On the Mystery of Iniquity and the Stubbornness of (we) the Stiff-Necked

Let’s consider a short text from Proverbs to illustrate the grave and mysterious problem of “anomia,” of being lawless, of being stubbornly impenitent and persisting in disregard and even contempt of God’s Law:

He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing. (Prov 29:1)

Consider this text in three stages (with acknowledgment to Rev. Adrian Rogers who preached a sermon on this I’ve never forgotten. The alliterated structure here is his, the content is mine):

1. Spiritual Direction– Note how the text describes us as being often reproved. God sends us endless messages always urging us to repentance, to, to turn toward Him, to call on Him, to learn obedience, and to rejoice in the salvation he offers. He whispers, he urges, and he calls. No one who ever went to Hell, went there without being “often reproved.” The Hebrew word is תּוֹכֵחָה (towkechah) means chastisement, correction, refutation, proof, argument, reasoning, rebuke, or reproof. Well, you get the idea, God is pleading with us to come to him, to accept his Kingdom and the Kingdom values that underlie it. He does this in many ways…

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Priest: “I expected more from the only state claiming to be a democracy in the Middle East.”


French Catholic church Maison D’Abraham in east Jerusalem is accusing the Israel Police of failing to investigate robbery and harassment complaints filed by the church recently.

“The Israel Police are not protecting us,” the church’s director, Father Michael O’Sullivan, told Ynet. “Only in the past month we had two incidents with a large Volvo truck which intentionally hit our entrance gate and escaped. After the second incident we filed a complaint with the police, but nothing happened. They didn’t even send a policeman here to look into our claims.”

Maison D’Abraham, a serene oasis in the midst of the Ras al-Amud neighborhood, was founded in 1964 at the request of Pope Paul VI during his visit to the Holy Land. In his vision, the pope saw the church as a place which would fulfill the needs of Christian pilgrims visiting Jerusalem without financial means.

Every year, thousands of tourists from all around the world visit the church, which also serves as a guesthouse. Recently, however, the church and its tenants have been suffering from harassment and theft.

According to Father O’Sullivan, the recent incidents are only a few examples of the lawlessness the church’s tenants are forced to live with. “We suffer from burglaries, theft and harassments, but the police are not doing anything or just pretending to be doing something. About two years ago we caught a thief red-handed, turned him into the police, but he was released the next day. Two months later he began stealing again.”

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