We have brought our series on Justice and Unity from a Biblical Perspective to a close, but I want to encourage us to continue to think, pray, talk with others and consider how to live these things out in our lives. However, as you continue to engage, I want to caution us to make sure we continue to do so from a Biblical perspective. It has been encouraging to see so many in our country speaking about the call to “Love our neighbor”, but we have to understand that the definition of love in a secular worldview (meaning a worldview that does not include God) is completely different from the definition of given in the Biblical worldview. I think it is very easy right now to forget there is a difference and to get swept up in what our culture is saying. But a failure to realize the distinction between our worldviews will not only leave us unprepared for when the crowds turn against us (and they will and have already), but also could tempt us to compromise our very faith in God Himself.
Here is how Jesus defined love,
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mar 12:30-31 ESV)
This is what the secular worldview misses; before Jesus tells us to love our neighbor, he first tells us that we must love God. This means that our love for others must be governed by our love for God, since love for God is what precedes love for neighbor. Jesus is clear on what it means to love God “If you love me, you will keep my commandments (Joh 14:15 ESV) This is why we will fundamentally disagree with the secular worldview about what love means. Love for a Christians means seeking to love others given God’s standards, but love in the secular worldview means seeking to love others by self-defined standards. Or in other words, love for the Christian means wanting what God wants for people, but love for the secularist means wanting what people want for themselves.
Right now, since what God wants for people of color is to be treated with justice, there is congruence on that issue between the Biblical worldview and the secular worldview. So we can both say, and should say, love means affirming that “Black Lives Matter”. However, this congruence is not there for every social issue. There are many ways that God’s word contradicts what some individuals want for themselves. For example, if an individual wants to have an abortion, the secular worldview would say that loving that person means affirming their decision. Yet, the Biblical worldview would say that loving that person means affirming what God wants for them, which is for them to recognize that God has given their child life (Psalm 139:13) and therefore, they have no right to end that life. This should be expressed with kindness, empathy, a willingness to help support that child if needed, but also a firm resolve to not capitulate on what God’s word clearly says about life starting at conception. Yet, when we take such a stance, the crowds that fight with us to end racism fight against us about children in the womb.
So my caution for us is that we need to be aware of the distinction of worldviews, so that we do not get swept up in just joining the crowd. Our motives must always be governed by God’s word. Sometimes this will get us praise, but more often the Bible speaks about how this will bring persecution. Today, we are being praised. Are we ready for tomorrow and the persecution that could come?
Grace and peace,