Friday, August 19, 2011

Mere Comments from Touchstone Magazine

Mere Comments from Touchstone Magazine consistently produces relevant Christian commentary on popular culture.  Give them a read if you haven't already.  
When I broke my ankle, I spent too much of my time watching all five seasons of The Wire.  It is not the holiest of activities.  The series centers in on one gang in a drug infested neighborhood Baltimore and the police charged with trying to stop them.  The lines blur more often than not, with the 'good guys' and the 'bad guys' swapping places.  Over the course of the five seasons, the story focused on all perspectives from the gang and detectives to the children and schools, the politicians and the media.  Lots of violence and debauchery.  Frankly, it was more depressing than I can even talk about.  At the heart of all the corruption, was the family or rather the total absence of the family.  Without the presence of the family, the vacuum left behind begged for something that none of the willing contenders could measure up to.  The family is a working unit of love and cooperation.  Anything short of that is just that too little to fill the void and ultimately doomed to fail.  It isn't simply some cute little coincidence that the family is the best metaphor for the Trinity, it is the truth.  What this world needs is more families, more children in those families,  more people in the pews, and more religious and clergy. Let's get busy, folks, and make it happen.  Otherwise, what are we hoping for when Christ returns?    

Rise Up, O Men of God
by William Murchison

From The New York Times, August 16,  2011:
     "The number of Americans with children who live together without marrying has increased twelvefold since 1970, according to a report released Tuesday.  The report states that children now are more llikely to have unmarried parents than divorced ones."
      Time for the Church to clear its collective head and find its collective voice, wouldn't one say?
      I, for one, would.
      The religious doctrine of marriage -- never mind the civil one -- has beeen kicked down the stairs by a culture intent on enshrining personal choice as the essential element in all relationships. Choice, of course, is an element in romantic love, but in Christian marriage it comes with strings attached, chiefly those pledges of fidelity and commitment.   The idea that in marriage one hands over personal desire to the custody and keeping of another is profoundly un-modern.
      Expatiation on the disastrous consequences of  uprooting commitment and fidelity from the marriage undertaking isn't the present point.  The need I would advertise is for the churches to rise from the bottom of the cultural staircase, where they have too long lain, and resume teaching a full-throated, ontological doctrine of  marriage and family, derivable from what was once understood as the sovereign will and purpose of God.
      "God"?  What a concept with which to belabor the 21st century!   Which is a big chunk of the problem, isn't it?   A modern Church squeamish when it comes to faithful representation of its Master's unmodern wishes gets the expected payback.  So do the rest of us, alas.

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