That we are now observing symptoms of an ongoing push for global communism seems self-evident to not only me, but many of the folks I talk with privately. Whether everyone else is convinced as well yet is an aside to my larger point. Particularly if I’m right about the communism, we will all know for sure sooner or later.
At minimum, I would say that only a person willfully ignorant could deny this fact: that under the guise of promoting greater equality of LGBTQ+ persons, as well as combatting Climate Change, we all are witnessing exceedingly odd manipulations of supply chains of various kinds – particularly where food, energy, and money are concerned – both in the U.S. and what news Americans get from the outside world here, especially regarding the Netherlands and Sri Lanka in recent weeks.
Thus my question is a relatively simple but hard one. How can Christians individually, and the Church as a whole, defend against this present coordinated push – whether you call it communism or something else – for authoritarian central planning and control on a global scale?
At least a start to answering this question is to say that we will not win this battle by fighting fire with fire. We will not win by repaying evil for evil. But I believe we must go beyond this and say more. Specifically, what the Apostle Paul wrote in the whole twelfth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans is instructive to our developing situation.
For starters, we learn in Romans 12 that what we do with our physical bodies matters to God, since our spiritual worship is to present them as a living sacrifice. Taken with the rest of the chapter, this must mean those who over-spiritualize everything to the point of poo-pooing legitimate practical concerns about food, energy, and money go too far.
So also, what we do to cultivate our minds is obviously of interest to our Maker. Why else would He have given us these minds in the first place? And why are we told here to be transformed by renewing them? The truth then is decidedly other than the anti-intellectuals who suppose that fully mature Christian life is free of books and essays, of study and contemplation and weighty discourse.
We can rule out another thing too, then. God did not give us our minds just to follow the crowd; that way apparently stands in direct contrast to the transformative renewal the Apostle Paul calls us to in Romans 12. So the big idea is not for us to depend on the herd of humanity to do all our thinking and reasoning for us. Instead, we are called to embrace the process of developing discernment in ourselves according to God’s definitions of goodness, acceptability, and perfection.
Equally important, what follows God’s call on us to develop discernment in ourselves is a call to not be conceited. Sober judgment is contrasted with having a lofty opinion of ourselves. Just so, we must remember that while discernment is a spiritual gift, it is not the only one God gives.
Genuine appreciation for other varied gifts God has given to Christian brothers and sisters in our midst is evidence of sober judgment. We have a duty to love one another in an authentic rather than fake way accordingly. This requires hating what is evil, as well as holding fast to what is good.
For those of us with a competitive drive, the redirection is outdoing one another in showing honor. See also what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians about spiritual gifts, and this stands in contrast to thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought.
Here again, we must know what God tells us is honorable before we can show honor ourselves. Fervency instead of laziness should mark our service to God. And the kind of fervency our service is characterized by is itself distinguished by joyfulness, patience, prayer, generosity, and hospitality.
Relationally, we strive for peaceability with persecutors and fellow Christians alike. Haughtiness is contrasted with associating with the lowly. The implied inverse, then, is that conceit is comparable to exclusively hobnobbing with the wealthy and powerful as we distance ourselves from the poor and weak.
In no way are we to be self-impressed with our own wisdom, then. Nor are we given these gifts from God to promote ourselves. Yet this warning is separate and distinct from a careful attention to the optics of respectability borne of our reverence for God and genuine care for one another. And that, in turn, is closely related to living peaceably with all, and is of a piece with overcoming evil with good.
Thus we find, in my view, a framework for Christians to endure patiently the trials which are here, and which do seem to be on their way in greater measure. We look to God, and are transformed by the renewing of our minds to discern what God’s will is in whatever times and circumstances as we find ourselves in, either now or in the future.
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