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1165Sunday's Belfast blog - true love

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  • Jon Kennedy
    Aug 3, 2014

      Text-only version:
      JONAL ENTRY 1560 | SUNDAY, AUGUST 3 2014

      Today's Scripture: I appeal to you by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispos and Gaius; lest any one should say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any one else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
      — From St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians 1:10-17,
      from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
      See the homiletical thought below. «

      Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

      Today's "life-in" picture is the newest project of the Dock Cafe outreach on the Titanic Quarter docks, another "pop-up market" that will be marketing the wares of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople, and artists, all "cottage industries" intended to help their producers get rewarded for their skill and artistry and perhaps help the local economy in the process.
      Though there are raindrops on my window as I write this, there has been more sunshine today than for any since early last week, and the sun is even now trying to chase the rainclouds. I carried an umbrella to church this morning and it worked—I got all the way out and back without so much as a heavy mist.
      This evening, Ethel is coming to pick me up for the Dock Church service on the HMS Nomadic, the first-Sunday-of-the month routine. So, I have to hustle. «
      A closer look
      Formerly "In the news"; links to news, features, and opinion pieces. See Caveat, below.
      CBN video: graphic scenes of the tragedies of Israeli-Hamas war
      Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren: defeating Hamas necessary
      Brits giving lots of attention to 100th anniversary of start of WWI
      Robert P. George advises young scholars: beware of addiction to applause
      A lot of pushing and shoving at arguably the world's most holy place
      George W. Bush surprises baseball's Derek Jeter to recall historic moment
      Christian worldview
      (This department alternates with Writing stuff)
      I shared with my grand-daughter on Facebook earlier today that her great-grandmother used to say "maybe we'd be better off if we'd never come to know what we know now." That's always a tempting and intriguing thought. Several pop songs have raised that question: "I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then."
      But the Apostles pled with us to develop the mind of Christ, to think what He wants us to think, and to think His thoughts we have to know what He knew, something that requires some familiarity with the content of the whole biblical revelation. We have to pursue the truth despite the fact that it's easier to listen to facile arguments and agree with them, moving on in our thinking with the flow of popular morality and ethics.
      Here at the end of the gay pride festival month in Belfast (yes, it's a whole month, blessed by the Lord Mayor, and touted as the largest gay pride event on the island of Ireland despite the South's greater acceptance of secularization in its first and second post-Catholic generations)—right now the popular current wave of thinking is, "the loving thing to do with our gay neighbors is confirm them in their chosen way of living. Ignore the differences and evolve."

      But the really loving thing to do for any neighbors who are choosing a self-destructive lifestyle and set of options is to hold out the hope of a better way. That is the way of repentance. It's hard, but we have to say this to all our neighbors, those who profess faith and those who do not, because we all need to repent and strive to do better, overcome our tendencies to sin, day by day and hour by hour. Sodomy, the only defining difference between "gay and straight" when you strip it down, is never a wise choice, never a blessing, and dressing it up as "love," "liberation," or a matter of "rights" or equality is begging the question, as everyone, gay or straight, knows, and as nature itself teaches. «
      Today's video
      Something entirely different
       «
      Chuckle
       «
      Today's quotes
      «
      It is not enough to wish well; we must also do well.
      — St. Ambrose «
      An open mind, in questions that are not ultimate, is useful. But an open mind about the ultimate foundations either of Theoretical or of Practical Reason is idiocy.
      — C.S. Lewis «
      Homiletical thought: If only quelling dissension in the church were as simple as telling the people to stop. Yet, if we are amenable, it is that simple. Believe that there are many things you do not need to know and often you're better off knowing nothing on many subjects (C.S. Lewis was my great example for this; he eschewed newspapers and the wireless and never owned a television set). As I've heard so often here in Belfast, "whatever you say, say nothing." Now think: Whatever you hear, hear nothing. «
      §     §     §
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      Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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