sight of men:
“But to me, it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted, but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:3-5)
For Matthew, whose teaching reflects the wisdom of Paul, the only sure fire way to avoid fueling our innate hypocrisy is to avoid appearances altogether, doing everything in secret until the Lord appears on the day of judgment.
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 6:1-4.
Episode 252 Matthew 6:1-4; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Cottages” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/) (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/
Fr. Paul discusses the Hebrew terms biqah, shinar, and babel. (Episode 39)
People love to talk about what they want to do, what they should do or what they believe is right. We love it. We go online to brag about it and to cajole each other. Everyone is a fake preacher. We give lip service to lofty ideals (lying to ourselves and each other) pretending to be people of great deeds, but our words, like our promises, are empty platitudes. No, they are worse than that, because when we cast our vanity on the world, we lift ourselves up at the expense of those whose suffering is actual. This is the banality of evil and we are living it.
Unlike our lofty ideals, the crisis of poverty; the vile stench of greed; the abyss of human ignorance; the plague of hatred; and the scourge of violence that now threaten our country are not theoretical. Those of us who hear the Lord’s teaching must not talk about what we want to do or what should be done. We must act as we have been commanded. For the Lord said, “Do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matthew 5:39)
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 5:33-39.
This weeks episode is presented in loving honor of the victims of the synagogue massacre in Pittsburg. May they find rest with all the saints in the bosom of Abraham; and may their memory—in fellowship with the righteous teaching for which they died—be assuredly eternal.
Episode 250 Matthew 5:33-39; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Dreams Become Real” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/) (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/
Fr. Paul explains the significance of the word shem in the biblical tradition. (Episode 38)
Christians come up with strange explanations as to the relationship between the Law of Moses and Pauline grace. Maybe, they argue, only part of the Law is valid—like the Ten Commandments—but the rest is draconian and Jesus came to rescue us from legalism. Others claim, maybe, because of grace, Jesus is saying that we can do whatever we want and trust that God will make it OK. My favorite explanation is what I call the combo platter: “You see, Fr. Marc, we need both grace and the work of our hands. It’s a deep partnership with God.”
Really? Partnership? Do you really believe that? Please, help me understand the way in which the creator of the heavens and earth is dependent on you for anything. If that’s true, then maybe Paul was wrong. Maybe you are something. Still, it’s more likely that Paul was right: that we are nothing when we think that we are something. Maybe that’s why Matthew compels us to give an account for every last minuscule detail of the Mosaic Law. Not so that we can get grace as a consolation prize (like magic pixie dust) but so that we can be humbled and broken with Jesus on the Cross into understanding that God of Moses has been graceful all along.
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 5:19-26.
Episode 248 Matthew 5:19-26; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “River Fire” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/) (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/
Fr. Paul explains how the biblical story does not propose a better establishment. (Episode 36)