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"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Hypocrisy in Singing Hymns – 24 October 2008
By Mary T. Hoffman

Flipping through a church hymnal, I noticed hymns praising God with words such as: “praise God all creatures here below,” “All creatures of our God and King,” and “O brother wind, air, clouds and rain, by which all creatures ye sustain.” In hymns the word “creatures” is used to include all of the Creator’s animals – both human and nonhuman.

One hymn in particular names two nonhuman creatures: “God of the Sparrow: God of the Whale.” This hymn includes the lines: “How does the creature say Awe? How does the creature say praise?” Yet I find it so difficult to understand how the people who sing these hymns, especially if they are born again believers changed by God’s Holy Spirit, don’t find it offensive to wear the skins and to eat the body parts and secretions of God’s creatures about whom they have been praising Him.

So much of this hymn singing and praising comes across as people’s attempt to fool God – something they surely must know can’t be done, since God is all-seeing and knows the intent of the heart. Surely, the Holy Spirit, who indwells those who are truly “born again,” would convict them of their hypocrisy and their need to change their ways.

This behavior is particularly egregious in this day and age when there is irrefutable proof that humans, through their cruel self-centeredness, are destroying their own health, other animals, and the earth – all the things for which they so hypocritically praise God.

Yet these same hypocrites marginalize and mock those who live compassionately for the whole of God’s creation. It’s time that the Church wakes up!

Go on to: Moving a Mountain (Revisited) – 25 October 2008
Return to: Emerson’s Quotations about Poets and Poetry – 23 October 2008
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