In a major grammatical move, The Washington Post, The New York Times and a host of other mainstream media outlets are now instructing writers and editors that since deities don’t actually exist, they don’t deserve the deference of capitalization. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who purchased the Post in 2013, spearheaded the change. “America will finally drop the whole “god” thing in this century and we wanted to be ahead of the curve.” Bezos is very candid in his motives, “I take the militant advancement of liberalism under the guise of objective journalism very seriously.” “To be clear about where we stand” states Mr. Bezos emphatically, ” anything vaguely religious will now be put in quotes to display our suspicion.” In an almost arrogant tone he promises, “While “christ” and “prophet” are out, the real people who historians agree actually existed, like Jesus and Muhammad, will continue to reap the rewards of capital letters. For the time being.”
So there you have it men – the promise of the mainstream media to oppose the historic Christian tradition as expressed in the Apostles’ Creed, confessing God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I thought immediately of Ps 2. “The One enthroned in heaven laughs, the Lord scoff at them. He rebukes them in his anger, and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my king on Zion, on my holy mountain” (4-6). My advice to followers of Jesus, who face such open opposition is to memorize the Apostles’ Creed. In many church it is confessed every Sunday, as a reminder of the faith we profess. Mr. Bezos and his cohorts are only the latest to want to silence the story of salvation. But they like others before them will not succeed.
I have spent a lot of time in the prophets, especially Isaiah and Jeremiah, attempting to apply their message to our cultural context. What follows is a prophetic response from passages in The Message to Mr. Bezos based on the prophets.
God sees the presumption. “But they were a proud and arrogant bunch. They dismissed the message, saying, ‘Things aren’t that bad. We can handle anything that comes. If our buildings are knocked down, we’ll rebuild them bigger and finer. If our forests are cut down, we’ll replant them with finer trees” ( Isaiah 9:9-10)).
God sees the pride. “You were so confident and comfortable in your evil life, saying , ‘No one sees me.’ You thought you know so much, had everything figured out. What delusion! Smugly telling yourself, ‘I’m Number One. There’s nobody but me'” (Isaiah 47:10).
God sees the arrogance. “And yet you have the gall to say, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong. God doesn’t mind. He hasn’t punished me, has he?’ Don’t look now, but judgment ‘s on the way, aimed at you who say, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong'” ( Jeremiah 2:35).
God sees the Band-Aids. “Prophets and priests and everyone in between twist words and doctor truth. My people are broken – shattered – and they put on Band-Aids, saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.” But things are not ‘just fine'” (Jeremiah 6:14-15).
God sees false religion. “They’ve spread lies about God. They’ve said, ‘There’s nothing to him. Nothing bad will happen to us, neither famine nor war will come our way. The prophets are all windbags. They speak nothing but nonsense” ( Jeremiah 5:14).
But God promises to be our guide. “I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch. These are the things I’ll be doing for them – sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute” (Isaiah 42:15-16).