October 29, 2005

Photo Deficiency

We are having some problems posting pictures. (Hence the single photo with no explanation.) For some reason our pictures won't upload into our post box. :( We have tried the downloadable photo program "Picasa 2," but that hasn't worked either. Any suggestions from you veteran bloggers would be appreciated. We also haven't been able to change the font color on the comments. That is why they are invisible on the main page! We will continue trying to remedy the problems.
Meanwhile, below is an article I wrote recently.

~Max, for the Parish family

The Missing Piece

We have made great technological strides in the past 100 years. The fact that this article has reached your retina via miles of thin wires, or even by invisible waves that are permeating our atmosphere, is proof of that. Simple processes (such as heating some food in a microwave) that are common occurrences today, would be pure magic to those living in earlier times.

We have advanced rapidly in terms of medical, biological, archeological, geological, and meteorological, research. But in all our advancements, we have forgotten something. Perhaps we have not forgotten it as much as we have pushed it out of our culture. We have filled our pockets full of candy, and emptied them of our coins. It is not that candy doesn’t have a place, but without the coins, we cannot rightly attain the candy. This thing I am referring to, the coin we have lost, is called an ideal.

If you have never read any of G. K. Chesterton’s works, I would highly encourage you to do so. With over 70 books as well as numerous articles and essays to his name, he was a brilliant thinker and superb writer. Though I don’t share many of his theological views (mostly propounded in his book Orthodoxy), I think much can be gained from his cultural and social analyses.

Chapter two of his book Heretics is on the "negative spirit" that was becoming widely prevalent in the early 1900's. After explaining how the monastic life had become an object of derision, even for some valid reasons, Chesterton says that in one sense, it is still better then our "modern and reasonable morality." He goes on to say:

A modern morality, on the other hand, can only point with absolute conviction
to the horrors that follow breaches of law; its only certainty is a certainty of
ill. It can only point to imperfection. It has no perfection to point to. But
the monk meditating upon Christ or Buddha has in his mind an image of perfect
health, a thing of clear colors and clean air. He may contemplate this ideal
wholeness and happiness far more than he ought; he may contemplate it to the
neglect or exclusion of essential things; he may contemplate it until he has
become a dreamer or a driveller; but still it is wholeness and happiness that he
is contemplating. He may even go mad; but he is going mad for the love of
sanity. But the modern student of ethics, even if he remains sane, remains sane from an insane dread of insanity.
Does this not describe us today? Upon hearing that our past president defiled himself with a woman, some turn away with shamed faces. Others speak out in anger, decrying the declining morality of our leaders. What kind of example are they setting for our children? Oust them!

But now we turn the coin over. Let us set forth an ideal; let us say a person ought to be this way, and watch the infernos ignite! "Legalist, "fundamentalist," or some other derogatory term will usually preface the command to "stop pushing your morality on me!"

We know what we ought not be. Or to put it more pointedly, I know what you ought not to be, but don’t tell me what I ought to be! As Chesterton said, with our "modern morality," it is easy to point out imperfections, but how often do you hear the writers of our time describe what a perfect politician or citizen is? If they are brave enough to do so, just watch the irate letters to the editor pile in!

It is interesting, but not surprising, that we have become blind to our own inconsistencies. One of the greatest blunders that our modern masters of relativism have committed, is to forget that the castigation of any profligate implies a moral doctrine of some kind. A person must have some ideal in mind before he can recognize a deviation from it. But to admit this doctrine, or apply it consistently is out of the question. After all, it might be considered "religious!" Morality has become a hot potato: you only hold it long enough to throw it at someone else.

Paul couldn’t have been more descriptive when he says, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

Let us be thankful that we know the true Ideal: the God from whom all good things come, and by whom we can even propose the idea of an ideal. Let us not be afraid to admit first, that we hold to a moral doctrine, and second, that doctrine completely shapes every decision we make. We can say "that is wrong," because we know what is right. We can say "stop doing that" because we know the way people ought to behave. Let us be willing to stand up in a world that is lying down, to walk forward when the tide would push us backward, to always speak truth (John 17:17), no matter what consequences we face.

October 27, 2005

Quite photogenic, don't you think?

October 23, 2005


After many nights of discussion, debate over templates, and hours attempting to decipher computer lingo, the Parish family has finally joined the blogging world! :-)

Contained herein will be a medley of our thoughts, adventures, musings, and anything else going on around our home or in our minds! May our Lord be truly glorified in all that is written.

The blogs of all our dear friends have blessed us so much as we share in the joy of their lives. We praise God for you, all our dear friends and family.

Praise the Lord!

~The Parish Family