Quit living as though modernity were true. Quit validating modernity’s questions. Do not ask, “How can we fix the world?” Instead, ask, “How should Christians live?” and give the outcome of history back to God.
How should we live?
- First, live as though in the coming of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God has been inaugurated into the world and the outcome of history has already been determined. (Quit worrying)
- Second, love people as the very image of God and resist the temptation to improve them.
- Third, refuse to make economics the basis of your life. Your job is not even of secondary importance.
- Fourth, quit arguing about politics as though the political realm were the answer to the world’s problems. It gives it power that is not legitimate and enables a project that is anti-God.
- Fifth, learn to love your enemies. God did not place them in the world for us to fix or eliminate. If possible, refrain from violence.
- Sixth, raise the taking of human life to a matter of prime importance and refuse to accept violence as a means to peace. Every single life is a vast and irreplaceable treasure.
- Seventh, cultivate contentment rather than pleasure. It will help you consume less and free you from slavery to your economic masters.
- Eighth, as much as possible, think small. You are not in charge of the world. Love what is local, at hand, personal, intimate, unique, and natural. It’s a preference that matters.
- Ninth, learn another language. Very few things are better at teaching you about who you are not.
Tenth, be thankful for everything, remembering that the world we live in and everything in it belongs to God.
That’s but a minor list, a few things that occur to me offhand. They are things that encourage us to live in a “non-modern” manner. It is worth noting that when Roman soldiers approached John the Baptist and asked him how they should live, he told them to be content with their wages and to do violence to no one. They were in charge of the world in their day — or so they could mistakenly think. My few bits of advice are of a piece with that beloved saint’s words.
Fr. Stephen Freeman, The Violence of Modernity - Glory to God for All Things