24 January 2022
In the long run, the only thing that matters is your peace with God.
There is a case for Covenant people to be aware of the situation in our crazy fallen world. If we have taken the time to understand God's ways with humanity, then we begin to see the patterns more clearly by how men sin and how God responds. It can inform our prayers, particularly in terms of asking God for His promised provision.
So the question for us becomes one of getting an honest report of things we could not possibly witness ourselves. It's easy to gather wild tales of things that did not happen in far lands that might not even exist. Humanity is prone to telling such stories; it's part of the Lust of the Eyes. A fundamental component of our fallen nature is seeking entertainment and distraction. In yesterday's post I warned about the sin of such things; this is what's behind the biblical concept of Lust of the Eyes. We need to avoid being sucked in by such things as we give some attention to the narratives offered to us.
This is where civilization itself comes into the picture. The growth and stability of civilization enables the movement of traffic between all the places where people manage to hang out on the face of the earth. We are taught to think this is an unalloyed good, but it's fraught with tremendous evil. The fundamental motivation for building civilization is to reduce the burden of human labor through cooperative specialization and productive efficiency, which in turn arises from a materialistic obsession. In other words, civilization stands on the foundation of hedonism.
Still, the one good thing that comes from this is that civilization means we can spread the revelation of God to those who might not have heard. Civilization is a collection of habits and a frame of reference for commerce, which means transportation of people and goods, and all the necessary business of translation and exchange of information and value. It means roads and governments and study of languages/cultures, etc.
The proper attitude of a Covenant awareness is that we don't care one way or the other, but we'll use what is available to spread the gospel message. Indeed, we start with the assumption that if we were totally isolated from all the rest of the world in some remote but livable place, we would be content to know nothing about the world around us. All we really need is the knowledge of God's revelation. Under the Covenant, He has promised to provide everything we need to witness of His glory and claim His blessings. If nothing else, Creation itself will receive our witness. If we ignore that factor, we understand nothing about God. But it's a burned-in reflex to consider all social contact as primarily about transmitting the Covenant gospel by His power in shalom. Protocols might reduce our verbal witness, but nobody can stop the shining light of glory manifested in His promises.
So we learn how God looks at things and can thus pray for His divine provision against the context in which we live. Depending on how other communities act, we might see miracles of protection against overwhelming threats. Or we might learn how to calmly show our faith in the most mundane ways, virtually bereft of any miraculous signs that they would recognize. We know that the miraculous fills our whole existence, but it's obviously a matter of seeing them for what they are. Still, God has plans to catch the attention of sinners through us one way or another, so long as we are in contact with any of them.
Paul said something about knowing only Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). That verb in Greek "to know" (eido) refers to awareness, as in "frame of reference". The primary concern in all things was the gospel message, so all his decisions were a matter of what would serve that mission. If the message itself did not have the power to penetrate their awareness, then it was for sure no human talent could do it, either. So, all of his PhD level education was just a tool to help those who received the message. His lack of natural talent in some other areas just didn't matter.
His only excellence was in the area of clarity in the gospel transmission.
Whether or not we are moved to seek awareness of external events that we cannot witness first hand, the purpose is to promote the gospel. We should know better than to imagine our mission is to change human trends. We do not compel outsiders to adhere to a Covenant they did not embrace. Our only authority in Christ is within the Covenant of Christ. Outside those boundaries, it's just a matter of seeing what sort of storms are coming, and what God says we should do to prepare. If it's just natural climate events, then we study how they work. If it's moral storms, then we study how those work. We prepare those under our covering to face what's coming.
We cannot help anyone who isn't under our spiritual covering. To get any help, someone has to submit to that spiritual dominion in one way or another. That's how spiritual feudalism works. We should see that clearly, even if those seeking our aid do not. It becomes the grounds for giving to or refusing them. Yes, the way we might refuse on the grounds of our convictions is also part of our witness.
Nothing in this world matters unless our convictions say it does. If we had no Internet or any other means of outside information, His Spirit would still guide us with all we need to know. Make sure you learn to hear your convictions. They will guide you through the coming storms of divine wrath. This is the whole thing behind what we do and why. It guides whether and how we use the Internet in virtual society, as well as our conduct in the real world. It is the frame of reference for reading news or avoiding all of it, or anywhere in between.
This document is public domain; spread the message.