True Ritual Versus Hypocritical Religiosity

A piece of mine has just been published over on the Political Theology site:

The temptation to put faith in religiosity, to employ religious ceremonies and rituals as akin to compensatory ‘moral offsets’ for our godless, oppressive, and unjust behavior is a perennial one. Treated in such a manner, what we suppose to be our worship of God can be made an integral element of our oppressive and perverse societies, as if it were a valve designed to release the discomfiting pressure of uneasy consciences.

Like the people of Judah Isaiah excoriates, we can come before God with gifts rank with the stench of exploitative economic practices from which we have grown rich and hands bloodied from unjust wars. We can ignore the needy and the stranger in our neighborhoods, while expecting to receive God’s welcome when we visit his house. We can pollute our lives with all sorts of immorality and fornication, while feigning to be the spotless Bride of Christ.

Read the whole piece here.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Bible, Culture, Ethics, Genesis, Guest Post, Isaiah, OT, OT Theology, Politics, Theological, Worship. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to True Ritual Versus Hypocritical Religiosity

  1. WordPress Reader says:

    Thank you for posting. This reminds me of a question:

    Romans tells Christians to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

    This is echoed in the Book of Common Prayer, in which “we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee.”

    Since Jesus was the unique sacrifice, and he gave his life as a ransom for many — How do we characterize the relationship between Jesus’s once-for-all sacrifice of his own life, and our ongoing “sacrifice” of ourselves, our souls and our bodies? Is there a standard theological account of this? How is our “sacrifice” like or unlike Jesus’s sacrifice? Thanks in advance for any comments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.