Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Jerks For Jesus

Surely one of the most abiding principles of internet discourse is "Venom in the defense of my moral principles is no vice!" Here, courtesy of Fr. Jake, is a particularly mean-spirited "sermon". Well, actually, it's a church politics speech. "Poorly educated, theologically unsophisticated, [and] socially regressive" translates to "doesn't agree to the latest teachings of the liberal secular establishment", when it comes to that; the complaints about Rowan Williams are all about Cantuar failing to enact the (liberal) party line.

Now, all the tendentious teaching about what Jesus didn't say is beside the point. It's theologically unsophisticated and socially regressive (for American society, anyway), and doesn't say anything I haven't heard before and haven't rejected as bad exegesis. Heck, I feel the need for a bit of a sermon myself here:

For Christians, there is no choice between personal purity and social action. If you think that what you do in the bedroom is private and doesn't affect everyone around you: that's self-indulgent wishful thinking. If you think that leading a pure life is enough: purity also lies in how you treat others, even though whom you cannot see. Ridicule purity, ridicule charity, ridicule those who advocate either, and you're writing your own ticket to hell, along with anyone foolish enough to follow you.

But beside that, the point is in how the opponents are treated. To be blunt: a long list of cheap shots, liberally showered in contempt, shouldn't be anyone's model of an acceptable sermon. As an Anglican Christian, I'd like to think that we can actually treat our enemies with genuine human respect, and hear what they say. If what they say is wrong, let its error fall on its own lack of merit. The tantrums of the saints are not for emulation.

1 comment:

Father Nelson said...

That is just about the dumbest, un-thinking sermon I have ever read!

"Read what Jesus said..." come on...