We all like to believe we make careful, conscious, and rational decisions about the issues of life. The facts indicate otherwise as we use intuition, emotion and then fill in the gaps with information and knowledge afterwards.
That’s why social media is so volatile. React! Have your say, even if it’s based on no knowledge or false beliefs. And surprisingly or not so surprisingly we don’t care.
It seems that in our current social and cultural climate people use emotions first, then fill in gaps with data/information. Then thanks to confirmation bias, both sides hunt for “evidence” that matches their view.
“Oddly, churchgoers on both sides of our national mess are reluctant to turn a cheek, fine with abandoning the least of our brothers or condemning anyone who is wealthy, and adamantly opposed to loving their enemy. In fact, some want blood. They want Barabbas.” We’re in a Binary Age, where nuance is rare, complexity is verboten and sharp political battle lines are drawn. One side blames Pelosi and Schumer. The other side points fingers at McConnell, Ryan and Trump.” To these combatants, it’s an either-or game of political conquest, not fixing immigration, Social Security or healthcare. And I’m sorry to say, the next election, while important, won’t change much.”
From the 2018 article: Are we headed for civil war or a civility revival? | Opinion
Religion which is not Christianity (Christianity is a way of life not a system of works) provides social cohesion. As religion has been replaced by science and other idols of post-modernism, we see great instability. This is a broken record in our human experience it just seems to be accelerated now with our vast ability to communicate.
“We lie, cheat, and justify so well that we honestly believe we are honest.” – page 95 The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. In essence we are hypocrites.
“Many Americans feel that they’re on a ship that’s sinking, and the crew is too busy fighting with each other to bother plugging in the leak.” – page 320 The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
In his book Haidt makes the point that how people change their minds happens when we get to know other people. And the sad part about this is many people who are reading this article are hard hearted and just prefer to bite down on their false narratives and political name calling because they want too!
We choose not to be humble or consider the possibility we need to modify our opinions. And many Christians have decided they are so threatened by certain things that its now ok to be uncivil, rude and obnoxious to save…?
Jesus is our model or should be and he demonstrated an ability to talk to people and yes call them names like, “Whitewashed tombs”. He was not afraid to turn over tables or raise a whip. But Paul clarified what we need to do in our relationships.
2 Thessalonian 3:15 15 Do not regard him as an enemy but warn him as a brother.
Colossians 4:6 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Ephesians 4:29 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
There are many of God’s Words that instruct us in regard to our verbal and social relationships with others, even other Christians. But do we care, do we heed our Lord’s Words?
Spiritual renewal for our culture and all of us will be hard work. We can respect and improve our nation and our laws while at the same time lifting up the least of these, the widows, the orphans, the immigrant. We can turn the other cheek without giving up or being weak. And we can love our enemies as our Lord asked us to do.
What will you do?
(Jesus Barabbas is an insurrectionary held by the Roman governor at the same time as Jesus, and whom Pontius Pilate freed at the Passover feast in Jerusalem, while keeping Jesus as a prisoner.)