Friday, July 18, 2008

John Adams on the preaching we need

With the recent unpleasantness in Massachusetts, I found myself drawn back to the writings of John Adams.
"It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the times, to preach against such sins as are most prevalent, and recommend such virtues as are most wanted.

For example, if exorbitant ambition and venality are predominant, ought they not to warn their hearers against those vices?

If public spirit is much wanted, should they not inculcate this great virtue?

If the rights and duties of Christian magistrates and subjects are disputed, should they not explain them, show their nature, ends, limitations, and restrictions, how muchsoever it may move the gall of Massachusetts?"
Read the rest here or here. And remember, despite the evidence, he was indifferent to personal religion. Right, public schools?

3 comments:

Tim said...

From the NYT article you linked:

“It’s been a mixed bag,” said Jacob Venter, a 44-year-old child psychiatrist who married Billy Boney, a 36-year-old hairdresser, a month after it became legal to do so. They have disagreements over money, the in-laws and whether to adopt children or have their own.

Whether to have their own? I'm still scratching my head on that one.

Kevin said...

Oh, come on, Chris. The Church can't act as the moral conscience of society! That would be intolerant! :p

Tim said...

Kevin, I was simply talking about the obvious biological factors involved!