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In the new, emerging “call-out culture,” those with whom you disagree, or those who somehow make you uncomfortable, are ipso facto labeled dangerous and must be silenced or otherwise banished. Call-out culture, and its cousin, “cancel culture,” are a new scourge on the Body Politic.

In the call-out culture people regularly and publicly proclaim their bona-fides, i.e., “virtue-signaling,” within a given ideologically righteous group by attacking (calling out) others within, by definition, an ideologically unrighteous, therefore dangerous, group.

Call-out culture suddenly is the way to behave on social media. Have offense, will travel, will call-out. And it seems everyone is offended by everything. While there may indeed be wrong, even needlessly offensive behavior to which one should respond, there are ways to do it that does not turn into social toxicity. But this is not call-out culture.  

Call-out culture is not about tolerance, though this concept is constantly referenced, but intolerance, particularly toward any idea and person defined as unacceptable or unworthy in this new pop worldview. Call-out culture intolerance, especially when it morphs to cancel culture, can be wielded in authoritarian if not totalitarian fashion. Freedom is not the first priority. Removing all offense to anyone and everyone’s feelings is the absolute goal, which requires silencing “insensitive” ideas—Who gets to decide what idea is offensive?— and even getting offenders removed from, among other places, faculty positions and speakers’ daises. 

This self-righteous idea is one reason young people are now suffering record mental issues and are fearful, anxious, and unhappy. They’ve been taught to be offended, to believe their personal well-being hinges upon what others might say or do. They’ve been sold a bill of goods by misguided ideological pied pipers.

These social developments now have a grip on academia, politics, and Hollywood and in their worst forms amount to a direct threat to Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, America’s fundamental distinctives. It’s not paranoia to say this is scary. It’s not exaggeration or overstatement to say these ideas and associated actions undermine and put at risk America as a free society.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Americans express angst about perceived slights, biases, denial of rights, to the point some citizens now consider their own country and its ideals corrupt and unworthy. 

I’m not suggesting these social problems are not real, but I’m grateful that in the US a free society in which to debate, a gift from those who sacrificed, actually exists. 

In several countries in the Middle East (and other regions) millions are far worse off: freedom of speech and religion are suppressed, churches burned, women, minorities have no rights, and the vulnerable are persecuted, tortured, killed.

Perspective matters.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution 

statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

This 2:59 min video was filmed at Petra, the historic archaeological site in southern Jordan, in April 2019. My colleague Ray Heinen was videographer. We walked about 10 miles this day. Incredible red sandstone cliff dwellings of huge historic significance.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020

*This article may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers at www.rexmrogers.com/. Follow at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.

My service in the past 40+ years has taken me into many churches--and I grew up the son of a church pianist/organist who is still playing for our home church. Some churches position their music as strictly "contemporary," which may be OK but denies the fellowship the opportunity for edification and enjoyment drawn from the rich, diverse, and beautiful music developed throughout the history of the Christian Church. In fact, this can perpetuate a certain ignorance among young believers re the musical heritage of the Church. On the other hand, some churches position their music as strictly non-contemporary or "traditional," whatever that might mean, which may be OK as far as it goes but can signal lack of dynamism in the worship experience and fails to tap the incredible wealth of developing music in the Church universal.

 

I say all this to express appreciation for First Baptist Church of Middleville's music worship approach, which seems to me to embrace "newer" and "older" music, presents music with lyrical depth expressing sound theology, and attempts to identify music that the fellowship can learn and actually sing. Recent music worship suggested all this to me.

 

I'm old enough to remember "singing from a songbook" and confess that at times I miss this. But that short-range cultural memory is less important than the quality of what I am able to engage in a service and I like the idea that I can sing a Christian song written in the past year, or I can sing one written a few centuries ago, which is to say connect with the Body of Christ that knows no or demographic boundaries. So kudos to pastors Nate Archer Nick Boonstra and worship leader Adam Bradt.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020

 

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/ or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.

 


This 7:54 min vlog was filmed my last day in Cyprus after a week of work with SAT-7 International colleagues and walking the beach.



© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020

*This video may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/ or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.

This 1:37 min video was produced atop Mt Nebo in Jordan, the place where Moses looked into the Promise Land.



© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020

*This video may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.