As we enter a new era of leadership in America we are also seeing a time of racial, moral, and religious prejudice. Racial tension is running high. Morality has become based upon personal choice rather than absolute truth. Religious persuasions have too often succumbed to political correctness. A new word was recently coined: “post-truth.”
Behind all of the prejudice and bias has become an attitude of hatred toward anyone who is-different. What has happened? Martin Luther King Jr. described it years ago. “Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.” Sadly, this is a fitting picture of the American culture. If we had only heeded Dr. King’s worthy wisdom we might not be where we are today.
First and foremost we are all Americans. President Trump in his inaugural address said, “When you open your heart to patriotism there is no room for prejudice.” Our nation would do well to remember and apply his words.
Above all and beyond all that has been said should be love. The question is how does love prevail? I John 4:8 includes three powerful words, “…God is love.” The real reason for all of the prejudice against race, morality, and religious beliefs is expressed in the complete verse, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” This is not a love based upon feeling or tolerance. It is an unconditional love demonstrated by God’s son, Jesus Christ. He came to die for all of humanity to show us that “all souls matter” (which I read on a church reader board). We as people, and as Americans, are to pass that same unconditional love to one another. That does not mean that we are all to be in agreement or share the same lifestyle, or yield to the expectations of other moralities or religions. This means that our differences do not have to be the cause of prejudice. It means that we can love each other in spite of our differences. Romans 3:23 reminds us, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However, Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Prejudice and hatred can stop when people come to the realization that all are created equal with the constitutional rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” All people also have equality in terms of receiving the love of God into their lives “because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit indwells a person when he or she receives God’s gift of grace. Along with love will also come forgiveness. The problem is that too many people have chosen not to accept it. As a result there is a continued hatred and prejudice “like an unchecked cancer.”
The answer is found in Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Then “how good and pleasant” it can be when people “dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
How can you in a specific way, without compromising your moral or religious convictions, love someone of a different persuasion? What steps can you take to promote unity by showing the love of God?