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'The Secret to pleasing God'

I can't resist the temptation to put finger to keyboard to respond to this 'Wayside Pulpit' slogan. It fascinates me that we human beings delight so much in Gnosticism. The Freemasons, the Royal Antedeluvian Order of Buffaloes (of which I am a member), the Nazi Party, the Tories and the Socialists, all claim that they are in possession of a secret, which gives them access to a place of privilege. Hitler seduced a whole generation of German people with the idea that they were a chosen people. 'Happiness is knowing that you are Welsh', is yet another tempting example.

The world religions are not free from this human folly. Jesus himself is reputed to have said 'I thank you father for hiding these things from the learned and wise, and revealing them to the simple.' (Luke 10: 21). Unlike our exalted Prime Minister I am not well acquainted with the Koran but I would expect to find there similar claims to the possession of secrets which bring eternal life or something similar. Certainly the Old Testament lays claim to the idea that the people of Israel are a chosen race.

The way in which the world is being torn apart by inter race conflict might lead us to realise that the basic concept is flawed but it seems as if we are incapable of escaping from it. I believe that the only hope for the human race is to discover that each human being is precious in the sight of God and deserving of his love. Does this strike a Samaritan chord?

This is perhaps the best kept secret of all!