Sunday, April 10, 2011

William Stringfellow Resurrection and idolatry

The resurrection constitutes freedom for men from all idolatries, whether of race or money or church or whatever. It constitutes freedom from death as a moral power in history, freedom to welcome and honor life as a gift, freedom to live by grace, unburdened by the anxiety for justification which enslaves men to idols.

In this freedom, we can begin to be faithful to our own humanity, and so faithful to God. We can go to work to give back to our various idols their true nature and purpose in relation to human beings and human living: to love our country and try to restore it to a sense of its true vocation in the family of nations; to use money as a medium facilitating equable exchange of goods and services; and try to get it so used in our society and in our world, and so on.

In this freedom, we no longer serve idols in our work or other experiences; we serve the living God. We work in the service of life, for ourselves and our fellow men. We work to re-establish human life in our relationships with ourselves and others and things in our society, anticipating in hope the final restoration when God will be “all in all.”

Thus work takes on the character of worship “in spirit and in truth,” and in our worship we celebrate the life and restoration we are working for. In such freedom, then, the present obvious dichotomy between what Christians do in the sanctuary and what they do in society can be done away with. What is affirmed and enacted in our corporate liturgical worship is what we affirm and work for in our daily lives. In both, we celebrate the gift of life as such by participation in God’s affirmation of life in the face of death.

William Stringfellow Imposters of God(pp. 65–6)

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