Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – November 18

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Given this Beauty,

To be Ruled by God or by Humans,

For which do you think God created the universe?

For which do you think God created our hearts?

Isaiah 26:13

O Lord our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but we acknowledge your name alone.

Acts 5:29

Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority.’

Words of Grace For Today

Human history is filled with cruel rulers, greedy despots, and evil dictators.

Trump is only one of many alive and ‘ruling’ today.

How is it that so close to half of the 140 million people who voted in the States, voted for Trump?

What comes out of his mouth has been and is still hardly anything that is true, yet millions of people accept it as true.

If you doubt that they actually think it’s true, one only needs to hear about people in the Trump supporters’ Dakotas dying in the ICU from Covid 19, who refuse to accept that the pandemic is real. Instead they insist it is just a hoax. They refuse to acknowledge they are dying. They refuse to speak with their families. And they die, alone, still believing Trump’s lies.

How can this be?

We know that cognitive reality therapy works, works well, works fast. That is, if a person wants to believe (based on what they have already accepted as true), constant repetition of an alternate set of ‘reality statements’ will bring that person to accept that alternate reality as true.

Media that spew propaganda, and advertising focused at individuals is a danger to the continuation of civilization; they attack people’s understanding of the ‘social contract’ that holds barbarism at bay.

Trump is right that there is a lot of ‘false news’ out there. It’s the news that reports what he says, as if it were true. Ever since networks and news stations were no longer required to present both (really all) sides to a story, stations have been bought up in huge conglomerates to present an alternate reality to millions upon millions of people, over and over and over and over again.

People buy into the thin wedge of Querdenken, an apt German word for it. It means crooked-thinking, or cross-thinking, or contrarian-thinking (contrary to reality.) Those who buy into the less extreme ‘alternate reality’ easily buy into the next potion, and the next, and on and on, until what they perceive as real is so far from real it is scary. Thus they vote for Trump, deny Covid 19, and ‘drink the bleach Kool-aide.’

Words matter. It matters what people hear, read, say, and write. Words shape our perception of reality. That is why leaders target truth. Truth is the first victim of war, and of any evil ruler. That is why evil rulers try to control media, arrest dissidents, and exterminate anyone who questions their authority and means of maintaining power.

In countries that supposedly allows free speech, the dangers are very real. Truth is constantly under attack. Chaos is created to cover the huge lies and evil that is allowed to flow under the guise of ‘free’ speech.

One needs to be vigilant, so as not to accept false words and eventually make them into one’s own pseudo-reality. The Kool-aide is sweetened so that at first sip, it seems delightful. Evil always is so.

One needs to hear God’s Word, often, clearly, well stated, graciously presented. Repeating a sermon from decades or centuries ago may be instructive. It cannot replace a sermon written for now, in this place and time. God’s Word proclaimed needs to be written so that the current names of challenges to truth and all other evil as well are provided, and God’s Gracious response to evil is also stated in our terms.

Who will we serve today: human authorities, or God? Simple question; from our answers flow radical consequences for everything we do each day: who we listen to, what we hear, how we hear it.

We cannot hide in a bubble of holy talk. We need to hear the Querdenkers out there as well, so that we understand what God’s Grace needs to respond to. That is we need to know to what we need to respond with Grace.

Human history is filled with cruel rulers, greedy despots, and evil dictators.

Before and above all of them is our God, who did, does and will always create, redeem and renew all of Creation.

So what are you up to today:

drinking human authorities’ Kool-aide

or being God’s Grace for all people?