The Biblical Foundation
Although revolutionary times share common attributes, each instance is driven by its own set of issues. As was discussed in the previous post this potential revolution is driven by the segregation of our population into waring identity groups.
Given this situation, what are the most relevant Bible verses upon which to base the Christian Church’s response? My initial thought is a verse that may seem to cut in the opposite direction, given that it calls Christians to identify completely with Christ.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NIV)
We cannot credibly respond to the world as Christians if we in practice reject Christ. Much of this blog’s content has been dealing with just that issue within context of the PCUSA’s leadership. One of my key points has been that our leadership has so completely conformed to Progressive ideology that all credibility as a Christian voice has been lost.
I am not saying that Christians should segregate themselves from the world or presume some sort of automatic moral authority. Rather, my point is that unless we demonstrate that we are addressing events from a sincere, consistent and distinctive Christian perspective we will be written off as just another interest group.
With this said, there are two Scriptural passages that I believe most directly and effectively address the foundations of identity politics. The first is Romans 3:9-20 (NIV).
What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
This passages reminds us that we all share in the fallenness of sin, be we Conservative, Progressive, Independent, Libertarian, Liberal, Moderate or anything else. We all are tainted morally, and we all are capable of corruption, hypocrisy, deceit, greed and lust. This is not to say that therefore all political positions are equally moral from a Christian perspective. It does say that to presume one group of humans to be inherently morally superior to another violates a central truth of Christianity. That being our universal fallenness and universal need for a Savior. Were our society to hear this message consistently and compellingly from the Christian Church some of the divisiveness at free play might just be attenuated.
While the Romans passage stresses our human unity under sin, the following verse from Galatians proclaims our common identity in Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 NIV)
When the Apostle Paul wrote these words (under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration) in the first century A.D. within the Roman Empire they covered the three most divisive identity issues of that time and place. Thus, this was a radical and controversial position. Were the Christian Church to put this teaching into today’s context it would go far toward closing the rift that currently exists between identity groups.