Father Stephen Freeman—archpriest in the Orthodox Church in America, pastor of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and a regular contributor over at Ancient Faith Ministries—posted an inspiring message on Facebook today that I wanted to share. He is responding to concerns, expressed by many Christians, that governments will use the pandemic as a pretext to exert more control over their societies. Father Stephen writes:
Pondering some folks fear that we’ll come out of this with a more oppressive, controlling government, etc. My thoughts are centered around what it is that we think we have been doing that is going to get suppressed/oppressed. Forgive me, but it’s been a long time since Christians actually presented much of a danger to the present consumerist world order. At best, we have a lightly christianized version of the same thing as we try to shop our way into the Kingdom of God.
If what we are about is practicing the gospel, then we might expect some sort of persecution. As it is, it’s mostly smoke and mirrors.
Give your stuff away. Forgive your enemies. Be kind to all. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Save the unborn. Care for the old.
God, help us to become dangerous.