I want to propose how believers in Christ should approach discussions about current events in a holy way. I’m not referring to any event in particular, just generally the kind of events that draw a lot of attention across the news and social media. But first, I should give context by explaining my political background.
I’m a conservative, but in the more traditional sense of that word. You might conserve water- meaning that you use less of it. Similarly, I approve of fewer parts of our culture- namely the parts that go against Biblical values.
There are lots of noisy popular people that have tried to drag other viewpoints into the “conservative” label. Many of these ideas don’t naturally stem out of Biblical values (or even from a secular definition of “conservative” from decades ago). Some examples:
- Foreigners will bring crime into our country
- Being careful to take care of God’s creation (the environment) will hurt our businesses
- Something something George Soros something something
- We absolutely need to keep free access to guns
I don’t agree with the noisy conservatives on many of these “modern conservative addons” (as I’m labeling them). Or for some points, I just don’t think it’s an important discussion, and as such I don’t think it should be considered part of conservative beliefs.
You won’t hear a lot of people sharing this viewpoint, because it’s fundamentally based on… not talking about it that much. But I think there’s a large portion of conservatives who feel similarly. In short, a lot of us would be happy to stop hearing about Hillary’s emails and just live in the America portrayed in the Andy Griffith show.
But, back to the main point
With access to the internet, you can find a sensational current event happening somewhere across the country. If not with a current event, we can fill our conservative discussions with shocking progressive cultural milestones we see unfolding in our culture. There’s always something to make you say to your friends, “Can you believe THIS is happening? Look at this wickedness!”.
And the overall point they’re making is totally valid. It’s wicked, it’s a shame our country has moved so far from the Lord, we should pray about it, and we should try to change it. But…
We don’t have to keep talking about it.
Consider Abraham and his family, living in the plains away from Sodom and Gomorrah. Certainly there was a multitude of wicked things happening in those cities they could talk about.
“‘“Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters. She also didn’t strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. They were arrogant, and committed abomination before me. Ezekiel 16:49-50 (WEB)
Can you imagine his family, sitting out there tending to the sheep, saying
Abraham! Can you BELIEVE what I just heard is happening in Sodom today?? They’re not strengthening the hand of the poor and needy! (or some other wicked deed)
Of course not. They lived a righteous life, set apart (holy) from the wickedness of those cities. In fact, look at what scripture says about Lot:
and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes … and delivered righteous Lot, who was very distressed by the lustful life of the wicked (for that righteous man dwelling among them was tormented in his righteous soul from day to day with seeing and hearing lawless deeds 2 Peter 2:6-8 (WEB)
Lot tormented his soul by seeing and hearing about their lawless deeds. Yet this is exactly what a lot of conservatives do, discussing the sensational current events around us.
I’ve felt this torment in my personal life; it’s very real. After I’ve discussed some wickedness, or just read about it (even something written by other believers!), I’ve had that lead to a dream the next night about that wickedness, and I don’t like that.
So what do we do
Disengage from the sensational discussions. Let’s stop absorbing and entertaining ourselves with interesting current events.
Detach the “modern conservative addons” from our conservative beliefs, or at least make it clear that it’s your personal beliefs, not something we inherently share as believers in Christ.
Believe me, you’ll know when the entire country has turned to the Lord. Believe me, 90% of conservatives won’t heed this, so they’ll go on discussing sensational events. The investigational journalism will keep getting pushed. Sure, we should vote and leave voicemails for our senator’s interns (it makes a difference!). But your personal involvement won’t make a lick of difference in whether we pass a law banning George Soroses, or if we find Obama’s birth certificate.
But taking the time to be actively involved in your community will make a difference. Go talk to people. Invite your neighbors to get together to read the Bible and spend time with the Lord. Find people going through tough situations, and offer to talk with them and try to disciple them.
Turn off your phone’s notifications. Make your screen black-and-white. When you think about scrolling through some infininite list of things to get your routine dopamine hit, intentionally reach for another healthy other habit. Read through a random Psalm. Build or create something.
I’d be happy to hear your comments. You probably have some way to message me if you’re reading this. Or find my email at the bottom of this site. Or if you want to comment and discuss with other people, consider inviting some friends over or chatting with your neighbors.