This article is the final piece in a 3-part response to Ben Shapiro’s “The Authoritarian Moment”. The previous articles can be found here:

Review: The Authoritarian Moment

Protect the Faith: Authoritarianism and the Church

Protect the Conscience: Authoritarianism and the Church

Part 3: Authoritarianism and the Church

Authoritarianism is a spiritual disease that takes root in governmental systems when citizens willfully ignore the truth and blindly follow a leader. History has demonstrated that this behavior necessarily leads to totalitarian regimes — the forced following of a leader or state. So far, we have demonstrated how our religious expression and our conscience are necessary ingredients for Christians to serve well within the terrors of authoritarianism. The final ingredient of this spiritual antidote is loving your enemies.

Love, Truth, and Injustice

In our previous article on conscience, we saw that the strength of our conscience is directly proportional to our desire for and our understanding of the truth. In short, you cannot have virtue if you reject truth. Our conscience leads us to act according to the truth, and the truth is the basis for genuine love of friend and foe.

The Apostle Paul states that without love, an individual is nothing but a “clanging cymbal”. If the truth without love is deafening, then love without the truth is a lie. Therefore, to love well, love and truth must be united in the believer’s life, especially in times of adversity. This is vital when a government, intentionally or unintentionally, pits brother against brother, son against father, daughter against mother, and seeks to leverage our disdain for one another to establish a godless form of government. Dr. J. Budziszewski reminds us of the solution:

“The connection between love and the common good is that love always intends the true good of others.”

J. Budziszewski, Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2016), 389.

In Live Not by Lies, Rod Dreher compiles various stories of Christians living through the early, middle, and late stages of communism. The Benda family lived under communism in the Czech Republic. The parents, Václav and Kamila, not only lived under communist rule, but preserved their children’s faith in the midst of intense poverty, suffering, and social isolation. One of the lessons Dreher gleans from the family is that you must stand up and support everyone’s rights; not just your own or your fellow Christian’s.  

“Kamila says that obeying Christ’s command to love one’s neighbor means never failing to stand for every persecuted person, not just church goers.”

Rod Dreher, Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents (New York: Sentinal, 2020),143.

Kamila’s statement highlights an often-overlooked verse in the famous love Chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. Paul states: “[Love] is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). Those who desire to apply any of the commands to love your neighbor or your enemies must do so from the basis of the truth. Those that reject the truth complicitly or explicitly, will not only have perverted their conscience, but will struggle to love their neighbors, their enemies, and those that attempt to stand for the truth. Truth is the basis for conscience and love.

I have a picture on my wall, given to me by my mother. It reads, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Americans always stated that “freedom isn’t free”, but have we really considered the cost of freedom not only as soldiers, but as normal working Americans?

We cannot love our neighbors if we are complicit in unjust laws, taking the easy way out for ourselves, or isolating ourselves from conflict while the rest of the world suffers. Case and point: churches in the U.S. continue to lockdown and modify their worship services for COVID while Afghan Christians are being martyred. Which faith do you think is more genuine? Which faith do you think an atheist is more likely to respect? 

A Short Story: Atheists, Christians, and Loving Your Neighbor

Imagine for a moment a Christian who has been sharing about his faith to an atheist co-worker. Conversations between them have ranged from “How could God allow the pandemic?” to “Why are there so many denominations?”  News begins circulating on social media and other outlets that the Biden admin will make an announcement on vaccines soon. The two employees discuss the possibility of a mandate and formulate their positions. The Christian says, “I doubt it will happen.” The atheist says, “Well if it does, f— the government because I have a constitutional right to liberty.” The Christian responds, “Well that seems a bit harsh, I mean they are just trying to keep people safe.” To this the atheist replies, “Have you ever read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn? After what I’ve read, this doesn’t end well if we all go with the flow. Besides, doesn’t Christianity have some sort of line about ‘unjust laws are not laws’ or something like that?”

The news breaks at work; employees must provide proof of vaccination to keep their jobs. The atheist refuses to comply and loses his job. The Christian knows what has happened to his friend is unjust, but he is still debating what to do. His friends and family begin pressuring him to get the vaccine; his crazy uncle tells him it will put 5g in his blood and he’ll begin speaking Mandarin by the year 2022. Rather than considering any other options like religious exemption, he opts to get the vaccine, hoping it will all just go away.

The next day at work, there is an eerie absence that he can’t shake. His good friend is gone and so is the opportunity to lead him to Christ. He begins to rationalize his position even more. But deep down, he admires the courage of the atheist co-worker. He considers going to HR and filing a complaint about how the dismissal of his co-worker was handled, but he rationalizes again. It’s “too risky” at this point. Besides, I’m already vaccinated, and I didn’t have any reactions like my crazy uncle said. To raise the issue now is a risk to my family’s financial stability.

While he won’t file a complaint to HR, he decides he will still keep in touch with his friend to make sure he’s doing ok. His friend tells him he’s surprised how hard it is to find a job, but that he’s still convinced he did the right thing. Finally, the atheist says: “You know, life is pretty tough right now. I probably could use a bit of God in my life. Where do you go to church again?” The Christian is ecstatic. God is coming through in the life of his friend! He’s going to use this whole pandemic just to lead his friend to Christ, he thinks to himself; how silly of him to feel guilty about what happened to his friend at work.

Unbeknownst to the Christian, a week earlier the church decided to enforce their city’s COVID passport mandate for all indoor gatherings. All others must watch from home if they refuse to present a passport. The Christian and atheist arrive at the church, but at this point the reader’s imagination is better than any conclusion I could write.

One’s decision to take/refuse the vaccine is a minor issue of conscience. But unjust mandates are matters of truth and love: truth in that one must reflect on their own rights to identify injustice, and love in that one must recognize it is not merely our rights that drive our decision. It’s on us Christians and our leaders to know the relationship between truth and love and act accordingly. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, the atheist affirmed God’s law. When Christian leaders counsel their flock to forsake the rights of others to maintain status in society, they are leading Christians to be complicit in injustice. Christian leaders like this should start practicing their swimming technique with millstones wrapped around their necks.   

The Christian above was wrong not to stand up for his co-worker, but we are not all given the same measure of grace. Christians that God has gifted with strength to stand must not crush their weaker brothers in their convictions. Weaker brothers must pray for those who are standing strong and support them. Strong brothers must encourage and bolster those who are taking their conscience seriously. 

Mercy and Forgiveness

All judgments aside, we must also have grace and mercy for each other. Suppose Christians rationalize away their nagging conscience. Suppose they remain apathetic. Suppose the soft tyranny of America worsens for those of us attempting to live according to our conscience. What are we to do? How should we live?

We ought not panic or feast on hyperbolic images of gas chambers or theories of vaccine-induced population control and “Left Behind” pseudo theories. If you are to partake in that kind of suffering, there is nothing you can do to change it. Accept your fate and live in the now. The Gospel provides plenty of application in our current state, such that anxiously predicting the future will provide little benefit to you or your neighbors. Our current oppression is nothing compared to the tyranny of past nations or of contemporary China.  

Many have already experienced challenges due to the politicization of COVID. One day your friends or family are saying they will not get the jab. The next day, they are struggling with the surreal fact that they could lose their job. We must not condemn. We must extend forgiveness and mercy. We do not affirm someone who has violated their conscience as morally right, but we do not shame the contrite. The Benda family provides a powerful example:

“Up to twenty people would show up every day at the Benda flat seeking advice, comfort, and community. And after police released the suspects, they would often return to the Benda home. Whether or not they had come through without breaking, or had given up information under duress, Kamila offered them a cup of tea and a glass of wine and encouragement. [Kamila] would tell them ‘that’s okay, next time you will do better . . .’ The dissident circle was too small and fragile to turn on one another, despite their failures, frustrations, and disappointments.”

Ibid. 144

This story of Kamila brings Christ’s words on the Cross to mind, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” At the height of being forsaken by man and the Father, Christ extended forgiveness. His life, death, and resurrection would become the impetus for a turning point in history and for the world. If you are someone who regrets your decisions in the past year, take heart. You will have more chances in the future, and you will do better next time.

Final Thoughts: Parallels of the Past

A hallmark of corrupt governments is the pitting of citizens against each other based on an arbitrary status or class. In philosophical terms, these “accidental” characteristics or “non-essential” qualities make us unique, but their absence does not make us less human. For example, social status, economic status, racial status, religious status, and health status are all characteristics that cannot make you more or less human. However, ill-willed governments exploit these differences to create opportunities for power-grabs.

In Gulag Volume 2, Solzhenitsyn describes the struggle this division creates for the human soul. In the early years of the Soviet Union, it was difficult for the average Russian to comprehend.

“No matter how clear-cut the declarations of the class teaching, openly displayed and proclaimed everywhere . . . it was impossible to picture to oneself the annihilation of each concrete two-legged individual possessing hair, eyes, a mouth, a neck and shoulders. One could actually believe that classes were being destroyed, but the people who constituted these classes should be left, shouldn’t they?”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation Volume 2 (1973; New York: Harper Row Publishers Inc., 2007), 46.

Stéphane Courtois in the Black Book of Communism makes a similar observation:

“The Bolsheviks had decided to eliminate, by legal and physical means, any challenge or resistance, even if passive, to their absolute power. This strategy applied not only to groups with opposing political views, but also to such social groups as the nobility, the middle class, the intelligentsia, and the clergy, as well as professional groups such as military officers and the police.”

Stéphane Courtois, Black Book of Communism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), 8.

In the recent months, we have seen our academics, military leaders, police, medical professionals, clergy, and everyday employees targeted for refusing to comply with the state. Speech codes around pronouns and sexuality are being used to indirectly target those citizens who dissent. The more one reads on communism, the more terrifying our news cycle becomes.

These days, it is difficult to write on these subjects. There is a thin line between the hyperbolic conspirators and the apathetic down-players. This polarization only affirms that we are following in the steps of the most criminal states in the world. How far we get down that road is not something any one person can predict, but if leaders, friends, and families continue in their silence there are truths we can still hold on to.

This world and its evil are intense and scar the soul. But we must not forget that Christ’s scars remained, yet were used to restore the hope of his disciples. If we follow in Christ’s footsteps, we too will receive scars. But God’s redemptive power uses evil for good and takes the scars of his disciples to restore the hope of the weaker brothers. For those who have been abandoned for their stands, we must remember that Christ desires for us to imitate him. What better way to mold us into his image than to have those closest to us misunderstand or abandon us?  

It is undeniable that we are facing some serious challenges within our Western countries and churches. The degree and intensity that we experience it is largely up to the collective strength of our Christian conscience. We Christians must recognize our identity is in Christ, not our political party. This doesn’t mean one cannot argue vigorously and be politically active for their convictions. But we must remember it is not the power of man that will win this moment back for the freedom of everyone and the glory of God. Freedom does not necessarily produce virtue. It is the power of Christ in us; it is that despite our weakness, He is strong; despite our failures, even in death, God can take the intentions of a Christian and redeem them for good.

The greatest threat to authoritarianism is godly people willing to defend the rights of their enemies. We would not even know the taste of freedom had it not been for men and women who risked their lives to establish it but never experienced it. As we feel the squeeze of the authoritarian boot on our necks in America and other western countries, we must recognize that freedom is expensive. It can cost us our job, our careers, our medical and legal licenses, our homes, our friends, our families, and if God wills, our lives. We have been living on an inheritance that is running out. It is now our turn to seek God, mobilize, and pay the price freedom demands for our friends, our families, and our enemies.

Keep thinking.

Resource used for this post:

Black Book of Communism —  Jean-Louis Panné (Author), Andrzej Paczkowski (Author), Karel Bartosek (Author), Jean-Louis Margolin (Author), Nicolas Werth (Author), Stéphane Courtois  (Author), Mark Kramer 

Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law – J. Budziszewski

The Gulag Archipelago, Volume 2 : An Experiment in Literary Investigation, 1918-1956Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian DissidentsRod Dreher



Daniel Roberts

I am an application developer by day and a philosopher by night. I received my MA Philosophy from Southern Evangelical Seminary and I continue to pursue, in the words of A. G. Sertillanges, “The Intellectual Life”. My primary areas of study include, specifically: Natural Law, Natural Theology, Ethics, and the Problem of Evil. Follow me on Twitter: @SolomonsCorner, Facebook: @RealSolomonsCorner.


  1. Excellent! I have recently spoken with a Christian family member who said that we are going to be under persecution and there’s nothing we can do to stop it, so we should just learn how to bear up, Christ-like, under it. It may come to that point, but we’re not there yet. Thank you for the encouragement to stand up for the rights of for our neighbors who do not have our Christian beliefs.

      • Ok my friend Daniel, show me your debate chops! Honest question here…

        Explain why you called an untested shot against a 98 percent (average across age groups) survival rate virus made with aborted baby cells by men who are public eugenicists, who lie about the virus origins, their financial gains from the experimental vaccine, suppress information about effective treatments and the immune system, censor whistle-blowers who reveal adverse reactions to shot, inflated covid and covid death numbers, deliberate wrong treatment of covid patients leading to their deaths, financial incentives to call non covid cases covid cases, the World Economic Forums in- advance plans to manage a “hypothetical ” covid virus outbreak by making sure governments and media worldwide give the same talking points…etc …

        a ” minor” issue of conscience.

        Either this is all a big lie meant to control and divide us, or it isn’t. To me it seems like a HUGE issue of conscience.

        I feel strongly that Christians are responsible for discerning and promulgating the truth, especially in this age of deception. Its not loving to be silent about the lies and dangers swirling around this issue.

        Are you implying that Christians who take the shot do so because they
        dont have access to the controversy surrounding it?

        I have MUCH sympathy with a parent who gets the jab despite misgivings because he/she is afraid of how they might feed their family.

        But in my mind, that’s different than claiming the shot is innocent or even necessary, despite the obvious problems . By so doing, one becomes an advocate by default.

        Thanks for a great blog and the opportunity to learn.

        • Daniel Roberts

          I think you and I are on the same page. You’re correct that a clarification is helpful. I’ve summarized your post into 2 questions:
          1. What constitutes a ‘minor’ issue of conscience?
          2. Why do I think Christians are getting the shot? ‘

          1: What constitutes a ‘minor’ issue of conscience?
          A ‘minor’ issue of conscience in this context is an issue that produces an action that, while immoral, does not necessitate the breaking of fellowship. Compare this to Christians who follow unjust laws. They indicate that they may not have their fellow citizens or their church’s best interest in mind. The latter issue, may warrant us to set some boundaries or maybe even completely break fellowship depending on the law in question (e.g. laws that persecute an ethnic group or political group); this does not mean that we do this out of hate, but out of prudence and to protect those closest to us (i.e. wife, children, church etc). For example, I think that citizens, Christian or non-Christian, who are vaccinated or unvaccinated, can find unity and fellowship over disobeying an unjust law , but who Christians find themselves at a church where the passport is now a requirement to access worship will not be able to maintain their fellowship in the same building.

          Now, there is a context in which your objection does stand. Mainly, if a Christian has the same knowledge of all the things listed above and believes them to be true, their conscience will not be ‘minor’ in this context. It will be major because to violate their conscience will produce one of two things, (a) perverted conscience in which their conscience actually motivates them to do evil (Isaiah 5:20: “those who call evil good and good evil”). (b) a seared or weak conscience. They will no longer have a conscience that will bind them to act rightly and will become a “useful idiot”.

          2: Why do I think Christians are getting the shot?
          This is a complicated question and I don’t think that there is a one size fits all. When observing other Christians, we must remember that we can’t see their hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). This idea of searing the conscience can occur externally through two mechanisms: Propaganda/Censorship and Authority/Laws. The internal or personal searing of conscience occurs in the presence of knowledge and acting to the contrary; something I think is difficult to argue all Christians are doing.
          (a) Law/Authority
          Law is a teacher. Looking at the laws of a country indicate the moral status of that country. This is one of the reasons we need to win in the abortion law case, because of the pedagogical effect that Roe V. Wade had on the culture and its understanding of the value of life. A bad law is like a teacher that lies, and both will produce corrupt citizens. This is why it’s important for Christians, like you say, to promulgate the truth, especially in an age of deception. An unjust law’s effect is to sear the conscience of the masses and weaken their resolve to live in accordance with the created order. When pastors and churches refuse to engage on political matters, not to be confused with endorsing candidates, they forfeit their responsibility to foster strong consciences in the church. Finally, one of the criteria for a law is that it must be promulgated or announced so everyone is aware. An individual cannot make a conscience decision to follow a law of which he ignorant; if a law is suppressed or passed without the knowledge of the people, this too is a recipe for injustice.

          (b) Propaganda/Censorship
          Propaganda and Censorship both weaken the conscience and thus prevents a person from acting how they ought if they knew the truth. This is effective and historically has been sufficient to weaken many a conscience to the demise of many an innocent life. The suppression is only getting worse as well. The DailyWire is now coming under suppression by YouTube, and even the CDC has made comments now that would be in violation (you can check this out on the latest Michael Knowles Show). As we discussed in part 2, truth is a necessary condition of conscience and if a culture and government are actively suppressing the truth they will limit the amount of strong consciences in their society. The technology world knows this better than those suppressed. The abilities that these tech companies have in suppressing the truth is unprecedented.

          We are the minority. 70%+ of the rest of the country have received a single inoculation, and if we shun those who have been vaccinated rather than offering them the mercy that Christ offers us, we will lose needed allies in the struggle for freedom. I think the combination of suppression of truth and the apathy of pastors speaking out and educating congregants on these issues is why we can’t necessarily judge Christians as violating their conscience in the same way they would if they are complicit with an unjust mandate.

          One metaphor that I think is helpful is that of war. In a war, regardless of it being fought with guns or words, you cannot fight every front. Additionally, the means used to fight on a front may be different. One front may require art, another literature, another scripture, another science, another philosophy, and on it goes. The list you have provided of issues I consider to be many fronts and I bet that we agree on most of them, but I suspect we may disagree on the best means to solve them. That said, we Christians must recognize that in the word-wars that we fight we can’t attack every issue simultaneously. We have to be selective in our writing and in our arguments, and prayerfully select the arguments that will be most effective in the battle for truth. If we try to fight all fronts at once, we will be stretched too thin. The result will be that our arguments will be interpreted as “thin”, meaning lacking strength and/or incoherent, by our opponents and in missing an opportunity by focusing on all potentials we incur judgment on ourselves for failing to seize the moment.

          I don’t think that the vaccine is “innocent” or that there are no consequences to getting it, but to go down vaccine ethics and efficacy in this article would have distracted from the main point of how do you love someone who disagrees with the facts. My goal in this article was to focus on the fact that when a government divides us into “classes” of unvaccinated and vaccinated that we should look to how the Benda family approached those that crumbled under interrogation; communicate the truth that a vaccinated person can do better next time. Another great example of Christian love with those you disagree with is brought out by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his book The First Circle. The characters names are fictional but their experiences in Gulag were authentic. Nerzhin (Aleksandr) and his friend Ruben disagree on the communist regime. Ruben has a religious devotion to communism, and while in the Gulag (sentenced for being nice to Germans) he longly looks at the map in prison of the expansion of China’s communism. I won’t spoil the book, but when you figuratively walk with them in the Gulag and read their final encounter in the book, I challenge anyone not to cry. Thank you for your thoughtful contributions!

          • thank you for the thought and effort you put into this reply, Daniel. Good food for continued thought.

            I still have a burning question, which I will email you, first, lest I uncharitably hijack your platform. I don’t have one and my question is not being answered in any Christian discussions that I’m privy to.

            So, I build suspense for your audience to put pressure on you 🙂 to post my question here, if you see fit.

            See you in the email.

  2. James N Pohlig Reply

    Here’s what I think: propositional truth is not separated in God’s Kingdom from mutual love. Think of the holy Trinity: each person loves and honors the other, no person seeks anything for himself, and in all their actions they are united. There is never any conflict of will or purpose or lack of love among them.
    I have often reflected that in our fallen world, we have never had the experience of relating to ourselves, to each other, or even to God in a sinless manner. This is unlike Adam and Eve in their life together before the fall into sin. The fact is that we cannot imagine what that condition was like, to live and to relate to each other without sin.
    In our fallen world, we are accustomed to show love as an optional extra. And this fact shows a fatal fracturing of God’s truth among us.

    I have been accustomed to saying to myself that God’s universe is founded upon trust. It is as true to say that it is founded upon love, because God, says my Anglican prayer book, hates nothing that he has made. Perhaps it is true that in God’s mind propositional truth is not something separate from his love. That is why in his mind it is a loving thing to reveal the truth about himself, and why it is a loving thing to reveal the sometimes hard truth about ourselves in this fallen world.

    • Daniel Roberts

      Very thought provoking. It reminds me of Thomas Aquinas’ view of Divine Simplicity, that in God all his attributes are one, but it’s effects are seen bifurcated in the world. In God truth and love cannot be separated, since he is both. In the world, it is difficult in our fallen state to bring them together for our benefit and the benefit of others.

  3. This is yet another thought-provoking and prayer-inducing read, Daniel. Thank you!

  4. Thankful for your writing! Love the style and distilled thinking. I believe this will help many as it challenges and encourages me.

    I too want you to spell out why taking the vaccine is a “minor issue of conscience” given your previous writing. I believe you to be saying that, in a vacuum, one individual getting or not getting a shot does not have wide-sweeping moral implications on the larger society, where the mandate does. There isn’t a trickle-down effect, so to speak. Is that correct? Still, for many, it is a major issue of conscience.

    I would also concur with Martha, though, that for many that that day is gone, because our leaders have forfeited that place for a vaccine to be just that. Now it is mired in abuse, and misinformation, lies, power grab, and being used to go after people’s lives and livelihoods. Even doctors have refused to use their voice because so many have lost their practice or been silenced. Mandate or not, I’m guessing it’s now harder for anyone to take the vaccine on its own merits because it is now most difficult to know what those are. Family members have been left to die alone unnecessarily and others have already lost their places of work or business or place of worship. Also, the reason given for one to take the vaccine has been changed so many times. Can it still be separated out to be a “minor” issue of conscience?

    Secondly when you said “if you are to partake in that kind of struggle (extreme persecution), accept your fate and live in the now, or something like that. I would like to disagree. Living in the now with accepted fate leads to lots of potentially bad decisions that prioritize me and making the best of the time left for me. I believe Scripture teaches, that this person needs to look a little farther in the future to when God will bring ultimate, righteous, and eternal justice when redemption will be completed and all the sad things “come untrue” as Tim Keller put it. As a Christian, in preparing to die, one is best informed on how to truly live. Jesus gave up everything and lived every moment to the full because testifying to the truth mattered, and his Kingdom was not of this world, and would not be truly realized until after. (see John 18)

    • Daniel Roberts

      Thanks Ken! Really appreciate you taking the time to read and post. Many of these are answered in my response to Martha so I won’t expand too much here.
      Your first paragraph is accurate. I give more details in my response to Martha, but I think that you summarize it well, in the practical sense. In my response to Martha, I address the epistemological reasons for why the conscience, in this context, is “minor”.

      Your second paragraph gets at why strength of conscience is not the same for all peoples at all times because of the complexity that lies, corruption, or negligence cause. The effect of these actions muddles the waters for the person choosing what to do. Therefore, a doctor who has knowledge that we laymen don’t have, but chooses not to speak does have a ‘major’ issue of conscience. Primarily because his decision impacts his family and job, but his inaction also may have a systemic impact on the culture. Although, separating from this individual in Christian prudence (see response to Martha), may not be warranted. So to answer your question succinctly, I think that doctors who “know something” but refuse to speak out are an exception in this case — i.e. their matter of conscience would be major. The lockdowns and the vaccine are different and it appears that this paragraph conflates the effects of those two dilemmas. But I think that the lockdowns, for a small business, does create an issue of conscience because, again, the fact that so many businesses and churches went along and were shut down, ended up shutting down more churches and businesses.

      On your final paragraph, it appears that your interpreting this as “You.Only.Live.Once (YOLO)” or Sinatra’s “I did it my way”. Jesus says to “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” A conscience founded on truth will produce righteous acts. My statement on living in the now should be interpreted in light of Christ’s words in Matthew 6:34. C.S. Lewis elaborates on this nicely in the Screwtape letters, which was written in the context of WWII (first published in Britain 1942). Screwtape dialogs with his nephew, Wormwood, on why God wants us to focus on the now. Here are some quotes from Chapter 15 where they discuss the importance of getting Christians to focus on the future rather than the now:

      [God] would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with [God]) or with the Present — either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, [God], or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure . . . To be sure, [God] wants men to think of the Future too — just so much as is necessary for now planning the acts of justice or charity which will probably be their duty tomorrow. The duty of planning the morrow’s work is today’s duty; though its material is borrowed from the future[sic], the duty, like all duties, is in the Present.

      If, on the other hand, he is aware that horrors may be in store for him and is praying for the virtues, wherewith to meet them, and meanwhile concerning himself with the Present because there, and there alone, all duty, all grace, all knowledge, and all pleasure dwell, his state is very undesirable and should be attacked at once.
      (75-77; 78-79 emphasis in original)

      The statement here is meant to compel Christians to not make decisions based on divine apathy; the idea that Jesus is coming back so “eat, drink, and be merry”. Christians must seek to support this new generation to establish new businesses, organizations, and churches that are well equipped to meet the unique challenges our generations face, and prepare for the next generation.

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