In the wake of what happened not long ago in Baton Rouge, what followed in Dallas, and what has taken place in our country as of late, it begs a question: What can we do to live up to our humanity in these hostile times?
Humanity speaks of collectivity, not individuality. We as a species are not designed to adopt the political structure of the animal kingdom. Humanity deals, not with hierarchy, but with equality; not with survival of the fittest, but with grace; and not with fear for the sake of protection, but love for the sake of unity.
Our media coverage, whether intentional or not, instills much fear and anger into its consumers. This produces a highly individualistic culture and an absurdly hostile environment, creating distinctions between people and forcing us to take sides -- Democrat or Republican, black or white, tolerant or traditional.
Fundamentally, fear is divisive. Fear threatens our safety, leading us to seek protection -- either in direct isolation or identification with those we feel have our best interests in mind. Once this happens, it's not a long shot to civil hostility. Whenever lines are drawn and parties established, conflict is inevitable.
Though our governmental corpus and our freedom of the press are collective attempts to promote national peace, true peace will not be found there.
It will be found only in Christ.
The issues of our time do not involve political or journalistic solutions, but Christological ones. As we approach the November elections, we have no fear or anger regarding the newly elected President, because we know that he or she is not responsible for social change or civil protection. Christ is.
"For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility" (Ephesians 2:14). If we all, collectively, would allow Christ to be himself in us, we would experience peace. His all-pervasive love would break down the fear-inducing hostility in so many of us.
Therefore, let us live up to our humanity -- being controlled by love, not by fear. Our true calling is one of collectivity, not individuality. We as a church (global and local alike) have the privilege of "being one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28), drawing the world to the peace of Christ through our love for one another.
Director of Youth and Discipleship
Riviera Baptist Church