Costless activism

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

I have increasingly observed on social media and in the political scene a sense of activism that no longer costs us anything.

Social media is terrible for it. You can put up a post about refugees, climate change or how we should do more to love one another and all of a sudden you are an activist and it has not cost you a penny.

Our politicians are mostly the same. The idea is that you are an activist for votes. What most politicians say or do does not cost them a penny, because if it did they would not say it. Call me a pessimist but I think a lot of it is a quest to keep power or hold onto power.

The Iranian situation is a great example of costless activism. World leaders from Joe Biden to Anthony Albanese have condemned the Iranian regime for its brutal crackdown on protesters following the death of Mahsa Amini.

Leaders have talked tough and expressed support but few have gone as far as to seek to have Iran removed from the United Nations Commission on the status of Women. For as long as Iran remains on the UN Women's Commission, then the world approves the regime's treatment of women.

They can sing and dance all they like, but it's little more than words until the UN steps up and ousts them from the commission as a global show of solidarity against their treatment of women in Iran.

Costless activism saw the Australian National football team "The Socceroos" produce a video voicing concerns about Qatar's human rights record and calling for further worker reforms as well as the decriminalisation of same-sex relationship, all the while heading to Qatar to actively play in the World Cup.

It's shallow and narcissistic, and it's time we put our money where our mouth is when it comes to the things we believe. By all means speak up for the things you believe but make sure your actions support your words.

Costless activism is not the way of Christ. Jesus was active in the world to reveal the Kingdom of God wherever he went. It cost him crucifixion and separation from his heavenly father. I can only imagine the pain, the exhaustion, the weight of the world's sin, the wrath of God and then suffering a slow suffocation on the cross.

Many of the disciples paid with their lives to reveal the truth of Jesus Christ. How many of us are prepared to suffer crucifixion or martyrdom for what we believe?

Sometimes our faith is costless and this happens a fair bit in Church. We might know the word and talk about our faith on Facebook, but how many of us seek time in the presence of God over a fun time with our families?

What a great message to show your family how much your faith means to you by saying, come to church with me, I need to be in the presence of God.

Yes by all means spend time with your family, but never compromise your relationship with your creator. For our activism to be meaningful, it has to be costly - whether it's our reputation, pulling out of a World Cup or losing our friends.

If our activism costs us everything, the more credibility we give to our causes.

Ben Kruzins is the Campus Pastor of The Hub Baptist church in Ocean Shores on the North Coast of New South Wales. He is also a Journalism graduate who has written articles in The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald.