Onward, Christian Soldiers.
2020 has become notorious for its unique deviation from the norm. Especially notable are the Coronavirus, the recent riots caused by the death of George Floyd, and the reactions of people across the country. Before I go any further, this article is NOT an attempt to take a political stance, but a spiritual one. The temptation of many is to launch into a tizzy of accusations and/or picking a political side. My goal is to step back from all of this and approach it from a Christian perspective.
1. Posting on Social media makes a difference…just not the one you expect.
What do I mean by this? People have become addicted to social media in the same way people become addicted to anything else, and that addiction is spurred on by the human need for camaraderie. On the surface, political arguments, comments and posts on Facebook/Twitter are meant to convince others of something. The reality, however, is that the poster/commentator is seeking a) acceptance and affirmation from the like-minded and b) to prod the opposing view. There is something terribly satisfying about making the opposition mad for the sake of irking them. Is it Christian to do so? I don’t think I need to answer that question. My views have never changed because of social media arguments (although my comfortability with having civil discourse has greatly declined). The moment you join social media, you immediately open yourself to social pressure on a very wide scale—social pressure to believe in something or not believe in something: this is not argument—it’s a demand to conform, and the ones who become comfortable giving in to societal pressure on the internet will certainly give in when it comes rapping on their door. As Christians, we need to preserve our beliefs regardless of the times and regardless of societal trends. It is better to be alone in the world than receive thousands of “likes” for you will find your worth and affirmation in the eternal Christ. Perhaps it will sound crazy to others, but I would much rather my readers get rid of their Facebooks than support the Ancient Christian Philosophers page. It sounds counter-intuitive (and in many ways it is). I would sacrifice all likes, followers and readers to ensure that those people were spending time deep in prayer and connection with our Lord. 2. What are we spreading?
COVID-19 has been a double-edged sword. People have suffered in many ways over the past few months. There are some who have suffered illness or the loss of a loved one to disease. There are some who have suffered depression and loneliness. There are some who have suffered economic loss. There are some who have suffered for their views on how to proceed in the midst of the chaos. There are those whose souls have suffered due to lack of Christian fellowship. There is a great deal of suffering, and while there have been many encouraging and uplifting stories through this time, there have been massive problems as well. Some are suffering worse than others, but we need to accept that everyone is suffering in one way or another in this world. So what can you do with the suffering you have in your life? I would suggest doing as Christ did. Offer up the suffering you face for the salvation of others. Pray for the kingdom of Heaven, knowing that Christ suffers with you in every moment. Embrace the suffering for the spiritual connection it can give you to brothers and sisters around the world.
As for Church openings, I for one, support them. I understand the positives and negatives, but I don’t need any individual or society telling me what I believe. If you are inclined to seek bodily nourishment from the store every week then you should seek twice as hard to nourish your soul, which will last forever. You cannot receive the Eucharist if you cannot go to Mass. Not everyone may be safe to return to Church at the moment due to medical issues, and they have an excuse to remain home, but Church was not meant to be a digital thing. The body of Christ needs to commune.
3. Christians need to reevaluate their priorities.
I believe that George Floyd should not have been killed. I believe his death was unjust and completely preventable. I pray for his soul, and for the souls of the men who hurt him. Was he perfect? Of course not, no one is.
I have noticed many Christians (especially white Christians) “feeling the need” to speak out, to take ownership of their “racism,” and to note that we can never be free of our racial prejudice. This is where we are seriously off track. When a self-proclaimed Christian tells you that you not be healed from racism, then they are deceived and propagating a lie that Christ cannot heal us of spiritual issues—including racism. Racism is certainly sinful, but it is not inescapable. It is not up to the world to determine your sin, but Christ through the Church. Listen to the Spirit, not the world, and make your confession appropriately.
Instead of trying to pull the speck from your brother’s eye, examine the plank in your own. Don’t make a public scene with your confessions, but take it to God. If you want to see change in the world don’t waste your words on the world, but take them to God in prayer. May His Kingdom come, may His will be done. Amen.
I apologize to all my readers for my hiatus. I hope to continue my articles more regularly from now on and I promise to continue the Aristotle/Aquinas discussion in the next segment.