Thursday, April 30, 2009

from "Your Sins And Mine"

Another Taylor Caldwell novel quote:

"It seems as though a lot of younger parsons consider the bible a fine collection of poetry and folk literature-a frame of reference, as they say. You talk politics in your pulpit,you give lectures, and not sermons. You discuss the education of children, the place of women in society, civil liberties, the merits of good citizenship and so on. Now, I'm not saying these aren't important things, you understand. We do need good schools and we do need women taking more interest in politics and community affairs, and minorities should have their just rights, and nobody should hate his neighbor because he is black or brown or green or red or has another religion other than his own."

He pointed his pipe at the minister. "Good things, all of them. But I say also you should save them for the parish hall, or the Wednesday night parish meetings. That's the time for lectures. I don't want to hurt your feelings, my boy, but I've noticed that the only time you mention the name of God is when you pray and give the benediction. What do people go to church for, after five or six days of struggling to make a living and worrying about their families and being confused about the world? I can tell you this, they don't go to hear a fine, polished lecture. They go for consolation; they go to be reconciled with God; they go to be assured God loves them and is waiting to receive their love. They want to know that above the sound and fury of this infernal world there is an everlasting peace, a love that never fails, a mercy that is full and understanding. They want their souls refreshed, not their tired minds belabored....

"I've heard you talk about the Sermon on the Mount as if it was just another Declaration of Independence. When you pray, you speak to God politely, and remind Him that we'd like to have a little peace on this earth. You mentioned once that the parables of Jesus are excellent examples of profound human psychology. That was the Sunday you devoted your whole lecture to 'the science of psychiatry' and what it can do for disturbed minds." His voice became even louder and was touched with anger. "You mentioned God in passing, but there was a hell of a lot more Freud in your lecture! Disturbed minds! You're damned right we've got disturbed minds. And why? Because our parsons think it primitive to talk about an ever-present God in the affairs of men. It never occurs to them that a human soul is thirsting for the living God, and hungering to know He is there for the asking." His voice softened and deepend. "They come to you in grief and bewilderment and pain and you quote textbooks at them, and deny them the bread of life."


  1. Sounds like that could be said to a certain pastor you and I both know! :-)

  2. I gave a certain AP one of her books. Maybe he'll share it!

    But see it is amazing at how prescient this woman was. Or, maybe (who said it?) "Nothing in the world is new."