Over a year and a half ago, we began to pray and prepare for our world that we find ourselves in today.
We split our Sunday gathering time into homes and asked the people to begin building relationships with each other and those around them rather than attending a weekly event. We were convinced that the relationships of the saints would triumph over any evil the world had to offer.
To prepare for what God said was coming, we felt compelled even further to build a way for those inside the other churches in our community to communicate effectively. We built lifeincascade.com and launched it February 5th, before COVID was even a thing we feared.
When COVID-19 and the associated government grip arrived on our doorsteps, we were ready, in processes. But, we were fragile in practice. Many in our communities are still finding relationship without the large gathering. But, many are not. Many in the Church refuse to acknowledge that they don't go to Sunday gatherings anymore; they don't go to each other's homes anymore. They do nothing to truly seek out relationship and encourage each other in the things of God. They consider social media their gathering place.
A couple years ago I scoffed at the idea that Mark Zuckerberg could replace the Church gatherings with Facebook, as he claimed. Today, I shudder at its reality.
In this reality, anything posted with the name of Jesus is quietly buried. An algorithm somewhere does the silent dirty work.
We spend most of our days working to fight the evil that we see continuing to close in. We've warned. We've equipped. We've shepherded. And yet, few have listened. Few have engaged.
COVID-19 and the government may loosen its grip for a while, but the damage is done. Faith has left the church. Relationships are only as deep as the algorithms that connect us.
200 years ago, Edmund Burke, one of the fathers of modern conservatism penned what has been reduced to this popular phrase:
All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
What he really wrote is much more in depth and is an exact imprint of the thing we've been warning of and are now experiencing:
Whilst men are linked together, they easily and speedily communicate the alarm of any evil design. They are enabled to fathom it with common counsel, and to oppose it with united strength.
Whereas, when they lie dispersed, without concert, order, or discipline, communication is uncertain, counsel difficult, and resistance impracticable. Where men are not acquainted with each other’s principles, nor experienced in each other’s talents, nor at all practised in their mutual habitudes and dispositions by joint efforts in business; no personal confidence, no friendship, no common interest, subsisting among them; it is evidently impossible that they can act a public part with uniformity, perseverance, or efficacy.
In a connection, the most inconsiderable man, by adding to the weight of the whole, has his value, and his use; out of it, the greatest talents are wholly unserviceable to the public. No man, who is not inflamed by vain-glory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours, are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens.
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
A people divided will not stand.
A church that depends on social media for its relationship will not stand.
A patriotic group who depends on social media for its trust will not prevail.
Social media is all that holds us together. It is also all that holds us apart.
Until the church and patriots decide to get real about doing life together, we will deserve the reward we receive. As enemies of freedom and God unite in the streets, we will stand silently by while they have their way.
This is how a 98% Christian nation stood by and watched in ambivolence as their fürher slaughtered millions in Germany.
What are you going to do?
Call some friends and get together this week. Have a dinner together. Talk politics. Talk action. Draft some letters to your congress person. Talk about God. Encourage each other with what has been going right. Don't talk negatively about others that aren't there.
Imagine if we began to take action? How quickly could things turn around if we got together?