I am the elder.
By way of reminder, I am the acting pastor of this virtual parish. Those two titles signify the current labels for the ancient offices of the Two Witnesses of God’s revelation, typically translated as king and priest, though “king” is closer to “head of household” — in our case, a covenant household of faith. This division of labor is entirely a product of the Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) feudal way of life. It has always met with hostility in Western Civilization, so it’s no surprise that our current social context sees the two offices wrongly merged, making the pastor a magisterial manager of the church institution, which in turn is more like a corporation headed by an entertainer.
Fortunately, most of the ceremonial duties of the priestly role simply cannot be manifest in our virtual setting. Those require a physical presence to have any meaning. Each of us has to work on that in our respective meat-space contexts. I hope that someday in the future, the Lord will restore to His people the lost heritage ditched by Israel long before His Son was born, but it won’t look the same. It needs only restore the elements that answer our true design. Meanwhile, what’s left to me as elder and acting pastor is a lot of territory where the two roles overlap.
And you can still call me “pastor” in the colloquial sense; this isn’t a lesson in sacred terminology with the trappings of orthodoxy. But you should be aware that the role of elder is more fatherly, more of the shepherd of practical matters of life. If I get into the abstract academic territory once in awhile, it’s only because I want you to see what’s behind the guidance I try to offer. I want very much for you to take an active part in evaluating for your own life whether my suggestions match your context. The only sword of authority I have in the first place is in your own heart. If my work here doesn’t grab the handle of that blade, what I offer is not for you. But the final answer has always been inside of you.
Again, that’s the background for what follows.
A lot of voices are clamoring for your attention, particularly on the Net. For example, here’s one that explains The Real Reasons Why Another American Civil War Is Possible. Granted, Brandon Smith makes a very strong case; he explains clearly the nature of the political left. However, he probably conflates some noisy activity that isn’t leftist vengeance against Trump’s victory (like the pipeline protest in North Dakota) with the dramatic protests right after the election. Has anybody noticed how they have dwindled through November? Wikipedia is tracking this; scroll down a little way and you’ll see the timeline. By mid-November it was tapering off and now it’s about dead. You can only buy so much of that before weather and other things reduce their enthusiasm.
Now, were it to restart in the spring after Trump’s inauguration, you’ll see some perfectly legal crackdowns under a new law labeling some forms of protest “economic terrorism.” That’s just a small sample of the right-wing backlash. It becomes an excuse to take a bite out of Soros and his ilk. It’s likely we’ll see similar efforts actually come into play, but it would be a mere distraction.
A real revolt with millions in the streets and scaring the powers that be costs too much. They didn’t see it coming. We certainly don’t have a resident population riled and ready, trained to engage in genuine resistance, so it would have to be purchased outright, and it’s just not possible. No, the real civil war is entirely confined to propaganda. I truly believe the globalists have already lost this one. Not that they won’t make some belated effort to counterattack, and it would surely include some dramatic computer hacking, but it’s already too late. The corporate media companies are already taking a big hit, and their allies like Facebook, Twitter and such will suffer accordingly.
Why does this matter to you or me? First, as previously noted here, this will provoke a big shift in the social media landscape. Did you know that Diaspora, a sort of free and open alternative to Facebook, is viable now? It almost died when the developers handed the project over to some folks who at first didn’t want to support free server space for user accounts. It meant users would have to host their own full software implementation to join the community, but now volunteers have stepped in and quite a few “nodes” have been created around the world where you can join without such a burden. I dropped out like a lot of other folks, but I’m considering trying it again now. You can bet I’ll be more assertive about having no political alignment.
While it’s not immediately likely Facebook will go away, since Zuckerberg is frankly worried about losing all that advertising money if membership declines, I think Twitter has already shot itself in the foot, and is turning the gun on its head. The issue with Twitter is the obvious double standard, where leftist thugs can verbally abuse everyone and get away with it, to include race war threats against whites, but Trump and his supporters are labeled “racist bigots” before they even say a word about anyone.
But for us what this means is that our message will have more room. You still need very much to live your heart-led existence in your meat-space context or what we splash on the Net means nothing. Indeed, in our social context of ears callused by ceaseless propaganda, along with activist harassment, we dare not say much at all until someone asks about our visible demonstration of faith. So our words belong on the Net, and we have to be among the most skilled at using that medium. You need not keep your eyes glued to some electronic display all day long; it’s not a question of time investment in bulk. It’s a question of exploiting the new reality for His glory. This is our best shot at delivering the gospel of heart-led faith.
We are all called in different ways to varying missions, but at least a significant portion of us will be called to evangelism — a form of evangelism the world has not yet seen. We need to invade all of the new social media landscape and claim it for Our Lord. We need a voice in every place where there might be hearts ready for awakening. There’s still a place for missionaries crossing the face of the earth, but now there’s a much bigger place for virtual missionaries.
We aren’t trying to solve the problems of this world; we cannot. We are trying to draw people out of this world and into the moral realm of the heart. We want people to reconnect to Creation, but we have to go where they are to make that happen. Instead of grousing about all the horrendous bad social habits of the cellphone generation, let’s find out why they do that stuff and meet them there with redemption. Don’t scold; call to their hearts.
If you commit to this mission, God will show you where to go and what to do. It will be obvious when you get there; your heart already knows. This is your virtual ordination ceremony; I lay my hands on you and commission you to the mission.