Monday, December 19, 2011

Garbage In Garbage Out

Titus 1:15-16:
To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
I suppose I could insist that a diligent reader check out the entire introduction to Titus, or perhaps even the entire letter - it isn't that long, after all - yet these two verses, clear enough in and of themselves, reflect not only a wise commentary upon the specifics of Paul's instructions to Titus, but something we usually associate with the phrase that is the title of this post.

And doesn't this reflect so much of what troubles the Church these days? Wouldn't it be nice to read Christians who see the world and all that is in it as a gift, something good graciously offered by God? Obviously, the moral preachments to which St. Paul give voice regarding the conduct not only of bishops and elders, but of all Christians, should be seen as the backdrop against which this more general comment is made. All the same, the specific context - that a Christian reflect a view of the world that sees purity, beauty, gratuity in the world where others see nothing but corruption and evil - is a wise insight regardless of time and place. This difference in seeing, and proclaiming what one sees, reflects (for St. Paul) the inner state of the person.

So, those who obsess, say, over the sex lives of pretty much everyone else kind of tells us what goes through their minds, doesn't it? The fetus-huggers, too, seem to be able to spare all sorts of love and compassion for a non-human lump of flesh while gleefully celebrating the deaths of other human beings without a care in the world.

St. Paul's observation here should serve as a guide for discerning the moral and spiritual worth of the words we read on the Internet, even apart from the common-sense idea that such folks are pretty much putting their issues on parade for all the world to see.

Virtual Tin Cup

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