One Thing Leads to Another – Part Two
We have been looking at how one thing leads to another. How the Covid pandemic has released or at least brought to our attention other “pandemics” that we need to be aware of. More than that, as believers we are called to deal with them and in the process offer people hope.
Last time we looked at:
1> A Pandemic of Depression
2> A Pandemic of Distrust
3> A Pandemic of Division
4> A Pandemic of Defamation
Social media has given people the opportunity to speak against another person and certainly to express their thoughts about others. And, believe me, people can be so angry and so vicious. And, social media has also supplied a vehicle for these angry people to find one another. Someone has said, and I agree, “People – including far too many professing believers – click ‘send’ too quickly and with too much outrage.”
If you make a mistake or step out of line, you can suddenly find yourself in the middle of a social media war. People have far less restraint toward damaging the reputation of others than in the past. And, I believe that church members are saying hurtful things at a level not seen pre-pandemic.
I have actually turned a lot of my social media accounts off as I tired of reading people’s opinions about everything from A to Z. I find it interesting that many people ask me what my opinion is of certain public events. I honestly don’t share my opinion very often as I don’t think it is that important or even helpful in dealing with most situations. I can add a biblical insight or a Bible principle, but seldom my opinion. In my 45+ years of walking with the Lord He has never once asked me my opinion. So, I tend to believe that what I am thinking, my opinion, is not all that important in the Kingdom.
I believe we have reached the saturation point. And it is time for believers to take seriously the eighth commandment about bearing false witness toward others. But one thing is for sure, it is time for true believers to take great care in how we speak of or characterize others.
5> A Pandemic of Disorientation
Many things have changed quickly in our culture — some good, some bad. But the speed at which these changes have come has left little time for people to thoughtfully reflect on and engage these changes. The result has been widespread disorientation. This is true for individuals who have lost their sense of identity as well as for churches. Changes have happened so rapidly that we have not had time to integrate them into our thinking and our lifestyle. Thus, we have lost one of the ways that we usually identify who we are. – our personal identity. Questions such as: Who are we? Who am I? What am I? What do I really believe? Are hard to answer when change is happening so quickly.
We see this identity disorientation in many of our conversations. We are talking about, struggling with, and trying to understand such things as gender identity, race, ethnicity, nationality, and more. These discussions point to the fact that we we are no longer sure who we are. Or, perhaps, we are sure, but it’s different than it used to be.
So, much could be said here. But as Christians, now is the time to be be more oriented toward our identity in Christ. We need to be focusing on who the Bible says we are because we have made Jesus Christ Lord and Saviour. This is a great source of stability in the midst of the rapid social change and turmoil that we are experiencing.
6> A Pandemic of Disruption
Of course, Covid-19 created the greatest global crisis since Word War Two. Along with it came great disruptions in the way we go to school, work, travel, and relate to others.
For many people, my family included, work shifted from a work office to a home office. In-person meetings became virtual meetings. Some businesses and occupations flourished while many others suffered. So much has changed. Much of that change, I believe, will remain — and there is much more change to come. We are not going to see society and our world return to “normal.” The old normal has been permanently lost and left behind. And the new normal is one that is shifting constantly.
These disruptions brought about a “fluid new normal” that we will have to learn to navigate. But disruptions don’t eliminate the need we all have for deep, biblical community. This time of disruption should drive us to Christ and to the Christian community.