Being a Christian in pre-flood times – Baptist News Global
Antediluvian: adj. or belonging to the time before the flood.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus had these words warning: “What happened in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of man.” They ate and drank, they got married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood come and destroyed them all.
Since early 2020, I have the impression of living in the days before the Flood, in an antediluvian era. At first, most of us weren’t aware of the conditions. A pandemic was about to strike. We ate and drank without realizing the impending storm. It was partly denial: who could imagine the catastrophe? Then there were the people in power who, wanting to stay in power, minimized the disaster. It was a “hoax”. It would be over soon. It is no worse than the regular flu. We must not shake the stock market. False remedies have been peddled.
Then the pandemic arrived, wave after wave. Safeguards such as masks and vaccines have been politicized, so they have become an indicator of his political alliances at a time of dangerous political division. Over 600,000 people were on the verge of death.
In the Gospels, Jesus saw the crowds, “Harassed and helpless as sheep without a shepherd” and had “compassion” for them. He still does. The pastors of many flocks have led their people astray: “God would protect. They continued to pray together during the closing, ignoring the safety instructions. Some, disregarding local security restrictions, have sued local governments to keep them open. Pastoralists told their herds that the vaccines were not effective. Some said they had to stand firm against the government that was taking away their freedom, ignoring Paul who said, “For freedom, Christ has set us free,” but then added the warning: “For you have been called. to freedom, brothers and do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” “
Where has the love of our neighbor gone? The social pact by which we and all nations live to survive and prosper is falling apart.
In his latest detective novel, The madness of the crowdsLouise Penny has a character who says of the delusion and madness of crowds, “It’s when gullibility and fear meet greed and power.”
Good people live in information bubbles that take them away from the facts and the truth these days. Richard Hofstadter wrote a famous essay in 1964, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”. It has come back in force in recent years. Conspiracy theories have spread as quickly as the COVID virus, and a lot has been taken into account. We are living in the pre-Flood era.
“And what about the coming flood of climate change and the global alert? Another flood on the way.
And what about the coming flood climate change and global warning? Another flood on the way. There are Noahs out there, climatologists and political leaders trying to warn us of what’s to come, and brave young Noahs like Greta Thunberg who, with her autistic laser focus, looks down on governments.
How can we live as Christians in such a time when we see so many “harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd”?
First of all, have compassion for them with the compassion of Jesus. Pray for the unvaccinated. Pray for your political opponents. Start crossing political lines where you live. Small steps.
And this: Make your church an ark of compassion and of seeking and revealing the truth.
And then this: Sail to the Rainbow. When the flood calmed down and the rains stopped, God sent a rainbow as a sign. It was a sign of God’s promise of eternal goodness. And that was a sign of the way we should now be living. God lowered the warrior’s bow into the heavens and stretched it out with all the colors of the rainbow.
God was disarming unilaterally. Now we must too. We are to enter the world as nonviolent agents of the good of God, “wise as serpents and gentle as doves”. So, as we come down from the ark, we disarm our minds and hearts, our words and our tactics. Only love will do.
Etienne shoemaker serves as the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Statesville, NC Previously pastor of Myers Park Baptist in Charlotte, NC; Broadway Baptist in Fort Worth, Texas, and Crescent Hill Baptist in Louisville, Ky.
4 in 10 Americans Don’t See Getting Vaccinated As A Way To “Love Your Neighbor”
Loving my neighbor by being an “active spectator” | Comment from Becky Ankeny
In Chicago, unlikely pastor learns love comes through closeness