By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Glory-Seeking

Pax romana04

The great classical civilizations of the West, of which I am a great fan, enthusiastically embraced glory-seeking: from the heroes of Homer to the great Greek political and cultural leaders to the Roman clawing his way up the cursus honorum (the "ladder" of political offices), glory-seeking was, for the most part, unquestionably and intuitively pursued. And today many, of course, do exactly the same with gusto.

Yet, the gospels present a different call: a call to humility and to serving others. Ironically, many Christians still follow the road of glory-seeking in a fashion hard to distinguish from that of those who are not particularly attached to Christianity. In spite of this great contradiction, the pattern of Christians combining personal glory-seeking with Christian faith persists.

As with mammon, you cannot serve two masters: self-glory and the gospel. The sort of Christianity that ignores that contradiction is, in the end, not found in the Gospels. All we can say is that the glory-seekers have their reward; but it is not the reward of taking the Gospels seriously, regardless of outward appearances and affiliations.

[Photo By Bravinsky (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons]