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GOD BECOMES DISTANT AND


UNAPPROACHABLE Heb 12: 18-24


When our faith in Jesus stresses that he is from above it affects the way we pray and worship. We tend to remove the Eucharist from the people.


There is an exaggerated expression of adoration for the Eucharist. It is only touched by the hands of the priest. The vessels which contain it cannot be touched by ordinary hands. Religion becomes impersonal. We pray in order to satisfy and pacify a demanding “god” who lives above us and is not concerned with our everyday lives.


WE BECOME SLAVES TO THE LAW Gal 4: 4-7


This type of piety influences the way we treat ourselves and others. We strive fro perfection in


ourselves and in society. Rules for right and wrong become fixed and unbending---there is no room for ambiguity. God can only be pleased by perfectly fulfilling the letter of the law. We tend to have little understanding and compassion for those who cannot measure up. The result is that we are filled with guilt and approach God with unhealthy fear, as one approaching an enemy.


JESUS IS MORE


THAN A HUMANIST Jn 5: 17-23 Jn 8: 23-24


On the other hand, if we look at Jesus as only coming from below we deny that Jesus was truly God. We look upon Jesus as a great humanist. He


tells us to do good and avoid evil but gives us no means to do so. We see the overwhelming problems of human beings and overcome them with human effort alone. We try to conquer evil in ourselves and in society. Our answer to problems is to work harder, spend more money, seek more education and use force if necessary. When our efforts wear us out, with little change in the problems, we become discouraged. If Jesus were not God, then no matter how great a moral leader he was, her would have no lasting power over evil and we would not be able to experience change in ourselves or society.


WE LOSE THE SENSE OF MYSTERY AND REVERENCE


Looking at Jesus as only from below changes our prayer life. Since Jesus is only a great leader there


is no place in the liturgy for worship or mystery. We lose the need for ritual and for reverence. Our


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