If one were to start at the beginning of recorded history and list the instances where injustices have been committed upon humanity by those in power, the list would be extremely long and difficult to comprehend. Not only would the list be extremely long but it would also have a tendency to be genuinely depressing because of the manifold evidence of what man is capable of inflicting on humans who are under their authority and control.
And we have continued injustices to this very day, be it the child sex slave trade, the drug traffickers, the treatment of our aboriginals and the current situation in Syria, just to name a few. And if you are a student of Christian history, there are numerous historical references to injustices that have been committed to humanity in the name of Christianity, by those who held power within the established Christian authority at that particular time in history. Historical atrocities and injustices committed in the past by self-declared Christians aren’t difficult to find, be they during the Reformation or during the American civil war or racial prejudice, which continues to this very day.
It is important to realize that there have always been those within the Christian Church that have voiced their opposition to injustice and many have fought against it, with substantial numbers giving their lives in the battle. But the way of the world, the need to retain power, greed and prejudices have deep roots.
The ability to comprehend what Jesus taught about accepting others and putting others above ourselves can so easily be swept aside when the perception is held that “they” are wrong and “we” are right. The short story is that there are limits and there always have been limits, even within Christianity. This is actually what history teaches us and it is what the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ teaches us.
The command Jesus gave us to love others as we love ourselves hits a brick wall when a critical truth within Christianity is questioned or attacked. When we as the Church are perceived as wrong and they are right, the solution seems relatively easy, if they have the power to impose their perception over our’s, which is what we are currently seeing today within our society. Produce laws and enforce them which agree with the perceived right by society. Conversely, if those who are perceived as being wrong (the Church) don’t have the power to enforce our perception over their’s, there is going to be opposition, especially if those who are perceived as wrong are convinced that they are actually the one’s who are right.
The reasons why our society and even Christians have problems in this area of discerning what is right and what is wrong is that our society can and does at times come in conflict with established truths within Christianity that are violated or thrown aside. Society’s worldview and our Christian worldview are not one and the same. To make things more difficult, people within “the Church” can also be at opposing ends of the particular controversy or issue.
My wife and I were talking yesterday and she mentioned that there doesn’t seem to be any sense of normal morality anymore, what is right and what is wrong. Our society is quickly embracing the “anything goes” mentality. And she is correct, what we viewed as normal 50 years ago is no longer the “norm”. Issues that we are facing now where there is opposition between the Christian Church and society, such as the acceptance of homosexuality, the whole transgender scene, the right to abortion on demand, just to name a few, are definitely indicators that there has been a shift in our society’s worldview. Some within our society would say that this shift is long overdue. Considering the worldview they hold, this is to be expected. And conversely, there are those within the Christian Church who say we need to go back to the way it used to be.
Spoiler Alert! UNLESS OUR SOCIETY CHANGES. THIS ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN.
Here are a three scripture verses I’d like you to consider:
John 17:14-15 NIV “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”
John 13:35 NIV “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Mark 16:15 NIV “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Believers in Jesus Christ are simply in the world—physically present—but not of it, not part of its values. As believers, we should be set apart from the world. This is the meaning of being holy and living a holy, righteous life—to be set apart. We are not to engage in the sinful activities the world promotes, nor are we to retain the insipid, corrupt mind that the world creates. Rather, we are to conform ourselves, and our minds, to that of Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1-2). This is a daily activity and commitment.
We must also understand that being in the world, but not of it, is necessary if we are to be a light to those who are in spiritual darkness. We are to live in such a way that those outside the faith see our good deeds and our manner and know that there is something “different” about us. Christians who make every effort to live, think and act like those who do not know Christ do Him a great disservice. Even the heathen knows that “by their fruits you shall know them,” and as Christians, we should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit within us.
I chose these three scripture verses for a specific reason:
- Note first that Jesus gave us God the Father’s word. We have His Word.
- Note that Jesus told us to love one another. We are His disciples.
- Note Jesus told us to preach the Gospel. We have our mandate.
Our primary mission is to study His word, love one another and preach the Gospel. What happens if the Christian Church earnestly does this, society changes. Is it going to happen tomorrow, highly unlikely. Do we need to individually and collectively rethink our approach to “preaching the Gospel”? Considering the current state of our society, I would have a tendency to think so. We don’t belong to a Christian social club, we are not told to blend in with our society, we have a mission and the Christian Church, the body of Christ is falling short, way short. We need a revival or reawakening with our hearts, we need a revival or reawakening within our Church, the body of Christ, we need a revival or reawakening within our nation.
I fear that it is we who have committed the injustice, it is we who have let go of the torch we have been given to carry, it is we who have fallen short.
1 Peter 3:15 NIV “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!