A Source of Healing

January 29, 2022

Anxiety, depression and addiction are all on the rise. Suicide rates have jumped dramatically in recent years, especially with the younger generations, and most dramatically among young girls. Mass violence, amplified by firearms and otherwise, has increased. And the most mundane of civil arguments now seem to inevitably polarize everyone into teams focused more on defeating the “enemy” than on defending the weak or standing up for what is just.

The modern world is showing frightening symptoms of serious spiritual disease. People increasingly report that they struggle with loneliness, hopelessness, fear, and a lack of purpose. Some of this is driven by the corruption and collapse of traditional religion and the “vastation” (spiritual emptying out) of traditional organized Christianity. Some of it is the result of the impact of social media, and of ever-present instantaneous communication tools.

Smartphones and the Internet are amazing tools that can do a lot of good in the world, as well. And organized religion, when done properly, is a means of salvation, not destruction. We simply need to pick and choose how we use them, and how we develop them. And we need to get better at not allowing them to be turned toward evil.

These two realms–technology and religion–can do a lot of good for one another, if we choose to shepherd them in that direction. We need to promote a moral and ethical practice in the use of personal communications technologies, amongst ourselves and for the world around us. What’s more, loving, truth-abiding, spiritual communities, like our own strives to be, can (and should!) be sources of healing for those who lack hope, meaning, and connection. And as we practice the life of religion by embodying the teachings of the Lord’s Word and offering comfort and connection, hope and purpose to those who are suffering, we can use those same technologies that sometimes isolate people and magnify their problems as a means of countering those evil forces.

We as a church community are already doing things that counter the downward pull of postmodernity. But perhaps there is more we can do. I encourage you to set aside some time to ponder how we can be even more a force for good in the world around us. Talk to your friends about this. And let me know what you come up with.

And in all this, remember that the Lord is never absent. When hell seems to be winning in the world, I try to think of the Lord’s teaching in Secrets of Heaven 840:

As long as our trials continue, we think the Lord is absent, since evil demons disturb us, sometimes to the point where despair almost prevents us from believing God exists at all. But the Lord is closer then than we can possibly believe. When the trouble ends, we find comfort, and then we first believe the Lord is present.

Rev. Glenn “Mac” Frazier
Pastor, Washington New Church

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