Family Life in the Divisive, Polarized World We Live In

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But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. (Ephesians 2:13-19)

Consider the above words from Ephesians as an important “Canon” to follow on how we are to bear witness to the Truth in this fallen world; a world when it was initially created by God, he “saw it was good.”

We are all aware of the polarization going on in the world we live in today. Our political parties are more divided than ever in how we look at the challenges facing today’s world and the solutions to address them. We have people making statements that one cannot be a Christian if one votes for such and such a candidate. Whether the issue is Covid 19, Black Lives Matter, Systemic Racism, Police Abuse, Law and Order or Moral Issues, we seem to struggle with having meaningful conversations without intolerant, judgmental behavior ruling the day.  One is either a secular, liberal, Socialist, and rainbow Democrat who wants the government to solve our problems, or a greedy conservative, Capitalist, and white Republican who wants to keep the government out of our lives. By the way, these descriptions of Democrats and Republicans are caricatures. I don’t accept either as being accurate. Nonetheless, this rhetoric exists and impacts on us.

So what has this got to do with Family Life and forming the life of Christ in our children? Children go to school and discuss these issues impacting their lives in current events discussions. I am sure some of this gets discussed online classes and in home school sessions.

In the weeks to come I want to address the following issues related to the above:

  • How do we properly teach our children that we are in the world but not of it?
  • As our children get older, how do we talk to them about civic responsibility, like voting and taking stands on issues like the ones I listed above (or do we at all)?
  • How do we preserve our Christian witness, as exemplified in Ephesians 2?
  • How do we keep the embittered political discord of our society from entering the life of the Church? As we learned this week in the Feast of the Exaltation, the bitter waters of the Israelites’ lives were made sweet when the Wood was tossed into the bitter waters of Marah and the waters became sweet.
  • How can we agree to disagree on some matters and still be respectful and tolerant of one another?
  • Feel free to add to this list if there is anything you want me to address.

The blessing of the Lord be upon you.

With love in Christ,

Archbishop Paul

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