My new book offers ideas on living in the negative world for families, institutions and mission
Really happy for you, Aaron! Funny note, one of the reasons I started reading your newsletter is I like that it was in the E-Mail format. I was recently reading Cal Newport's work and wanted to lessen my reliance on social media.
As someone who takes an interest in self-hosted work in the IT world, there's some really good resources out there. It's imperative business owners know how to build this stuff. Look up Selfhosted, a great blog and podcast that talks about this tech. E-Mail use to be easy and still should be, and there are other Infrastructure as a Service solutions out there that are not well known that may not be targets of cancelling campaigns.
Keen to see your analysis Aaron. I hope you have applied Christ’s commands for his disciples because they greatly simplify this question, resulting in bigger Christians if not bigger churches. Best regards Warren Mills.
While I seldom write anything remotely controversial on my blog, I am an out Christian on it and I sometimes write about my faith. I'm on WordPress on purpose because there I own my subscribers and my content. Moreover, my domain name is managed by a separate company entirely, rather than the one that hosts my blog, a small extra bit of security against being canceled.
Ownership is especially important the deeper we get into the Negative World. We'll likely see fewer public and high profile cancellations in the future simply because being a believing, traditional Christian will close off so many doors before they are even opened.
Ownership, Entrepreneurship and all the variations needs to be promoted more, valued highly and pursued by more Christians in America. We need to get away from the default mindset of getting an education only to then go ask somebody for a job. Christians should be at the forefront of risk taking, building, growing, hiring, planting and investing.
Aaron's new book sounds fantastic. It sounds like a hole-in-one on a 250 yard 3-par hole!
Regarding the personal side of navigating the negative world, Aaron, you might want to consider how social scores could be used against Christians. They're used in China now and could easily come here through the private sector. One can imagine organizations springing up that offer discounts and other perks to those who meet certain liberal litmus tests. Amazon, Google, and other tech companies would be quick to assist. AI could be used to crawl the web and assign the social scores to people. With enough subscribers, the system could eventually reach the point that the so-called discounted price was in reality the fair price. Some businesses might only cater to those carrying the "card" on their phones. Who knows who will be on the Supreme Court then, but a kind of expanded view of the Colorado cake baker's right to refuse providing services which require expression contrary to one's religious faith could occur if "deeply held values" were substituted for religious faith. This could get really ugly. Christians would need some kind of "off the grid" platform for providing essential services. The time to start building it is now.
When the Lord grants a situation like Maddox, that's all well and good. Nothing against that. But there is a negative world scenario more like an endless ice storm hurricane earthquake split by a locust-spewing volcano. Proverbially speaking, of course. Having run a successful small business then having spent most of my career consulting to larger ones, it concerns me when an article about Christians pursuing the Great Commission reminds me of the celebratory tones of articles in Inc., Forbes, and Fast Company.
Just bein' real here Aaron. IMHO, we have to wrestle with the possibility of a negative world that's not just Reagan's Morning-in-America decremented by 30% or even 80%, but one that looks more like the book of Acts on steroids, in both the triumph and the severe hardships sense. Unless one is super-rich, most of the world outside of Christendom prior to the 20th century has had to deal with property ownership being effectively if not outright legally impossible for certain types of people.
For Christians, that means radical reliance on God. That may produce a Maddox or a Moscow, but it may also look like 2nd Timothy 3:12 - "Indeed, ALL who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." (from which we have enjoyed a long, weakening vacation), contextualized by, e.g., Hebrews 10:34 - "For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one."
So, ownership when it's possible? Sure. Absolutely. And as you suggest, carefully check your supply chain dependencies. But as a goal? Be careful. Our treasure is not here. Our home is not here.