Lection Connection - Spirit Sightings

May 10, 2020: Living Stones

From Fraser Macnaughton

As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, one of the developing themes is where political ideology clashes with scientific and social orthodoxy. How do we navigate through claim and counterclaim that “my group’s” way of doing things is not only the best way, but the only way?

Governments in many countries have been keen to stress that they are “following the science” in their response. “The science,” like the virus, is not restricted by national borders, or political ideologies, or systems of government, so it would logically follow that the science should transcend all varieties of human society. But logic and common sense in a time of panic and fear are not all that common.

For example, in South Dakota, the state governor, Kristi Noem, has refused to order a lockdown to combat COVID-19, despite a serious outbreak in Sioux Falls. The Republican mayor of Sioux Falls, Paul TenHaken called on the governor to close schools and parks and to discourage public gatherings, including church services. The governor refused mainly because, thus far, there have been relatively fewer cases in this lightly populated state. Public opinion in South Dakota seems to back her stance, which is based on her statement, “I believe in our freedoms and liberties. What I’ve seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security, and they don’t have to do that.”

Professor John Schaff, a political scientist at Northern State University noted, “There is a governing ideology that says that people are free to make their own choices, and if people want to engage in some behaviours that in other parts of the country would be restricted, they’re not restricted here.”

Only time will tell whether the science or political ideology wins out.

Explore…Acts 7:55–60
Can you think of other instances where the tenets of faith clash with social norms?
To what extent do you think the Christian message is at odds with the way we live our lives, but we somehow accommodate the two?
What other aspects of contemporary culture does your faith community feel it needs to take a stand against?
Some say the worst thing that happened to the church was when Christianity became the established religion of the Roman Empire. How do you view that statement?

Jesus asked his followers to be in the world but not of the world. May we take up this daily challenge, reflect upon it, and together find ways of living out the gospel in our communities in radical ways that are in the spirit of Jesus teachings. Amen.

Read more…
“I believe in our freedoms”: the governor who resists lockdown

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