comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of
men, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting,
wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness (Mark
is as common in our day as it was
visited this world.
not only respect the traditions of the past—
as they ought
but they ordinarily
desperately clutch at them
drowning man latching on to floating debris.
wear their religion—put on their religion—
the way a person might put on a coat.
the prophets persistently enunciated,
this is abominable to God.
the making of prayers,
the confessing of creeds
the symbols and rituals and religious
that are an important part of our
are valid and desirable—
and they are pleasing to God.
He looks deeper into the heart of man and woman,
into his or her real desires and
into the honest beliefs and intentions
of His human creatures,
looks for faith.
spirit of God breaks through the visible
and the apparent, the words people
the motions they go through,
and the rituals they perform;
He sees and knows what is in the
of His children.
hatred is there,
recognized but unconfessed sin there,
disobedience or faithlessness there,
the spirit of God knows,
and the heart of God is displeased.
hymns of praise, the verbal confessions and prayers,
and the religious ceremonies enacted
for those people who wear their
religion like a coat.
may impress their naïve and undiscerning friends