In a way, there is a religious fundamentalist quality to this globe-denialism, and it occurred to me that there is a quasi-religious foundation for people's stubborn belief in a flat earth. I'm no scientist, but I do know religion, and so into the fray I jumped with a video entitled "A Religious Argument Against the Flat Earth."
We want to build a community where doubt can be safely expressed, where love is the dominant ethic, and where people feel supported in times of great challenge. There is a need for such spaces in our world today, and especially in our churches.
St. Augustine taught that the citizens of the City of God would still use the things of the world as they pertain to things below, but do not make this earthly life their ultimate end. If we are to be citizens of the City of God, we engage with the political realm, but we do not confuse the things of this world—even our cherished political institutions or our beloved homeland—with the City of God.
St. Matthew wants you to know talk is cheap because faith that is only a profession of faith is insufficient. For Matthew faith requires a unity of faith and action. Of confession and deed. Of word and life.
We are limited in our abilities and when we forget that, we get ourselves into trouble. But at the same time, we are called to take action. Jesus told us to feed the multitude, knowing we couldn’t do it. But in that command, he gave us his expectation that we would unite our faith and our action, that we would trust in God and in him, but also work to live out the values of the Kingdom in the midst of the broken world.
It’s not an easy place to be in. We as social animals don’t willingly put ourselves in places seeking to lose the affection and approval of our fellow human beings. But it’s into those places of tension and discomfort that the Gospel calls us. And it’s in those places of tension and discomfort that we find Christ.
Religions that are simply about otherworldly salvation, that are about perfecting one's inner self, that are about humble acceptance of the ills of the world—those are perfectly compatible with the status quo. And the Empire will never suppress a religion that supports the status quo.
Faith is trust, and trust is not about certainty. Trust is about setting out in spite of uncertainty. Were we to have certainty we could not trust.
When we see empty streets in our major metropolitan centers, a sign of people avoiding each other, we actually see people coming together, making powerful declarations of solidarity. And in this solidarity is our salvation.