God’s Reality in A World of Confusion
In Matthew 24:6, it says, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”
While there is scholarly and denominational disagreement about how to interpret this “apocalyptic” bible verse, one thing is agreed upon by almost everyone: This verse assures believers that, although trouble will come, God’s kingdom will eventually reign on earth.
Although every century has its own problems, the ones of the 21st century feel more acute because of the spread of cross-continental information and the 24-hour news cycle. Even if this is just the result of magnification, it does not change the difficulty of the situation or the fact that action must be taken.
If there is one thing that can be said for our current socio-political climate it is this: members of our society no longer look to shared sources of authority on news, science, religion, or politics.
We read different news websites, believe different scientific authorities, follow mutually exclusive belief systems (including atheism), and trust politically opposed leaders.
As one meta-analysis noted, studies using data tracing have found that social media users are prone to mainly see posts and content with which they agree.  In other words, people experience a social media “echo chamber” that leads them to believe more people agree with their opinions than they actually do.
This fact is more concerning when read in light of Pew Research Center’s 2019 data indicating that 55% of Americans received at least some of their news from social media. 
In yet another example, on September 15, 2021, World Net Daily and CNN, two news sites on opposite ends of the political spectrum, ran the following contradictory headlines:
“Florida vaccine advocate loses 6 unvaccinated family members to Covid-19 within 3 weeks”  and “News station gets flooded with vaccine horror stories: Startling turn after reporter sought to shame the unvaccinated.” 
Who is to say which story is more true than false? For an average person, being a moderate is no longer an option. Sides have to be picked and lines drawn in the sand, especially when it comes to the issue of the COVID-19 vaccine.
From a religious perspective, there is less religious commonality among believers, even as the number of atheistic “nones” grows in our society. 
In 2015, a professor of Greek history sought to swerve out of his academic lane by publishing a book titled Battling The Gods in which he claimed that atheism can be found in ancient Greece and is possibly as natural to humanity as religion. 
Although the faithful know from Psalm 19:1 that the truth of this religiosity is obvious (“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands”) even secular neurological research contradicts this history teacher’s conjectures about human nature, suggesting that the human mind actually is hardwired to believe in religious experiences! 
To top it all off, political polarization on matters like voting access has reached new heights as the distance between Republican and Democrat perceptions of the issues continues to increase. 
What is a Christian to make of this mess? An answer is found in the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:43-45:
““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Our only hope is to act in good faith, praying for our “enemies,” lest our nation tear itself apart. We know that our salvation is assured. However, we also have a duty to reduce the suffering experienced by our society in the course of this life.
Salvation was made for all, not just the people we currently like. If it is true that humanity is hardwired toward religion and faith, then we know that we at least share that point of commonality.
We can change our social media accounts, our news sources, our churches, our party affiliation, but we can never change the reality of God.
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 Ludovic Terren and Rosa Borge-Bravo, “Echo Chambers on Social Media: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” Review of Communication Research (March 15, 2021),https://www.rcommunicationr.org/index.php/rcr/article/view/94
 Peter Suciu, “More Americans Are Getting Their News From Social Media,” Forbes (October 11, 2019), https://www.forbes.com/sites/petersuciu/2019/10/11/more-americans-are-getting-their-news-from-social-media/?sh=20c477c43e17
 “News station gets flooded with vaccine horror stories,” World Net Daily (September 15, 2021), https://www.wnd.com/2021/09/4945913/
 Amy Simonson, “Florida vaccine advocate loses 6 unvaccinated family members to Covid-19 within 3 weeks,” CNN (September 16, 2021), https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/16/us/florida-vaccine-advocate-family-member-deaths/index.html
 “Disbelieve it or not, ancient history suggests that atheism is as natural to humans as religion,” University of Cambridge (2015), https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/disbelieve-it-or-not-ancient-history-suggests-that-atheism-is-as-natural-to-humans-as-religion
 Daniel A. Cox, “Religious diversity and change in American social networks: How our social connections shape religious beliefs and behavior,” American Survey Center (December 15, 2020), https://www.americansurveycenter.org/research/religious-diversity-and-change-in-american-social-networks/
 Brandon Ambrosino, “Do humans have a ‘religion instinct’?,” BBC (May 29, 2019), https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190529-do-humans-have-a-religion-instinct
 “Republicans and Democrats Move Further Apart in Views of Voting Access,” Pew Research Center (April 22, 2021), https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/04/22/republicans-and-democrats-move-further-apart-in-views-of-voting-access/