Think About It:
Skills, Equipment, Resources, Structures—in a word- Capabilities.
God calls us to serve him by directing our capabilities toward various goals. In the last weeks we have seen many capabilities addressed to the COVID-19 challenge. Our media channel plays a small role in such efforts. We honor those working in logistics, medicine, public health, in sharing with their neighbors, etc. Like other resources and capabilities, Anabaptist Perspectives media channels were cultivated before crisis time. Long-term faithfulness produces preparation. On the flip side, ministries like Anabaptist Perspectives only exist because of prior preparation on the part of many. What you see reflects the diligence and technical skills of staff and, most importantly, the years of living and study by our guests. What capabilities are you cultivating?
We’ve been able to highlight and promote some practical responses to the present situation through the videos linked above and through a page on our website describing opportunities to get involved.
In addition to the bonus interviews on pandemic responses, we’ve been posting extra on social media as we realize some people will be spending more time online.
The Power of Media
Our co-founder and administrator, Jaran Miller, urges us to compare current communication technology with the communication revolution that took place half a millennium ago.
Since its inception, information media has empowered social movements and cultural change. When moveable type enabled mass production of print media in Europe, the movers and shakers had ready access to the thoughts and imaginations of the public. Luther and his reforming comrades eagerly used the relatively new printing press to bring fundamental changes to the ways that the Western world thinks about church, changes that still affect us today. They used available communications technology to call for change, and many responded. The print media they used remains powerful.
The emergence of digital media and its consequences may resemble the emergence of widespread printing in its early days. While the excitement of social trends was once propagated orally and in print, we now see this happening on the internet. In recent weeks, the things that have shaped many of our lives have been communicated through the Internet. Messages encouraging us to wash our hands or announcements about our governors’ orders to close businesses and schools call for changes in the way we live, and many are responding.
Knowing the powerful influence of digital media as a mechanism in social change should cause us to reflect on how we either use it or choose to distance ourselves from it. At Anabaptist Perspectives, we believe that Jesus has already answered the problems humanity faces. Through our weekly episodes, we aim to show the world how lives of discipleship can look. We hope to amplify the call with the technology available to us, so those who listen have an opportunity to respond.
One concern we received was that some of our material mis-characterizes evangelical believers: “I am having a hard time to recognize what evangelicals he is talking about,” one person commented. Someone else left a comment on our blog post quoting Martin Luther making some of the same points the author made. We are thankful for faithfulness to Christ wherever it is found, and we don’t want to slander any person or group. At the same time, we are aware that there are teachings and practices within Christianity that undermine Christ’s teaching. We want to speak against those without putting stereotypes on faithful brothers and sisters.
On another note, we keep getting translation requests. Maybe some of you have the language skills to read one of these comments?
“¡Traduzcan al español por favor! No todos sabemos inglés..”
“Leider sind eure Beiträge alle in Englisch. Da tue ich mir etwas schwer mit.”
And here is one where we relied on Google Translate …
“mit großem Interesse und innerer Freude lese ich die Beiträge in eurem Blog. Gott segne euch bei dieser Arbeit. Die Videos kann ich leider schwer verstehen, mein Englisch reicht nicht aus. Die Texte kann ich mir ins deutsche übersetzen.” Which, according to Google, means “I read the articles in your blog with great interests and inner joy. God bless you in this work. Unfortunately I can hardly understand the videos, my English is not sufficient. I can translate the texts into German.”
If you can recommend online resources in Spanish or German, please let us know.
Prayer and Praise
- Pray for “kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2).
- Thank God for the communications tools that help us connect and communicate during social distancing regulations.
- Pray for God’s wisdom and God’s orchestration for filming more episodes when we don’t know when we will be able to travel freely.