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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Quote of the Day (3)

James Bartholomew of The Spectator on the subject of modern virtue:           

“No one actually has to do anything. Virtue comes from mere words or even from silently held beliefs. There was a time in the distant past when people thought you could only be virtuous by doing things: by helping the blind man across the road; looking after your elderly parents instead of dumping them in a home; staying in a not-wholly-perfect marriage for the sake of the children. These things involve effort and self-sacrifice. That sounds hard! Much more convenient to achieve virtue by expressing hatred of those who think the health service could be improved by introducing competition.”

Those of us who spend a lot of time online know Bartholomew is not far off the mark. It seems to me this is a fairly recent development made worse by internet culture. Hopefully it is less problematic in the online Christian community, but it never hurts to be reminded that the New Testament teaches real virtue results in action:
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Hot air and political correctness are poor substitutes for kindness, diligence, self-control or generority. To abandon a scriptural view of virtue is both easy and empty.

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