I'm stuck in the blogging doldrums these days. It is not that I do not have anything to say, but rather that I cannot seem to muster enough interest to expound on much of anything. And then, financial concerns and working 3 jobs tends to focus one's attention in directions other than blogging. That said, I have posted something here every month since November 2005, and I realize that January is fast slipping away. Skipping a month sets a bad precedent and evokes images of an undisciplined soul sliding further into sloth and lethargy. And so, I must post something it seems.
To post on the current political circus would be picking low-hanging fruit indeed, and Lord knows I am the last one to pile-on. Ahem. But if I were to do so, I would probably link to something like this, from a writer with whom I never agree, except on those rare occasions when he writes something sensible that agrees with my thinking.
I suppose I could post yet another laudatory commendation of my hero Daniel Larison's latest, or perhaps a
a clip or two by my other foreign policy mentor, Dr. Brzezinksi.
I could always link to an interesting article on Turkey, such as this or this (with dead-on conclusion: Here, the trouble with the AKP is not that it is too “Islamist.” The trouble is that the governing party, which has clashed with a powerful state establishment for years and found the solution in liberal reforms, is now enjoying the very power that it once found menacing. As Andrew Finkel put it well in the New York Times, with a reference to the Lord of The Rings, this is a “Frodo Baggins moment” for the AKP: “It knows it should throw the ring of power into the fire, but the ring feels increasingly comfortable on its finger.”)
I suppose I could pour scorn on the incoherent ramblings of unrepentant neocons--always fun.
And with Great Lent still almost a month off, it is too early for American Orthodox "Scandal Season."
And so, I think my first post of 2012 will be this: My friend John preaches for a church of Christ in rural Alabama. He is a good-natured sort, who does not take offense at the Protestant/evangelical/Restorationist straw-men I construct and demolish here. John sometimes posts his sermons online. I encourage you to check out this one: "A Gentle Religion." As an Orthodox Christian, I have to say that I agree with every word. I find it very well done, a thorough mining of Scripture as only a church of Christ preacher can do.
And on his subject, I would add the following, though I doubt the writings of an Orthodox bishop and saint would be much quoted from a church of Christ pulpit ;)
And when your enemy falls into your hands, do not consider how you can pay him back and let him feel the sharp edge of your tongue before sending him packing; consider rather how you can heal him and restore him to a better frame of mind. Continue to make every effort by
both word and deed until your gentleness has overcome his aggressiveness. Nothing has more power than gentleness. As someone has said, ‘A soft word will break bones.’ And what is harder than bone? Well then, even if someone is as hard and inflexible as that, he will be conquered if you treat him gently. There is another saying, ‘A soft answer turns away wrath.’ It is obvious therefore that whether your enemy continues to rage or whether he is reconciled depends much more on you than on him. For it rests with us, not with those who are angry, either to destroy their anger or to inflame it.
St. John Chrysostom