The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And…behold, they were very dry…Then he said to me, “Son of Man, these bones are the whole house of Israel’” (Ezekiel 37:1-2, 11a; English Standard Version, here and following).
In “Faucet Theology” (July 28, 2022), we spoke of God’s silence today throughout the churches of the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Of course, when God is not speaking his life-giving words to us, we get the situation revealed by God through Ezekiel: our reduction to dry bones.
We might not appear that desiccated. If we were to confuse internet representations of our vitality with reality, we would suffer from the illusion that we were bursting with energy. In “Morris Berman on the Decline of Western Civilization” (April 27, 2016), we noted that Morris found even the spiritual death of Western Civilization to be masked by the enthusiasm of the corporate media. In fact, he found this wild enthusiasm over nothing to be the spiritual death he spoke of. Of course, the desiccation of the Church and the spiritual death of the civilization based upon it are inseparable.
One sure sign that we as Church are nothing but dry bones: our panting for the latest news but our scorn for the Good News of Jesus Christ. We much prefer to watch TV, surf the internet, and talk about what we see, hear, and read there than study the Bible and share what we hear Jesus telling us through it. We even make the content of the Olympian media, which we may by now refer to as the Anti-bible, the content of what we share with our fellow Christians before, during, and after Sunday worship.
Another sure sign of lifelessness: our firm conviction that Vulcan, false god of technology will bring us back to life. To live, Jesus would have us read the Bible, discern with others what he is saying through it to us today, then live his revealed words of truth as radiant yet challenging nonconformists to a destructive status quo. Vulcan assures us we need not bother. He satisfies us with the easier yet deceptive appearance of life by enabling us to confuse watching Sunday worship on a computer screen with being gathered by God into a community of faith, networking through social media with being built up by God as a community of love, and sharing the latest news with being sent out by God as a community of hope proclaiming Christ’s life-giving word of truth.
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