This week the blog is sponsored by Baker Books and is adapted from Michael Sherrard’s new book Why You Matter: How Your Quest for Meaning Is Meaningless without God.
We live in an ironic time. The belief that all people should be treated equally is spreading, and yet, so is hatred. People genuinely hate each other today: republicans and democrats, mask wearers and virus conspirators, Disney and those who think Gina Carano shouldn’t have been kicked off Mandalorian. Half the country likely wouldn’t be too disappointed if they woke up to a world where their political and ideological adversaries were snapped out of existence by Thanos.
But shouldn’t a nation obsessed with equality also be committed to loving their neighbor as themself? Instead, it’s like we are all charging into battle screaming “Die!” in the name of equality. Our actions are betraying what we say we believe, and I think it’s fair to question whether we really believe that all lives matter.
But should we believe that all lives matter? That’s a radical thing to ask, isn’t it? Seriously, though, what makes people equal? We aren’t obviously equal. People aren’t equally smart, funny, beautiful, good, productive, or anything else. We all don’t even have the same desire for life. Some are excited about the future, and some are contemplating ending it all tomorrow. In what way are we equal that would justify our belief in equality? Can you answer that question?
This nation has a Christian heritage. Part of that heritage is the belief that God loves us and made us in his image. This belief is a firm foundation for equality. If God exists, our lives are intrinsically valuable. We are valuable because of what we are rather than what we can do. This truth is personally liberating and socially protective. I am unimaginable valuable, and so are you. We are both made in God’s image.
What is the justification for believing that we are equals if God does not exist? This is a challenging question. Our country is becoming increasingly secular, and I think people are waking up to the reality that if God doesn’t exist, we aren’t equal; we are merely useful to each other.
There is no purpose, no inherent meaning to life in an accidental universe. Therefore, we must create meaning for ourselves. But in this kind of reality, what use is there for those standing in the way of the world we are trying to create? Why should we love and respect our enemies? Why not just get the power we need to control and cancel our adversaries? Sound familiar?
It certainly seems that things are getting worse, but hope is not lost. The world that birthed Christianity was considerably worse than ours. Enemies were hung on crosses as spectacles for all to see. Jesus turned this world upside down. Rather than conquering and crucifying his enemies, Jesus served and died for them.
Are we following the example of Jesus today? Are we acting like we believe that all are made in God’s image and are loved by him? It is time once again for the followers of Jesus Christ to love like we have been loved. It changed the world once. It can change it again.
We invite you to continue reading by purchasing Why You Matter: How Your Quest for Meaning Is Meaningless without God.