Today is the 400th anniversary of The Mayflower Compact (britannica.com). Strangely, this day is passing us by almost without comment. Therefore, today seems like a good day for Christians to talk about the relevance of our nation’s Christian heritage.
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at The Status Of The Investigation Into Vote Rigging. Later in the day the Trump Legal Team also gave a briefing, Trump Campaign Legal Team Holds Press Conference in DC 11/19/20. Today we will begin a two-part study. We will look at what the fight is about, what separates Liberals and Conservatives.
What Is The Origin Our Rights?
What is it that divides our country? Consider that many Christian Conservatives pray for a revival. Why? Why would we need a revival? It is because of the nature of our divide. We are divided over moral issues. What is the origin of this division? We are divided over how we define the nature of God. We are divided over how we believe God wants us to treat each other.
How we define God has a practical consequence. How we define God determines the principles we use to define good and evil. Because we define God differently, we are divided over how we believe God wants us to treat each other.
In today’s post, part 2 of this series, we will examine how our definition of God divides us. In part 3, we will get into how our different beliefs about God affects our attitude towards government.
Who Or What Is God?
Some will say that God is not important to defining the difference between right and wrong, that all men can share the same ideas about right and wrong. Some will say that we can determine the difference between right and wrong using simple logic. Is that true? By now we should know better. We cannot ignore our divisions. Whether we like it or not we are divided by basic moral issues. As a nation, we no longer share the same beliefs about right and wrong. Why? We start with a fundamentally different beliefs about the nature of God.
- Is God the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Is there an eternal Being who created us and everything else? Is God a sentient being who loves us?
- Is God “The Force”, the ill-defined entity without intelligence or personality proposed by The Star Wars movies? Is there a God?
Unless we share some beliefs about God, why we were created, our purpose for being, how do we agree upon what is wise? How can we as a people share a common definition of wisdom? What assumptions can we begin with so that we have a common, shared basis for determining the difference between good and evil? How do we know when we have created a good law instead of a bad law?
Is love the answer? Don’t all human beings share the same beliefs about how we should love each other? No. Consider how the Apostle John described Jesus.
John 1:14 New American Standard Bible
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Apostle John, often referred to as the apostle of love, spoke of love, and he said “God is love.” Nevertheless, he also made certain we know that Jesus is full of grace and truth. To love properly, we must love in truth.
There are different types of love. When the New Testament was written, its authors wrote it in Greek. Whereas the English language has only one word for love, the Greek language has four (The Four Types of Love in Scripture and How to Experience Them Today (crosswalk.com)).
- Agape: “Agape love is the highest level of love referenced in the Bible. This form of love is everlasting and sacrificial, whether or not the giver receives the same level of love in return. In the original Greek translation of the Scriptural passage “God is love,” the word agape was specifically used to identify the type of love God embodies (1 John 4:8).”
- Storge: “Storge love is used to describe familial love. This word describes the type of deep and caring bond that develops naturally between parents and children, husbands and wives, siblings, as well as other people who you may consider to be family. This type of love can withstand many trials, is protective, and loyal.”
- Phileo: “The word phileo is expressly used in the Bible and refers to the warmth and affinity shared by close friends, almost as if those friends were actual siblings.”
- Eros: “Eros love refers to romantic or sexual love, and is the root of the English word erotic. Eros or sexual love in and of itself is not impure, but is a gift from God to married couples so that they may express their love with one another and continue the human race.”
Christians love in all four ways. Non-Christians may or may not affirm the importance of agape love. The affirmation of agape love is, however, central to Christianity.
- Christian love, agape love, requires us to try to love each other as God loves us. God loves us because there is something good in us. We cannot do anything for God, but He loves us anyway. Christians love their neighbors in obedience to God. Agape love is an act of will, not just an emotional response.
- The natural man loves another human being because the being he loves builds his ego or gives him pleasure. His or her love is about him or her, not done in obedience to God.
Observe. The natural man does not seek to love as God loves us. The natural man does not seek God’s wisdom.
How do Christians love their neighbors? Consider why we love at all.
1 John 4:19 New American Standard Bible
19 We love, because He first loved us.
Christians believe we learn how to love because God taught us how to love by loving us. He is our Father, and we imitate His example. When we love another and we don’t treat them as God would have us treat them — let Jesus act through us — then to the extent we do not do what Jesus would have us do we fail.
Will we sometimes fail to love as Jesus would have us love each other? Of course, we will. God is far wiser than we are. We are finite, limited creatures. We do not know much. Therefore, we need God’s help, and we do better when we seek and ask for our Lord’s wisdom.
What is this wisdom? How do we learn how to love as God loves us? Where do the moral principles given to us by God come from? The Bible is our best source. Much of the Bible is in fact called wisdom literature.
In addition to the Bible, we have a moral law within us. God wrote it upon our hearts. To some degree, all men follow this moral law. That is, we know when we are not treating another the way we would want to be treated, and we innately know that is wrong. Unfortunately, we complicate matters. Instead of heeding that warning, we do what we innately know is wrong. We follow our natural inclinations. We put our own welfare ahead of others, and we apply a philosophy we call Pragmatism (britannica.com). The pragmatist, especially when he is shortsighted, is perfectly happy to use the ends to justify the means.
Is it easy to be a Christian? No. It is hard to accept the simple fact God created us and the world for His glory, not our own. Because we must set aside our pride first, wisdom is difficult to obtain and support. Didn’t Adam and Eve, even though they knew God, have trouble being wise? Was it wise to eat fruit God had forbidden?
To provide some assurance that our children will grow up and behave as Christians, as parents we have to make certain we instruct our children in the Bible and its teachings. For generations, parents have not accepted that responsibility. Instead, many have turned the religious instruction of their children over to increasingly secularized schools. That is, Americans have allowed their children to be raised as Secular Humanists (gotquestions.org), and many have become Pagans and Atheists. Hence, our nation is now divided, and the worst part of this is many of our children have rejected Jesus, the only One who can save us.
What is next? In Part 3 we look at the difference between God-given and government-given rights.