Sunday, July 08, 2018

Building with untempered mortar

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ezekiel 13-15; Psalm 34

“So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 13:14

“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18

I read the blog of Rod Dreher (author of The Benedict Option). In a series of posts last week, he reported on accusations of sexual abuse of a teenage boy by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick 50 years ago. Though McCarrick denies that this happened, Dreher uncovers the picadilloes of McCarrick and other priests, actions that have gone on for years and which were widely known (read “Church: Cardinal McCarrick is a  Molester”).

Dreher was investigating allegations of McCarrick’s sexual activity with student priests (adults) as long ago as 2002 but no one would testify “on the record” and so the story went nowhere. The Catholic priest sex scandal drove Dreher to leave the Catholic church years ago in disillusionment.

At the end of another post (“Uncle Ted & the Grand Inquisitor”) Dreher quotes an email he received from a reader about his reporting on these things. It says, in part: “I simply don’t understand your eagerness with this prosecution of McCarrick. … We must protect our brand, our shield, our faith! … In short, we must handle these issues swiftly, legally, but privately. … Image is everything and when it comes to the One True Church we MUST protect her” (emphasis in the original).

The false prophets of Ezekiel’s time would agree that “Image is everything.” But it’s not everything to God. And when the protection of image comes at the price of truth, I would submit that that’s pretty much building a wall or a life with “untempered mortar.”

I ask myself, am I doing that—are you—building a life and reputation on image that’s covering up sin and rottenness?

David, in Psalm 34, tells us how to get back on track with God (the only One to whom our image really matters). It’s with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, by coming clean with tears of “sorry,” then leaving our sinful ways behind.

PRAYER: Dear Father You see everything. I can’t cover anything from You. Help me to build my life with the trusted mortar of truth, not the “untempered mortar” of lies. Amen.

PSALM TO PRAY: Psalm 34.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thanks for reading! This year we are using The Bible Project "Timeless Reading Plan" to read through the Bible in 2018. If you'd like to read along in your own Bible, you can download a pdf of the reading plan HERE.

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