Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The danger of causes ..
I am reading the novel Gilead at the moment, and there is a scene where an otherwise fine and humane man does something very inhumane for the sake of a just cause (talking of the Abolitionist cause in the South before the American civil war). it made me think about the danger of causes, and how easily even a good cause can consume us to the point where it leads us into evil. For example, anti-abortionists who commit murder, or, on a lesser scale, feminists who disparage men. One that springs to mind, because one encounters it so often in the blog world (as if real life wasn't enough)is that of people who are so eager to defend a particular theological truth that they become rude rude and disparaging to their opponents. now, of course there are causes worth fighting for -- but how are we to fight? What "weapons" can we legitimately use? dare we forget, in our zeal, that the ends do not justify the means? They never have, and they never will. We must walk with humility and painstaking care in the tension between standing up for what is right and maintaining grace towards opponents. We dare never forget that the greatest command is to love God with everything we have, and our neighbours as ourselves, and, conversely, the deepest sin is pride.