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BD 1148 25.10.1939
Obeying the commandments under coercion ....
Compulsion affects the value of an action. How often does man fall into the temptation to believe that he has fulfilled his duty, if he has performed an action that corresponds to a prescribed law. This is especially true of such laws that were given to people without authority and whose observance was demanded in order to strengthen earthly power again. Nothing is more worthless before God than obeying such commandments under a state of compulsion .... And nothing endangers the salvation of man more than the belief that he has fulfilled his duty. .... For this belief prevents the conscious striving for perfection ....
Man considers himself to be on a level which he has not yet reached by far, because he believes to have fulfilled God's demand and has merely followed man's commandment .... and this is without benefit for eternity. Every fulfillment of duty is a kind of compulsive state .... indeed recognized in the earthly life - but for the spiritual life, without appreciable success, because God requires that the free will is the basis of every way of acting. Man should do everything without any external impulse, and be prompted to act from within .... He should accomplish everything he does voluntarily and without constraint, and should not be induced to act by threats or promises .... Only then does this action have a truly beneficial effect on his soul.
The Divine will alone is to be completely sufficient to let the earthly child now act accordingly, however to want to influence the way of acting of people by any coercion or pressure, is not Divine will. God alone has given commandments, but people believed to have to tighten these Divine commandments, and so soon an abuse has formed, which is generally threatening for the earthly children, because again more the external fulfillment of the commandments is observed, and this is in itself quite meritless .... It is only a form one satisfies, but which is worthless before God. All too eager servants of God have thus brought about a state of affairs, which has quite a frightening effect on the soul.
Just note how strongly the opinion is represented that only church attendance brings humans closer to the Divinity, and how therefore this was made to mankind to be man's duty .... And how therefore the belief has taken root that only he serves God who fulfills this duty .... But how precisely the compulsory church-attendance kills any deep feeling to the eternal Godhead, if it is carried out according to the rules at the certain time and thus becomes a mere habit, which has nothing in common with (the word) "God-service" .... And how at the same time through the fulfillment of this commandment, man is educated in a sham service of God, since everything he does now is regulation, thus no own will or need of the heart drives him to truly serve God.
It is a haphazard performance of actions that are only human works, or human decrees made under the guise of "expressions of the Divine will" in order to forcibly attach people to a certain church in order to increase it's power. And just the opposite is achieved with such compulsory actions .... something which should have been the deepest, inner desire is mechanically performed, and all outer appearance is kept, while the heart can be empty and dead thereby, and such action remains without value before God, exactly because it has a certain compulsory state as a prerequisite and therefore cannot be evaluated, because it does not correspond to the Divine will ....
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