I’m not a Calvinist, but the events in Charlottesville this past weekend proves at least to me that one of Calvin’s five points is correct: We are totally depraved.
Let me say this from the outset – Christians, at least true Christians following Jesus Christ as His disciples, MUST condemn any act of hate no matter the form. Those claiming that white nationalism/supremacy is Christian based have no idea what Christianity is, including those who claim to be Christians yet march in these racist parades.
I want to make this explicitly clear: As Christians, we live by 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Galatians 5:22-26; and 1 Corinthians 1:10. We are to love others, live a life of spiritual fruit and be in unity through Jesus Christ. Read through these scriptures just to remind yourself what Jesus expects of us:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
Racism, bigotry, supremacy, or anything else that makes one feel superior to another simply is evil. In fact, the Apostle Paul addresses this in Galatians 5 before he explains the spiritual fruit:
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
We saw hatred, discord, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy and even idolatry in Charlottesville this weekend. This is not of God; this is of Satan.
Understand this, one of Satan’s main tactics is to divide and conquer. The more he can separate us from the unity we have in Christ, the more successful he is in keeping us from doing the kingdom work we are called to do.
Never forget that Satan is the prince of this world and today I think he is extremely active in America. Think about it for a second, how many groups are out there fighting one another? Black Lives Matter/Blue Lives Matter; LGBTQ/Evangelicals; Environmentalist/Natural Resource Industry; Race against Race; Men against Women; Women against Men; Church against Church; America against seemingly everyone! It’s just nuts!
And Satan smiles.
My Christian brothers and sisters – divided we fall.
Scripture is clear, we must hate evil and be the light that drives out the darkness. How do we do that? Here are some suggestions:
- Pray – pray for those who don’t know Jesus and for the Holy Spirit to convict them of their evil acts.
- Act – stand up against evil. Reach out to other churches of different denominations and join hands in unity, saying in one voice, “We will not allow Satan to divide us in this community.”
- Reach Out – racists bigots and the like have been blinded by Satan. They NEED Jesus. We need to reach out to these lost and blinded sheep and share the gospel with them in truth and grace. Get out of your churches and get into the community!!
- Examine Yourself – could you be part of the problem? Do you have biases that you need Jesus to heal? (If you’re saying, no, you need to think harder – we all have biases we need Jesus to heal!). Ask Jesus to fill you with love for your fellow-man no matter their color or lifestyle. We all are made in God’s image. While I can hate evil and not approve of sin, I can have compassion for the person who has been blinded by Satan and do my best to love them as Jesus loved them without affirming their actions.
- Don’t Be Ignorant of Satan’s Schemes – It’s not us versus them. It’s us versus Satan. Do not get distracted and buy into Satan’s lie that we are to fight each other. We are to fight Satan who is a liar and murderer from the beginning.
Satan’s world is an ugly place – hate, violence, division, dissention, envy, greed, immorality, debauchery, oppression, slavery, pain, and separation from God. It’s a dark place where people cannot see the light of Christ. Instead, they fall victim to their own depravity, acting on their sin nature which controls them totally.
The only answer to this is Jesus. You can’t legislate it; you can’t fight it in the streets; you can’t make speeches and wish that it goes away. The only way to eliminate depravity is through the supernatural transformation that comes through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit when one accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. While this battle plays out on a temporal plane, it is really a spiritual battle. And it’s a spiritual battle we Christians must engage.
That means we must get out of our comfy churches and start evangelizing once again! We must share Jesus everywhere, and especially in those dark places. We have to stop being afraid of going into “bad” neighborhoods or prisons, or “seedy” places where “they” are. “They” need us because to paraphrase Paul, how will they hear the gospel if we don’t go and preach it?
We Christians are the “Priesthood of Believers” who have been commissioned by Jesus Himself to GO and make disciples. We’ve been given the authority to share the gospel and we’ve been given the Holy Spirit so we have the ability to share the gospel. The only thing missing is the will to do it.
If what happened in Charlottesville bothers you, which I hope it does, ask yourself this question: What can I do about it? For me the answer is clear: I can share Jesus with those who don’t know Him so those who are blinded can see and we can defeat Satan’s plan by uniting people in Jesus.