Every day, in every city, many things happen which could be news. Many organizations produce press releases (as do politicians). Many meetings are helds, protests made, resolutions stated.
And most of the time no one knows about them. They are not deemed newsworthy. ALthough they may be worthwhile, the findings or resolutions or act contradicts the narrative that a journal has, or writing about that is deemed in bad taste of some sort, or it is simply not controversial.
Fights are controversial. Making enemies is controversial. But seeing the fundamental unity within the kirk is not.
17I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them. 18For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded. 19For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good and guileless in what is evil. 20The God of peace will shortly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
21Timothy, my co-worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my relatives.
22I Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord.
23Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.
25Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith – 27to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.
Now, there are many ways in which we can stir up controversy. We can proclaim legitimate that which is not — pandering actively to our base appetities of lust, greed, wrath, laziness… and saying that we are worthy, we deserve these things.
Or we cannot confront that which is there. When we do, we are seen as harsh, instead of warning each other about that which is within us all.
That can indeed make us unpopular. But God does not care about popularity. He cares about faithfulness. We need to teach to his standards, not ours. For none of us are disinterested, none of us are without flaws, and none of us cab safely say we do not struggle with these things.
The old theologians called this daily struggle the work of sanctification. It is not deamatic. It is not newsworthy. But most of tha which is published as news is gossip. THe deeper trends in society are not found on the pages of the Times. If we are about being faithful, let alone changinc culture, we should not play postmodern games of narrative and liturgy, but instead simply obey and live as we are taught to, meeting regularly to encourge each other to remain on this path.
For if we remain within a culture, we will die with that colture. The church instead, like Israel is called out of the cultures to live differently. Outside the narrative of the elite.
So let us not play their game. Let us be united in our obedience, as we debate many things. And let us not be newsworthy.