When I was younger, 2020 seemed like it was going to be a thrilling, futuristic time. A time so far ahead that we could not comprehend what it would feel like to be alive in this era. Shows like Beyond 2000 and cartoons like The Jetsons set our minds ablaze with the new and exciting technology that would soon take over our lives.
I had images of flying cars on highways in the sky, robot housekeepers serving us delicious hot meals at the snap of my fingers and realistic hologram television sets which brought our favourite shows to life, right before our very eyes… I was pretty sure ‘Beam me up, Scotty…’ would have been our preferred mode of travel by now!
But here we are, in 2020, with no flying cars for us to ‘drive/fly’ to work with, or hologram TV shows… I guess I still have to dream of a robot housekeeper who can whip up a delicious meal for me in seconds or Scotty beaming me up anywhere in the world… 😭 2020… the future I was so eager to get to but has in fact dashed all my dreams of the futuristic age of the Jetsons. #DisappointedMuch
I didn’t really think about this until a few weeks ago when I read a comment on Facebook. The author simply said, ‘It’s 2020, we are not living in the dark ages anymore.’ And I thought to myself, yes, this is correct, this is the future, right here, right now. This is the future we waited for… And yet living here right now feels just as it did back then, only with a few nifty gizmos and gadgets. Ok fine, smartphones and all our technology have revolutionised our world, but it really is not as massive a transition as I had imagined as a kid. I would say, it’s kinda underwhelming…
But it was not the comment of “It’s 2020!” which got me thinking and writing this post. It was the post which the person commented to which got me typing out my thoughts about it being 2020.
So, a few weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across one of those copy and paste messages. One of those Christian inspirational messages which do its rounds on all our social media platforms. You know, the one’s our grannies and aunts send to us at 4:30am along with those floral good morning messages. This particular one was posted on a secret, women’s only Facebook group.
Totally off the topic: Talking about Facebook groups, I don’t get it when people randomly add me to a group that has absolutely no relevance to me whatsoever? Like adding me to a Johannesburg Neighbourhood Watch Group makes no sense. People, I stay in KZN. I’m gonna be of no help to a JHB neighbourhood watch. Seriously, zero help… if there is some intruder in your yard, what am I, a person sitting in KZN gonna do to help you? By the time I call our police to put me through to your police, that intruder would have locked you in the bathroom, raided your fridge and stolen everything from your freezer… please, add your neighbour to your neighbourhood watch, they will come to help you much faster… #JustSaying 😋
Sorry, I had to get that out… now, back to my story. So, there was a lady who posted this message on a Facebook women’s group. This group has well over 100K female followers with a large Christian base. Now I’m 100% certain that this lady never in a million years expected the backlash that she got, especially considering the number of Christian followers on the group, neither did she ever expect to get kicked off the group for this post. The message was definitely not the posters own words, cos I’ve seen and read it previously.
The message basically was a list of values of how women should carry themselves out. How women shouldn’t be living with their partners prior to marriage, engaging in extra-marital affairs, dressing modestly, that kinda thing. Reading the post, I knew the posters intention. Her intention was not to mock or insult women, but as an elderly Aunt, she was giving what she thought to be good advice to the younger generation. Secondly, I was surprised when the ladies on the group got upset after reading it. My goodness did the women on this group get upset.
Gosh, I did not foresee the backlash which followed… I felt a bit sorry for the lady when they eventually kicked her off the group for her backward and old school, pre-historic thinking. Personally, when I read the message, I thought to myself, good message, terrible delivery. I didn’t think the poster deserved to be removed from the group though. I really do believe the administrators were being a bit extra by removing her.
The thing that bothered me the most were the comments of “It’s 2020!” So, I get it, I understand why the ladies at first glance took offense to this message. Women are looking for their independence and freedom. Never has there been a time where women have had such freedoms and equality we enjoy today. We are living in a time where women no longer want to be dictated to on how to live their lives or to be told what to do with their bodies. So many see these values as backward and from ages which have long passed. Some may even feel these values have no place in a modern world. I get it…
This message got me thinking and it made me think that right now, in 2020, with the advancement of technology and the extensive knowledge which we have gained, are Christian values still relevant? Given the comments on this post one would say an emphatic no, it’s no longer relevant. In this modern day and age, there is no place for Christianity or it’s values. I spent quite some time trying to wrap my head around this one. The entire month of January to be precise… 😊
So, here’s the thing, we live in modern world with many contemporary ideas and opinions of how restraining organised religion can be. These ideas are growing at an incredibly rapid pace. Today, people are looking for more freedom from any faith or religion. Freedom to do what they want when they want to and without any questions or consequences. So, many people including Christians, find themselves moving away from the limitations and boundaries which organised religion may place on them, hence we see the likes of this kind of backlash from a simple inspirational social media message.
But the burning question is, does the lack of these boundaries and limitations ultimately bring any peace or joy to ones’ life? Is it worth the pain and heartache that comes with living a life free of any rules? From my life experiences I can shout out from the top of my lungs, “NO, IT IS NOT WORTH IT!” These moral values are there to protect us. Not from physical injury but to protect our hearts and souls… to ultimately protect our salvation. So, why, in the world are we running away from this?
Christianity doesn’t have to be cool and relevant. It doesn’t have to be happening and where all the cool kids go. And if we are trying to make it look like that, then we are playing an extremely dangerous game.
Remember in Jesus’ time, Jesus was never relevant. Jesus came to do, what He needed to do. Jesus did not have any desire to be the popular kid. He was not one to show off his cool miraculous abilities to gain followers. He did not complain about his lot in life, no matter how difficult the role was. He did not justify a way out of what His God given purpose was. And he certainly did not deviate from the plan for His life, simply because He wasn’t happy. He did what He was called to do.
My friends, it’s 2020, and in 2020 Christianity may come across as irrelevant, but it doesn’t have to be relevant. Christianity needs to be what it has been through-out the ages. It’s been tremendously successful through the ages because it attracts people through love, compassion, and generosity. Christianity challenges and questions peoples very existence, purpose, and destiny. It gives people a different Biblical perspective and ultimately reveals a loving Father, Spirit and Saviour who can heal, restore, and redeem with love, peace, and joy. It was not relevant all those centuries ago and it doesn’t have to be relevant in 2020.
As they say chew the meat and throw the bones. The next time you come across a message that ruffles a few of your feathers, questions, and challenges your entire moral core. If it makes you feel as if you are doing something wrong. Take a minute, consider the viewpoint, consider why you feel offended, take from it what you can and move on. If you are strong enough in your beliefs, you will not be moved by something that speaks against what you believe.
I don’t think it’s fair to attack a person simply because of what they believe in. If we are throwing people off groups simply because they express a different view from us, then we need to take a good hard look at ourselves and consider if it is 2020 we are living in or are ‘we’ the ones who are stuck in the dark ages.