Thursday, February 02, 2017

This will not stand

It matters how we engage with current affairs.  I'll be honest and say that I'm finding it all rather tricky right now.  I sort of miss the days when all we had to deal with was the news, rather than the constant online cocktail of news, informed opinion, less informed opinion, and social media displays of anger and hate on all sides.  I'm going to need to restrict my diet of internet, because honestly it's making me sick to my soul.

But the thing which distresses me most is that I see very little difference between the responses of Christians and others.  It's all anger and despair.  Now, Holy Scripture gives us some precedent for expressing anger and despair about the situation of the world.  I note, though, that the anger and despair in Scripture is mostly directed toward God himself.  Perhaps counter-intuitively, I think God would rather have us hurl abuse and accusations at him than at the people with whom we disagree.

What I miss at the moment is evidence that we're paying attention to another stream of the Biblical witness which is an essential complement to the anger and despair: a calm, straightforward trust in the sovereignty of God and the truth of the gospel.

Of course we need both the sovereignty of God and the truth of the gospel.  A sovereign God who is not the God and Father of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ is of small comfort to us - he could have any plans, any goals, and who knows how many of us he'd throw under the bus to achieve them.  But if the God of the gospel, the God of Calvary and the empty tomb - if that God is sovereign, there must be some comfort.  He has told us what he is up to, and it is salvation and hope and life.  He threw himself under the bus, as it were, to secure it.  He isn't backing down now.

There is something absolutely right about the instinct to protest manifest evils - to cry out 'this will not stand!'  But it matters whether that proceeds from the starting point of a certain knowledge that, no, it will not stand - because the only place that evil ultimately has left is captive in the train of the glorified Christ.  To put it another way, is your protest a witness to the gospel?  And would this be clear to anyone glancing through your Facebook feed?

1 comment:

  1. Timely gospel wisdom Daniel, thank you.

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