The world as we see it is changing. The impact of COVID-19 has highlighted the decrease in legitimacy of governments all over the world. The recent conclusion of the US election has also shown us the polarisation of US’ political stance and its vast impact on the global arena. Political scientists all over the world have voiced concerns over the US election, and in particular, the stark similarities of projected future regardless of who won the election. National governance is sinking under a new wave of political movement, never seen before in history. A political revival of the young; the rising liberalist, governed by emotions and impulse, is taking over the world.
When speaking about the rising two beasts of Revelations 13, Senior Pastor Denesh of The Crossing Church pointed out that though the two beasts represent political power and propaganda, Christians are not called to start a revolution nor a political party to counter the forces of the world. Rather, Christians are called to be faithful and testify to their death. I wholly disagree with his statement. Just a chapter earlier in Revelations 12, we saw the great fight between the Woman and the Dragon (supposedly Jesus’ mother, Mary, and the Devil). The woman gave birth to a Son who will rule all the nations with an Iron Scepter. When the child was snatched up to God and to God’s throne, the woman fled to the wilderness to a place prepared by God to be nourished and taken care of. Again, when the dragon was hurled down onto the world and begin pursuing the woman, the woman was given wings to fly to a place in the wilderness (again) to be taken care of until the dragon cannot tolerate her anymore and wage war with her offsprings.
In context, I think the woman is not simply a representation of Mary, but a symbol for the Church – the established Spiritual Kingdom that was created in Christ, for Christ, and through Christ. In the passage, God will do whatever it takes to protect her. Even though the dragon wages war with her offspring, Christ reigns supreme.
What the Church should do
That said, Revelation shows us an imagery of a sunken world; a world where logic and rationality no longer holds value. Political power was granted to people of charisma, and people vote out of emotions and impulse. Just as how people worships the beast for the apparent healing of his own “fatal” scar, so will people vote based on charisma and disregard their future. In the context like this, John calls Christian to have patient endurance, faithfulness, and wisdom. We need to know what is going on around us. We need to be able to discern right from wrong. We need to know who is on our side and who is not. We need to judge the world and act accordingly through the lens of God. We need to be independent of the world and be sensitive to what God is calling us to.
We are not there, yet. But the waters are pouring in. Can you see it?
We need a Noah of the modern age. Someone who would build the Ark in the wilderness; a sanctuary for Christian brothers and sisters to seek refuge in the flood. The Ark needs to be built on high grounds so that it’ll allow time for people to come onboard before the flood sweeps them off their feet. But is the institution doing it?
The Church Caving In to Authorities?
In the region, we see that churches in Hong Kong are no longer a safe refuge for Christians and their pastors. Churches and their sermons are affected by National Security laws and pastors are no longer able to freely preach for fear of running foul of the law. What happened to being faithful even till death?
In Korea, Christians are losing faith in God because of the COVID cases linked to church attendance. Did anybody ask the question why?
In Singapore, the Christian Church is using NGOs and charities to draw closer to governmental authorities to gain certain political leverage for events. Though the notion behind such an act isn’t very clear, but it is important to note that the Christian Churches are bootlicking the government for their own gain.
Though they all had their reasons for whatever they did or did not do, the question I want to raise is this: Are all of these expected of us as Christians? Whatever happened to staying independent of the world? Whatever happened to patient endurance? Whatever happened to not loving the world? Whatever happened to standing firm in the faith to do what is right? Why are we siding the government while disregarding all the warning signs by political scientists? Why are we siding the government knowing that its authority is temporal and was given by the God whom we worship? Why lower ourselves to bootlicking servants of governmental authorities when we were supposed to be light of the world?
We need a Noah who can look past all of these and to setup an independent sanctuary for Christians, free from political and societal influences. We need an Ark that is self-sustainable and is completely independent from the world. We need an Ark that is independent from the world. We need an Ark that could weather all storms. We need a Modern Noah. And we need him fast.Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay
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