spirituality & self-seeking endeavors

Roland H. Bainton, in his book, Here I Stand. A Life of Martin Luther, writes: Even our very quest for God is a disguised form of self-seeking (p. 176). This reminded me of something Karl Barth wrote in his famous Romans commentary: Look how Michelangelo has depicted the Creation of Eve : in the fullness of her charm and beauty she rises slowly, posing herself in the fatal attitude of worship. Notice the Creator s warning arm and careworn, saddened eyes, as He replies to Eve s gesture of adoration. She is manifestly behaving as she ought not. Eve and we must honor her as the first religious personality was the first to set herself against God, the first to worship Him; but, inasmuch as SHE worshiped HIM, she was separated from Him in a manner at once terrible and presumptuous Tragic because, when men, knowing good and evil, become like God, when their direct relation with Him gives birth to independent action, then all direct relationship is broken off (Romans, p. 247). The church needs to be reminded of this reality. Our endeavor to make worship, any aspect of church life, or even the church itself more meaningful or intentional only exposes our separation from God. It is, as Luther believed, more about ourselves than God.

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