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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

On sincerity...and you will not believe the connections

Oh no, I cannot believe I heard someone say this in 2012. A "nice" person, who is a solid heretic, was described as being "sincere". Sincerity covers, for some, a multitude of sins.

Sincerity should mean that one merely expresses their own feelings and thoughts about something outwardly. However, what the cult of sincerity does not take into consideration is that those thoughts and feelings can be totally ludicrous, or worse, evil.

Satan is very sincere about his "non servum". How did we get to this adoration of the sincere person, the one who may be open, seemingly trustworthy and absolutely wrong?

The word came up in a discussion about someone who is a fundamentalist Islamist. He is sincere, apparently, in his beliefs that it is fine to kill for the sake of his god.  He is sincere if he thinks all Western women are "sluts" and can be treated as such, simply because these women are from the West. He is sincere in his desire to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. To the Muslim, religion is sincerity, which is actually stated in the hadith.

They were not commanded but that they should worship Allah sincerely and worship none but Him, and that they should perform prayer and pay Zakâh. That is the right religion.
[Sûrah Al-Bayyinah 98:5]

The Muslim must be sincere to religion, the book, the prophet, Allah, the teachers and other Muslims. That is written. Notice who is left out of this list.

Amazing. How did we get to this point? Another young person in his twenties told me that he liked this young woman because she was sincere. I asked what he meant by that. Apparently, she can show her feelings easily and openly. There is more to life than emotions and reactions to emotions.

Sadly, sincerity, which I thought had passed out of our culture with earnestness around 1899, is back "in " again as a virtue, which it is not. With earnestness, the Victorians love sincerity, as a left over from the Romantic era of poetry and art.

Aristotle meant something different in his definition. I have not read Nicomachean Ethics for about 5 years, but I need to get back to the fantastic book. Sincerity to the Greeks meant something similar to a state of thinking of one's self in balance, as in a measured objectivity of one's own character.

The word does not mean that anymore. May I quote Oscar Wilde on this subject: "A little sincerity is a dangerous thing and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."

In Japanese, a member of my family tells me, makoto, or sincerity, is valued as being natural in one's behavior, and being one's self. This is tricky. As we are to put on the Mind of Christ, we are to be more and more like Him and less and less our selves, in that we die to our selves and are made a new creation in Christ.

In anime, Sailor Jupiter is Sincerity because of the kanji. Now, I am not a girl with long legs in short skirts fan, but I know some highly intelligent beings who love Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter. I shall stick to The Cat Returns, which is not sincere, just cute, or kawaii.

Christians do not list sincerity as a virtue. We speak of truth or veracity and simplicity, but not sincerity. As we believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, all truth is to be found in Him and in His Church.

Go ahead and be sincere, but it will not lead you necessarily to eternal life.