- Hope on Union
"Social Progress and God's Kin-dom"
Life in the transition is not easy.
The phrase, "three steps forward and two steps back," reflects the social context of our time. The media reports the day's event, but they do not put it in the historical context. What we get is a snapshot of a particular time in history, not its meaning. If we see a picture of two people, all we can be certain of are that they are standing next to each other. If they are in a tuxedo and a white dress, we might assume it is a picture taken on a wedding day, but we cannot be certain that they are a couple of the day.
If we want to catch a glimpse of what God is doing in our world, we have to study history. When we take many points in history and connect the dots, we can get the social trend that will show the work of God.
There are people who promote the Old Testament culture. They are bringing us two steps back. They want the old culture, but they also want modern conveniences. Technological advances always bring about social progress and a new social relational context. Some changes are more lasting, while others are short-lived. For many of us, the use of combustion engines is all we will know, but in the annals of human history, it will just be a small blip. In a hundred years from now, the schools will teach that people went from horse and buggy to a transportation method powered by renewable energy. We will not show up in history.
Without minimizing the suffering created by the current social and political climate, we need to recognize that societal trends will show that God is creating a more just and equitable world. It's just that transition always brings about human suffering and pain. What many consider social problems such as immigration, gun control, abortion rights, and others are all temporary transitional issues. The responsibility of Jesus's faith community is to stand with those who suffer and heal the wounds of the transitions.
The decision before the Christian Church is whether it will continue to stand against God or to be a part of God's kin-dom Jesus is creating. The current work of the conservative NOT- christian movement is undoing the social progress God is bringing about in our world. By pushing antiquated and irrelevant social ignorance, the conservative NOT- christian movement is grieving the Spirit. We need the faith to recognize the movement of the Spirit and work with the Spirit to bring about a world that reflects the love and grace shown by Jesus.
For the Church, the question is whether we will be derailed by the derangement of the conservative movement or whether we will stay focused on Jesus. C. S. Lewis, in Screwtape Letters, said that evil does not have to make Christians deny Jesus to win; it just has to distract Christians from Jesus. The current conservative movement is nothing more than a minor temporary distraction, and it will self-destruct soon enough. The Progressive Christian movement needs to continue to focus on Jesus because time is coming when the conservative NOT-christian movement will implode because of its heresy and hypocrisy. The world will look for Jesus, and the Progressive Christian movement will have to provide Jesus. The new day of Pentecost is coming.
We are living in a time of transition when a few loud conflicting voices take up all the oxygen. As the Bible says, if we do not have love, we are nothing but a loud noisemaker. Just because they are loud does not mean people are listening. They will soon learn that the louder they are, the fewer people are listening. In times of transition, while it is not easy, the spiritual work is to stay focused on Jesus.