Over at Second Terrace, there is a good anaylsis of the recent Republican election debacle. Somewhat as an aside, he relates the following fascinating, and prescient anecdote:
(A Nazarene missionary stopped by to see me, some years ago, as he was heading off somewhere in Northern Africa. Since I was the only Orthodox priest he knew, he asked me what the Orthodox Church knew about living with Muslims. "What kind of evangelistic program did you guys use with them?" he asked, with a callowness that was charming, in a way. I mused, while he coached me with a multiple-choice response: "Door to door? Evangelistic services? Literature?" He didn't like my answer, as I had expected. "There's only one evangelistic program that works in that world," I said, "Martyrdom -- the old-fashion, non-homicidal kind.")
And then I have just come across Frederica Mathewes Green's thoughts on the Ted Haggard mess, found here. She has the best take on it that I have read so far. I particularly like this:
So it is a mistake to present Christianity the way some churches do, as if it is the haven of seamlessly well-adjusted, proper people. That results in a desperate artificial sheen. It results in treating worship as a consumer product, which must deliver better intellectual or emotional gratification than the competition. And that sends suffering people home again, still lonely, in their separate metal capsules.
What all humans have in common is our pathos. Getting honest about that binds us together. And then we begin to see how the mercy of God is pouring down on all of us all the time, just as the Good Samaritan bound the wounds of the beaten man with healing oil. May God give this healing mercy to Ted and Gayle, and to their children. May God reveal his healing mercy to Michael Jones, who told the truth. May God have mercy on all of us.