“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
I look at the state of the world and feel that I can do nothing. It is easy to watch the news and get into a depressed funk. The funk leads to flight, flight to fantasy escapism. Our world is wired for that. So easy to retreat into hours on Facebook, to watch ‘reality’ television or to find that perfect Zone Out app that you’ve been looking for. It’s a battle we all face; I spend to many hours on Hulu myself.
My daughter is the arrow shot forward into the next generation. I’m fortunate to have a child, fortunate to see she’s gleaned some principal values from her parents among those are a love for Jesus and a love for nature. That’s a great thing.
Still my heart cries, “What else can I do?” The world is so big, the Syrian refugee crisis looms large, the Mid-East is a powder keg awaiting a match (can you say Uranium enrichment?) and things at home have grown from bad to worse. At least knowing all the facets of my Pit Pal BBQ app will garner short time rewards (like great ribs). Big picture stuff I can’t fix; right?
A current option bandied about by some in Christian circles is the Benedict option (think Benedictine monks). To quote Rod Dreher, “Let’s stay involved in the outside world, but let’s also do a strategic retreat. That’s not, “head for the hills.” That’s doing things like turning off the television. Back away from the culture.” Marvin Olasky’s counter to this is what he calls The Daniel Option. Taken from the book of Daniel the idea is to engage culture at whatever juncture possible. When individuals and culture are defying God and Judeo-Christian principals we need to take an aggressive stand.
Daniels’ story shows a man that knew how to live quietly and peaceably in the midst of a pagan culture. He also knew when and how to rock the boat to draw attention back to God. Being ‘salt and light’ we are to saturate the culture. Faithful fenced-in isolationist folks say we need to regroup to fight better. I say we’re in this shape because we stopped fighting in the first place. We withdrew from the public square and the public school leaving a catastrophic vacuum.
I have few answers when dealing with the big bad world. I suggest we plant our feet and fight. We pray for wisdom; there’s a balance between both Martin Luther the monk and Martin Luther King, Jr. Both understood when to fight on their knees and when to peaceably protest in the public square. In that spirit may we be as bold, as brave and as successful in our day-to-day lives. We start there.