Friday, 22 July 2011

Selective moral outrage

One of the side-effects of failing to be morally outraged when you should, is over-compensation at other times.

That is, if you fail to apply God's law fully here, then it's likely you'll go overboard on it there.

Right now, the UK press and politicians are going completely beserk over phone hacking. Phone hacking is bad, of course, but ...

... did anyone notice the newspaper group in question had been selling pornography by the million-copy on the High Street for decades?

Or that another large newspaper group is owned by a man whose fortune was made in pornography?

Seems not... because peddling pornography is no longer a cause of moral outrage in the modern UK. But don't fear; society's leaders are making up for it by being outraged almost to death by phone hacking. And let's not mention the mass-slaughter of the unborn that goes on day after day with hardly a comment...

What's wrong with this picture?


Ned Kelly said...

“Faith is a warm embrace” - I like that. I am finding Augustinian obscurity in many of today’s commentaries, lots of comments and no answers. In have sought to understand “liberty” (Gal 5:13), and it wasn’t until I started studying Judaism that I truly began to understand. I should not have been surprised. Jesus was a Torah observant Jew throughout His life, Paul was a Torah observant Pharisee as the Book of Acts attests, the early Church was Torah trained and observant until power was usurped by Rome. I am finding far more understanding of the Gospels and Epistles by studying from a Jewish perspective than I have from a modern Christian perspective. A Jewish rabbi has led me to understand liberty and sin in a way I never saw before. Incidentally, this has become the dominant theme of my current book – understanding the Gospel of Christ from the perspective of a 1st century Jew in Jerusalem. It is a most exciting journey.

Ned Kelly said...

Societys' pendulum effect, it was ever so. On another note, Oswald Chambers often warned that if you don't practice on the small things, you won't be ready for the big things. Moral discipline is like any other, it takes training and practice, such is the nature of fallible humanity.

gingoro said...

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Mr. Duncan said the Post, along with other Ontario newspapers, are part of what he described as an intellectually dishonest, right-wing, Rupert Murdoch, conservative cabal.

I prefer the interpretation that this is an attack by gLiperals on conservatives.
Dave W

David Anderson said...

"His life, Paul was a Torah observant Pharisee as the Book of Acts attests"

I've responded to this on your other comment, here:

", the early Church was Torah trained and observant until power was usurped by Rome."

What you might mean here needs a lot of explaining, at least to me. Acts 15 comes to mind, and Galatians 2.

It seems to me that some parts of New Testament studies have gone full swing. Some years ago, scholars preached a totally Hellenised Paul. Now they declare an excessively Judaised one such that you'd hardly know that Christ "abolished the commands and ordinances" (Ephesians 2). The truth is somewhere between those extremes!

Ned Kelly said...

Acts 15 is about Judaising the Gentiles, not about Jews forgoing Torah. As Paul said, let each continue as they were called, Jews as Jews, Gentiles as Gentiles. Rome ignored that, Gentilising the Jews.I am not swinging between totally Helenised versus Judaised, but pointing out that cultures should remain as ordained, and that we can nevertheless each learn from one another. The cultural and religious genocide of the Jews by Rome has skewed our understanding, effectively, the victors have rewritten history.

David Anderson said...

As concerns the cultural issues, I have no argument here. Paul had no problem with the Jews being Jews - and observing the laws of Moses as part of that Jewishness - and the Gentiles being Gentiles (and not observing those laws), as 1 Corinthians 9:22 shows.

The point I was making is that after the death of Christ, observance of the distinctively Jewish laws no longer was a matter of religious principle. Paul was happy to allow is amongst Jews, and to follow those laws himself (when with Jews), but it was not a matter of devotion or duty to God, but simply an expedient for the gospel's sake (as 1 Corinthians 9:22 shows). But if anyone insisted on it as a matter of religious obedience, or that it was compulsory for anyone (even for Jews, such as Peter, Paul or Banarbas) then Paul was very much against it - as Acts 15 and Galatians (especially chapter 2) show.

This leads to the next point, that Paul's anticipation was that, with time, the observance of these laws would pass away. Christians of Jewish lineage would understand all the implications of the gospel, and residual cultural loyalty to Moses would fade, especially after the dissolution of the nation in AD70, which Jesus himself had prepared the Jewish believers for. A deeper penetration of the gospel and its implications would cause Jewish observances to fade away. So, observation of the laws of Moses would become a non-issue. The letter to the Hebrews was a particular help to the Jewish believers in this.

Thus by implication, anyone still observing the Jewish laws a generation after AD70 (long before the 5th century which you mentioned before) was seriously deficient in their understanding, if not simply heretical (as the Ebionites).