‘And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature and it is set on fire by hell (James 3:6).’
Having lived on this planet for eight-and-a-half decades I can look back with some perspective. In my experience, the way in which people think has changed because we have been influenced by the events of history.
In more recent years there has been the exponential growth of manufacturing industries. The world has become a smaller place on account of us being able to easily travel from one continent to another. Global trade operates on a scale that people of my generation could never have predicted or imagined.
Brexit Day has come and gone, and despite the claim by those who wanted to remain in the EU that we have become a more insular, inward-looking nation, the opposite is true. The world is our oyster; for we are free to trade with other nations, and thus we are free to engage with them in a way that was not previously possible. Endorsing this view is the Bank of England that has minted a new fifty pence piece. On one side it has the epithet: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations – 31st January 2020.”
This may be fine, but like other nations, we are concerned with real issues such as: security, global warming, terrorism, people trafficking, drug addiction, poverty and 5-G.
What is in store for us?
Just recently the Coronavirus rapidly spread from Wuhan in China to other countries because the authorities failed to act quickly. They have now put into place draconian measures to prevent further infection. Cities, towns and villages have been quarantined, and travel between them is restricted.
Without a doubt universal travel exposes us to infections, and we are vulnerable before them. Likewise the exchange of information via the Internet exposes us to things that could hurt us. There are some who would attack our values and traditions of which we hold dear. These people have different ideologies, beliefs and political agendas, and despite what it says on the fifty pence piece they will not want to accept our offers of peace and friendship.
Engage with them we must (Matthew 28:18-20), but in our exchanges we must use the language of diplomacy. Likewise in our multicultural society we have to use words carefully, so as not to cause offence.
New laws drafted under the *Human Rights Act give people freedom to follow their beliefs and to practise them, providing they do not attempt to force them on others. But in the current climate, our values of morality and ethics have come under attack. The new vanguard [satan’s minions] proclaim, “black is white, lies are true, and evil is good.” Consequently the exchange of views on platforms like Twitter and FaceBook can become very heated. Certain topics such as racism, feminism and sexism have to be treated with the utmost care. From a Christian perspective respect must be given to all people, regardless of their practices and beliefs (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:32). Words must be chosen carefully to avoid accusations of prejudice and hate, and they must be said in love (Matthew 22:39; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8). Issues regarding inequality and gender can be particularly sensitive.
From my perspective I observe that the world is undergoing a momentous transition. It is no longer a collection of independent separate countries, provinces and states that more of less keep themselves to themselves, but a global metropolis where the actions of a few powerful people can affect the whole city. Trump, Putin or Xi Jinping need only make one fatal error, and that could bring irreparable disaster – even total destruction. It’s like being back in the days of the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear annihilation was very real. Brinkmanship was the name of the game.
Today the affect of the Coronavirus would be insignificant by comparison. It seems to me we are walking on thin ice, and we have to be very careful. Our words must be chosen wisely so as not to stoke up hatred and accentuate differences. We are in this maze of political correctness where one word said in innocence could set the world on fire (James 3:6).
The Words of Jesus
My questions for you are: “Was Jesus politically correct?” “Did He cause offence?”
“Do His words offend today?” And more importantly, “Do they offend you?”
They crucified Him not for what He did, but for what He said (Mark 14:60-64)!
“Will He not justly destroy the world with fire (2 Peter 3:10)?”
Words of Comfort
‘I will hear what God the LORD will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land (Psalm 85:8, 9).’
*Christian Rights and Human Rights