The technology of social media has given greater voice to the masses while simultaneously insulating us from face-to-face realties. This has emboldened many to “come out” with their various identity crises with the support of and under the protection of a mob of virtual friends who will not only validate their choices but defensively rail against those who dare to question their choices and/or challenge their reasoning.
However, greater voice is a good thing only if it has ears to hear. Contrary to the biblical admonition, many are swift to speak, swift to wrath, and slow to hear (cp. James 1:19). This is not just a problem on the part of those who are “coming out” but also on the part of those who oppose them. While the worldly-wise nonsensically oppose opposition as unloving hate speech, those opposed to such worldly wisdom too often foolishly resort to worldly methods of opposition, forgetting that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Paul’s reminder is not just a condemnation of resorting to the extreme of physical violence but includes how we engage those in error with our words. While the reasoning of those who reject God and His Word can be frustrating and infuriating, our replies need to be characterized by patient, longsuffering grace as exemplified by Jesus rather than in the manner of political leftists or rightists.
One of the advantages of the greater voice given to the common man is an exposure to a multitude of perspectives. Looking at things through different lenses or walking a mile in another man’s shoes are positive metaphors suggesting that we all still have more to learn from which we can benefit. Interaction with cultures other than the one of our own nativity can greatly affect our perspective on things. One of the dangers of “American exceptionalism” is the lack of objectivity that often comes with such pride. Indeed, for the Christian, any national or ethnic culture must ultimately submit to the culture of Christ and not vice versa (cp. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
Yet, one of the disadvantages of the greater voice for so many is the confusion that results when a multitude of diverse perspectives clash. The cacophony of voices can be overwhelming to the point of two extreme reactions: we stop listening to opposing views altogether, or we become so open-minded that our brains fall out. There’s a better place between the alleged bliss of ignorance and the alleged freedom of irrationality; and it is not found in worldly media, regardless of how fair and balanced it claims to be. It is only found in Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Word that became flesh (John 1:14) and is thus the divine voice to which our ears ought to be bent and tuned. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (10:27). “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (14:6). “Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice” (18:37). “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come to him and eat with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). So let us filter the competing and confusing voices of this world through Jesus Christ and the words of His apostles and prophets. Let us find our identity in Christ alone and “come out” from the world “lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (18:4). Let us have ears to hear the greater and greatest voice, Jesus Christ.