Blogging, Politics, and Servitude
Modern Christianity suffers from the illusion that politico-social action can change man’s condition by institutional change in the political or economic spheres. The truth is that material change can never bring about a genuine change of heart, life, and reality. Economic and political transformation can bring about no fundamental changes at all.
Instead of pursuing politico-social action as our goal, love and neighbor is where the action is. It is when we do good to others, disinterestedly and with no ulterior motive, that others encounter Christ in us and are changed. It is when we minister to others with the sole intention of serving them that Christ becomes real. This is why I cannot become an apologist for any politician or political party today. Nor am I an apologist for home education or elder-led congregationalism or any number of other legitimate and worthwhile causes. I would like to be known everywhere I go simply as a servant of others in Jesus’ name.
Now, I can’t put myself in this service to others unless I am in servitude to Jesus. Anyone or anything else that I might serve – money, state, party, cause, profession, lifestyle, church – is a power that finally seeks only to bring me into servitude to someone other than Christ. You see, it is Christ who wants to be first place in my life, and it is Christ who wants to love others through me. This means that I can never become blasé about people. It means that I can never be guided by a motive other than love when I encounter them. It means that my Christianity must get past my books, my website, my blog, my agendas and find expression in the horizontal relations between men and men. Because God has chosen to penetrate the world in which we live, we must choose to do the same. We must no longer seek the solutions to our problems in morality, political action, work, knowledge, or science. The solution to the world’s ills is to live Christianly. This means both bearing witness to Christ and establishing personal relationships of love with others. There is no other solution, including science.
The World Wide Web, including blogging, is a case in point. The Internet is a wonderful scientific achievement. It is a reminder that the world is being globalized and tied together ever more closely in technological terms. Yet while cultures and countries may be technologically closer, culturally and relationally we are as far apart as ever. The Internet has often been likened to a high-tech Tower of Babel. It’s almost like God suddenly gave us the tools to communicate but not the tools to understand. In fact, in my travels in America and in many foreign countries I’m seeing the walls getting thicker, not smaller – walls between different cultures, different nations, different ethnic groups, even different types of Christians – despite the ubiquity of email and blogging. I’ve become convinced of one thing: you can’t build relationships with fiber optics. You can’t download understanding. We have to get to know each other face to face, and you can’t do this online. The Internet can help, but it’s only a beginning.
We are thus forced to decide on our priorities. Either we can focus on manmade organizations, mechanics, and technologies to accomplish the Great Commission and fulfill the Great Commandment, or we can accept and obey the words of Jesus: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Good News to every creature” (Mark 16:15). It is thus in personally penetrating a very imperfect world – one seething with conflicts, tensions, and contradictions – that we are called to live out our faith, not coddled behind our computer screens.
October 7, 2007
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.