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We Are Not the Church of Chicken Little

It would be tempting, as the calendar (changes to) 2021, to view 2020 as a nightmare that will soon pass and quickly be forgotten. Take a mulligan year and try again as if the 2020 hellscape never happened. Writing for 1517, Chad Bird has other plans altogether: this year has been a great year for the church to rediscover some of its central beliefs about sin, repentance, and redemption.

He writes:

Neither this global pandemic, the gross injustices, the racial tensions, the mad riots, the macabre political theatre, not even Tiger King should have shocked anyone, especially those schooled in the Torah and the prophets. All human history, from Cain and Abel onward, has amply demonstrated that destruction and stupidity, navel-gazing and bloodshed, the ubiquity of fools, and the thin veneer between civilization and anarchy is the norm, not the exception.

This year just happens to be a rather colorful sampling of our commonly shared low anthropology. Welcome to Humanity 101. And don’t worry: it won’t get better. […]

And yet …

[W]e are not the Church of Chicken Little but the Church of Jesus Christ. We do not run around screaming that “the sky is falling.” There is no panic in heaven. Over the chaos of this world reigns the King of kings, Jesus the Resurrected, before whom every knee will eventually bow, whether they like it or not. Every governmental authority now — presidents, kings, prime ministers, you name it — are in lame-duck administrations. Their time is ending. Put not your trust in politicians or parties or ballot boxes. Christ and his kingdom are everlasting. And into that kingdom he calls us all to find forgiveness, life, and peace.

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