Frank Paynter: “There is no room for prophets…”

Tabs from my browser…:

The moment the writers of the Gospels set down the words of Jesus they began to kill the message. There is no room for prophets within religious institutions – indeed within any institutions – for as Paul Tillich knew, all human institutions, including the church, are inherently demonic. Tribal societies persecute and silence prophets. Open societies tolerate them at their fringes, and our prophets today come not from the church but from our artists, poets and writers who follow their inner authority. Samuel Beckett’s voice is one of modernity’s most authentically religious. Beckett, like the author of Ecclesiastes, was a realist. He saw the pathetic, empty monuments we spend a lifetime building to ourselves. He knew, as we read in Ecclesiastes, that nothing is certain or permanent, real or unreal, and that the secret of wisdom is detachment without withdrawal, that, since death awaits us all, all is vanity, that we must give up on the childish notion that one is rewarded for virtue or wisdom.

A thought to ponder for the day. (actually a few…)

2 responses

  1. This cannot be said any better or any more true. It gives me argument that religion, churches, books are all just man made institutions that are well intentioned but have become so vain in themselves that it has clouded the message Jesus was trying to tell us all.

  2. I remember you making that argument to me before (if this is the Steve I think it is). I’ve come around to believe you’re right.

    But still I can’t help hold on to my church as an expression of belief, in a community of other believers, and feel it’s important because of that expression.

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