Posts Tagged ‘piety


Two-fer Tuesday: Piety by Deacon Blue

It is really a damn shame when a perfectly good word gets ruined. Something that is actually positive and uplifting and something to which we should aspire, and then people get it all twisted and turn the meaning into something ugly and negative.

We’ve seen it in this year’s presidential campaign, with Barack Obama being labelled as “elite.” No matter than George W. Bush, our current president, comes from an elite family and went to an elite university and has held some pretty elite corporate positions. Or that John McCain’s father and grandfather were both admirals, which is pretty freaking elite; hardly grunt soldiers in the armed forces, were they? Somehow, by Obama having a good education at a fine university and speaking well and thinking, he’s got something wrong with him. We should just have a plain old average Joe who’s just like the rest of us running things in Washington or backing up the person who’s running things in Washington. Utter nonsense.

And we see the same thing with the world “piety.” First off, piety is a virtue. A good thing.  A sign of good character. Something which we should seek out. As Wikipedia says in defining the word:

While different people may understand its meaning differently, it is generally used to refer either to religious devotion or to spirituality, or often, a combination of both. A common element in most conceptions of piety is humility. 

This isn’t a bad thing. Yet if you say that someone is pious, what do you think will happen most of the time?

They’ll assume the person is preachy and judgemental, and probably figure that the person is hypocritical too.

This is the exact same thing that happened to “born again” and “fundamentalism” and “evangelist.”

They came to be used as negative labels because the general population looked at a few high-profile or very vocal people who were idiots or self-serving louts and call themselves those things, and then decided that the words must now and forever be used as labels for bad behavior.

But tell me, if you see some stories of greedy or incompetent doctors, do you automatically assume that all physicians are bad, and begin to use the words “doctor” and “physician” with scorn in your voice and a dismissive attitude?

There is saying, “Don’t kill the messenger” but in this case I think it should be reversed. “Don’t kill the message.”

When the messenger is an idiot or a fool, that doesn’t mean the underlying message is bad. It just means it was misused or misrepresented.

Piety is a good thing. Overzealousness is what you need to be on guard against.


Two-fer Tuesday: Piety by Miz Pink

So, here’s what I want to talk about today in regard to the topic of piety which is our Two-fer Tuesday extravaganza this week…We’re gonna head on over to 2 Timothy…that’s the Second Letter of Paul to Timothy. And it says right there…

1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (Second Timothy chapter 3, verses 1-5)

Now why am I trotting out this batch of bible verse for something about piety. Well, let’s look at one of those lines…that last line #5 in fact…and how is reads in a couple of the less common translations of the bible:

having a form of piety but denying the power of it: and from these turn away (Darby Bible) and having a form of piety, and its power having denied; and from these be turning away (Young’s Literal Translation)

You see, if people have piety, here’s the thing:

They don’t generally wear it on their sleeves.

There’s nothing wrong with piety as Deke mentions in his Two-fer Teusday post today. Being pious is really cool. But just like with being “cool” in a more traditional and people-pleasing fashion, the coolest people are the people who don’t act like they think they are cool.

Being cool is to carry yourself in a natural way that makes others say or think: “You’re cool.” The coolest people are the ones who will humbly play off those comments with a “thanks, but I’m just being who I am.”

Pious people who draw attention to their piety on purpose. Who show it off to others. Who pat themselves on the back about it. Who put it in your face. Who try to make themselves superior by professing it…

…these are people who aren’t pious one little tiny bit.

Worse yet are the people who operated in the exact opposite mode of being pious and still try to tell you they’re are pious. Those are the kind of people we’re warned about in that bible verse I dropped in here at the start of today’s fesitivities. Whether they are folks doing the right thing and taking too much credit for doing so (who are dangerous and damaging) to the hypocrites who say they do one thing and demand you do too but don’t really do it (who are really really dangerous and scary)

They’re pompous and shallow and self-centered. They aren’t operating in God’s grace and they certainly ain’t being Christ-like.

Pious they ain’t and you need to watch out for them.

Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley


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June 2023

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