Peace and safety are not synonymous terms, nor do they go together like peas and carrots. It appears to me that our modern age possesses a perception that humanity cannot have peace unless security under every possible scenario is guaranteed.
The joy of chasing reward, which necessitates risk, is eroding under the weight of a global chain gang, where conformity certifies the safety of all. The internet, with its social media platforms, was once a place where we expanded our social and friendly interactions. Now our phones are our chaperones and monitoring masters, tracing every move, gathering data, keeping us in check. What was a communication device, has become a security device.
Now everything is following suit
Nothing in society is to be enjoyed or available unless it undergoes its new security metamorphosis. We are like fish being caught in a net of death, yet we think it is OK because we are with our ‘school’. Sometimes the only way to survive is to swim against the tide.
The world’s answer to fear and terror continues to be increased surveillance and control over every part of life, with the promise of hellfire and damnation for those who refuse to submit.
The 24hr news cycle has rejected all journalistic integrity and taken its place as a false prophet of doom for whatever accusing dragon is feeding the narrative. We have woken from a sleep after ignoring years of warning signs and found ourselves trapped in the tentacles of a global cult.
We are paying for allowing our freedoms to be removed because we feared Arabs after 9/11. We are paying for allowing our governments to go to war and continue wars based on publicly exposed lies like WMDs in Iraq. We are paying for allowing fraudulent behaviour that crashed the world economy to be rewarded instead of punished. We gave confidence to our would-be captors through silent compliance.
Why did we allow this?
Fear and uncertainty. Some experts somewhere told us we could not be safe and secure without numerous new measures being implemented, and if we cannot feel safe, we somehow cannot have peace.
The Kingdom of Jesus operates on a different plane
It is a kingdom of peace, but not as the world gives. It is not ‘peace and safety’. It is peace amid great risk and uncertainty. Christ’s peace is not dependent on conformity to the hive-minded masses. In fact, repentance, which is a changing of the mind, is the necessity to see its operational beauty. Christians should not bow to the cowardice of the world when it comes to keeping themselves and others safe. Discipleship to Jesus means accepting the martyrdom of the cross from the moment of inception into the master’s school. Jesus does not promise physical safety, but through association gives us a life that puts us at risk of physical danger. ‘Take up your cross and follow me’ is no security net according to the world’s standard.
Someone should have told Jesus that if he genuinely loved and cared for his close ones, he would have told them to stay at home and keep their distance until the violent fervour surrounding him calmed down.
The truth is the violent fervour surrounding the Christ will always remain
I honestly do not know what sort of person many people imagine Jesus would have been. Perhaps because he was such a lovely European-looking man with a nicely trimmed beard and blue eyes, he would have been fully supportive of people keeping 1.5meters apart in a pandemic and talking to the elderly through a plastic screen. Jesus is so sensitive and caring and would never let anyone face danger because of Him.
Oh no, that would be selfish
Perhaps he was more like the real person that real people described Him to be, the one who told people that to follow Him they must eat his flesh and drink his blood, I am sure that statement would have gone down well amongst the Jews, probably challenged their narrative a little.
What of his instruction for ordinary people to cleanse the lepers? Surely, he would not ask anyone who is not an essential worker concerning such things to encounter contagion. What about working during the Jews’ weekly sabbath lockdown? Even insisting His Father also worked with Him.
The man broke all conventional wisdom of the day and exposed the foolishness of fear and superstition, even if that same fear and superstition was based on legitimate evidence and/or scriptural accuracy.
In a world where you can no longer even go out for a meal without handing over your biological information while standing on the right dot on the floor, does Jesus remain the man who does not care if his followers eat with unwashed hands, or has he become a conventional coward waiting upon the 7 o’clock news to tell him when he can safely carry on towards Golgotha again.
The peace of Jesus is not synonymous with safety
Whether it is the seeker-friendly church when times are good, or the cowering church when times are tough, anytime the church seems compliant with the standards of the world, we need to question who we are following.
The cross you carry may very well kill you and even endanger your loved ones. But that does not mean you cannot have true peace.
Joshua Robbie is currently serving the Lord under Pastors Ronnie and Shirley Naidoo of KZN Celebration Centre in Tongaat South Africa. He and His wife Rene’ moved from Australia to South Africa in April 2016. Their desire is to help in whatever way they can so that the church can become all that God has purposed her to be. Josh is a painter by trade and also enjoys sports such as surfing, basketball and boxing. He has also written a book, now available for purchase on Amazon called: “Your Father sees: Living the sermon on the mount”.Josh Robbie previous articles may be viewed http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/josh-robbie.html