Dear Fellow Americans,
Who are we? That’s a question we must all ask ourselves.
Over the weekend, we once again witnessed the depravity of human nature playing out on the national and international stages. It was tragic, though division and strife are sadly nothing new. Unfortunately, hate abounds.
How unbelievable is it that with all the progress we’ve made — all the iPhones and technology, all of the purported social advances — we still have so much horror, division and intolerance over our differences?
And all of this in light of the fact that the Bible makes it clear that God created us all in his image. Genesis 1:27 proclaims, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Every person matters. Every life is sacred. Yet so many people in our world devalue the living, harbor hate and mistreat one another.
Seriously, who are we?
Certainly we all want to see the best in ourselves. We all want to say that we are fine — that we’re not the problem. But if none of us are individually responsible, why are we collectively so out of sync? Why is society plagued by racism, hatred, intolerance, division, bigotry, anti-religious sentiment and the like?
In Matthew 24:9-14, Jesus tells the disciples what the world will be like leading up to his second coming:
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Regardless of what you believe about eschatology, it is hard to deny that the love of many has grown cold. And, sure, the off-times frigid nature of the human heart has always been with us, but the world today is in a uniquely troubling place.
As people fight and battle on social media about the horrors that unfolded in Charlottesville, might we each pause to consider what’s going on in our own hearts?
Culturally speaking, we are the sum of our parts — and if we are willing to look deeper, ponder harder, we might find some of the slivers of disdain that are collectively causing so much pain.
Together we can be better. But it starts with each of us looking deeper at ourselves. Perhaps some of us are harboring ever-festering disdain, hate or whispers of intolerance. Or, maybe we need to, at the least, take the time to recenter ourselves and recalibrate to focus on what really matters: the gospel.
Let’s pray, speak out for peace and turn toward Christ. He is our rock, yet too many of us are setting up camp on the unleveled sands.