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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
        Wednesday, May 19 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Duplicity—being of two minds

If, as I believe and as the Bible repeats frequently from Genesis through Revelation, no human being has perfectly pure motives and no one is perfectly consistent, why is "hypocrisy" perhaps the most easily despised and widely villified sin? Perhaps it's rooted in Jesus' own outspoken condemnation of that sin as characterizing not only the religious leaders of the Jerusalem of His generation but even some of his followers (search). Being a hypocrite is being of two minds, yes, but more importantly, it's pretending that our motives and goals are pure when in fact they are self-serving or intended to "feather our own nests." I think Jesus used it so often because He wanted to point out how even our best efforts are tinged by wrong desires ranging from "getting credit" to putting something over on God or our neighbors (which in either case amounts to the same thing; to cheat your neighbors is to try to cheat God).

Or maybe we hate hypocrisy so quickly because it's something we all know is never far below our own surface lives and in most lives at times gets the better of us all. This is why the account of "Peter's denial" of Jesus is recorded in the Gospels, to remind us that not even saints are guaranteed a pass on this most human of character traits.

There's nothing wrong with being of two minds—literally duplicitous—when both of the two desires are legitimate ones, even such choices as two possible life mates or two offers of jobs, but in all of these legitimate choices we must take them both (or how many of them as there are), and place them before God and ask His guidance in how to choose. This is why anything that God calls sin cannot be approved by people who want God's approval. Abortion, for example, no matter how painful the pregnancy is in emotional, economic, or lifestyle consequences, can never be a legitimate choice. God cannot bless it, and anything done without His blessing is sin (even "the plowing of the wicked is sin," Proverbs 21:4).

The current series of Jonals has been exploring postmodernism and proposed that its main characteristic is personalities that try to live in both the light and the darkness at the same time. Perhaps the real significance of postmodernism is just in this: that we are learning not to hate hypocrisy but rather, by having "made peace" with it, we are content to live as hypocrites. In which case, God have mercy on our souls.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Pest control

I childproofed my house, but they still get in.

Sent by Trudy Myers 

Thought for today

The things that come to those who wait are usually the things left by those who got there first.

Sent by Mary Ann Losiewicz 

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