Everything locally, really.

Maybe this is an addendum to the previous post about the local church vs. the Evangelical Industrial Complex.

Or maybe it's about the idea that the tree of knowledge of good and evil has at least a metaphoric statement on how God is the only being who is to know about all that is going on, because only He can truly understand and handle it, but that in an age of the internet and travel and increasing knowledge (Daniel 12:4) we are pretending to be gods.

The internet makes us feel omniscient (all knowing). The availability of world travel and video messaging makes us feel omnipresent (all present)...except when we stop trying to be universal beings and instead look around where we live and start caring about the people and places we actually exist in.

This isn't to say we shouldn't support missionaries or Christ-focused ministries that go to all parts of the world. That's part of the Great Commission. But for some reason, we find it easier to care and feel love and concern for people on a screen from a distant place and never talk to our next door neighbor over the course of a decade. It's easier to write out a check for some good cause thousands of miles away than to help a single mom pay her rent in the town you live in. It's easier to go on a missions trip to a different country than to invite someone on your street to your church.

Let's take it all the way, then, this idea that we like to live globally instead of locally. Most Christians (at least of a certain era of which I am a part) don't get excited about any idea that smacks of a global New World Order. What the Bible describes in the last days is the main reason, I suppose, but I'm also seeing that this push to be a global citizen instead of a local citizen goes against the way God created us to be.

We can't handle global. We understand local. We live local. We exist local.

When we don't live locally, and instead choose to shop and minister beyond our locality, we dehumanize and hurt people existing around us in surprising ways.

To be global is a disconnect from what it means to love real people that have a continual intersection in your life. I can easily love children from a foreign country while on a missions trip that I don't see after the two weeks are up, but it's harder to love the wild kids that misbehave on my street or at church. Why?

Because they are in my daily life.

Global citizens are part-time citizens. They pop in and out of situations at their convenience. They can be concerned and care about things that don't have immediate impact or effect on their daily life. They can be activists about things that won't hurt their immediate bottom line or interrupt their daily comforts. They can turn off the TV, put down the smartphone, and be free from the frustration of being around and dealing with other people.

How strange that we invest attention and time and even money outside of where we live and still expect where we live to be a good place. Why would it be?

As we repeatedly see (and I learned firsthand during the pipeline protest in 2016), global citizens don't understand what's happening in a locality. It's made worse when reporters far removed from the life of the community pop in, grasp at a few facts and emotions, and throw out a partial story that doesn't illuminate, but obfuscates.

So, report locally, with local people who live and intend to keep on living in a community. Those people care; they're not just clocking up splashy articles in the hopes of getting hired by a bigger news agency elsewhere.

Live locally. Be an active part of the place you are, in the church you go to, right down to the street you live on. Don't huddle inside your house staring at a screen pretending that you are a global citizen connecting with other people because when the internet is gone and the power is off, all you are is a person surrounded by real human beings you know nothing about.

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