put this in your pipe and...

The world possesses deep and penetrating insight. It refuses to admit your supposed superiority. It recognizes at once that you are flesh of its flesh, bone of its bone. Your corruption renders you unfit to work for God and to take the lead in advancing his cause. You act in precise contradiction to the profession which you have not unreasonably adopted; for you undertake a mission without being sent. Where law is, the world expects a doing of the law; where the impress of revelation is, it expects actual revelation. With inexhaustible patience it believes the exalted claims of the sons of God in their midst to be a genuine claim. It is not unsusceptible to reality, but it harbors no illusions. When, therefore, it finds that it has been deceived by those who say that they have been called and enlightened, it sees in them no more than another example of Potemkin s Villages . The children of God present nothing peculiar, nothing new, nothing that exercises a compelling power. And so, after standing for a moment in amazement before the comedy of an unreal communion with God, the children of the world turn away supported and confirmed in their knowledge that, after all, the world is the world. With proper instinct for the truth, they do not permit themselves to be imposed upon, and they are thus protected against any turning towards the God of the pious man. Whenever men adopt the point of view of God ; whenever he is not everything and they nothing; whenever they desire to be and to do something in co-operation with him; then, however stimulating their ideas, however noble their actions, God becomes a notion! When only the empty canals of God are visible, objections and protests against God are wholly justified (Karl Barth).

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