It would seem 2020 is the gift that just keeps giving. Apparently, we’re not doing social distancing any more, as many have pointed out, with crowds of protestors gathering around the US and also in other countries. As one podcaster quipped, it’s like we’ve had the 1917 Spanish flu pandemic, the economic trouble of 1929, and the 1968 civil unrest all wrapped up into one year. Maybe an alien invasion would cap the year off nicely! It’s quite understandable if you were thinking it’d be good to be up in the Space Station with the Dragon crew astronauts.
An article in Unherd suggests that the angst driving people to the extremes of Right and Left is hopelessness produced by bleak economic prospects. But the writer also notes that her education, “soaked in critical theory,” left her cynical and hostile to "The System." Believing that humanity can reach "Utopia" if we just spend a bit more money and make more rules might sound like a plausible solution for evil. But, this worldview ignores the objective fact that all have sinned.
Imagining that mankind began in a primordial bog, gradually crawling his way to freedom and prosperity, Whig history style, only leads to disillusionment over the "lack of progress" in our nation. What a freedom it is to confess the Truth and know we started in Paradise but have fallen so very far! All the well-intentioned ‘black box’ social media slacktivism, policy changes, and even violence will not change the heart of any racist.
The “Golden Rule” is so much simpler, and yet so much more difficult than just blaming injustice on a “hierarchy of oppression.” Rather than letting us pin our vices on something external, it doesn’t let anyone off the hook, but exposes the sin in the heart of everyone. Last week on Issues, Etc., Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller gave a Christian response to the riots and the sickening event that kicked it off. He brought the Ten Commandments to bear and their implication for us as we watch these events unfold.
We feel the world-weariness that comes with watching wall-to-wall coverage of the Devil doing what he does best - bringing mayhem, hate, violence, and fear. (You might consider a break from social media to recover some peace of mind.) So many thoughtful responses are not captured in soundbites, but they are out there. The best plans are not usually made in an instant, but as Rev. Fisk often exhorts us, Christians should strive to be visible in their communities, helping form the future with godly wisdom. Terry Mattingly observed (also on Issues), that when the dust settles, Christians will show up with shovels and brooms to help out and rebuild.
It’s okay. You’re in Jesus. We have been baptized into his name, our life is now hidden with Christ. We know that Jesus has given us new hearts, that he gives us strength to run the race, even now, and that when it is finished, we will hear our King say “Well done, good and faithful one!”