“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
Social and cultural issues affect us all so deeply because (good or bad) they are close to our hearts and our history.
History has a way of repeating itself, especially when the facts and memories have been erased from the culture. Today, in our free and exceptional country, people are divided and feelings of frustration, fear, and even hate, are too widespread. Many people are upset because of certain monuments and statues of certain individuals being removed, whether legally or illegally. Others believe it is long overdue!
As a follower of Christ, I must look at the situation from His point of view.
Jesus taught us to treat one another as we would want to be treated.
Nobody deserves to feel direct or indirect discrimination. The truth is, our country certainly has a past of which we are, and ought to be, ashamed of. In our current culture, there are memorials which are meant to remind us of individuals and their contributions to a certain “cause.” However, that “cause” included the de-humanizing practice of enslaving their fellow-man and is a daily reminder of a less than honorable past in which our nation participated.
Although several generations have passed, and nobody alive today either owned or was owned as a slave, we all bear the memories of that time in history. Some of what transpired during those days enriches our culture and gives us a history worth having, but that one stain … it must never happen to anybody ever again!
We don’t guarantee ourselves a future free from slavery until we commit to a culture of no discrimination! We are entrusted to learn from the past and teach those lessons learned to the next generation, so they too will understand the severity of erasing and forgetting our past … including the mistakes.
Relegating a statue or monument to a museum is the most appropriate way to have on display the memories of our history without forcing them into someone’s face who has to drive or walk by those statues on their way to work, school or any other freedom we all enjoy. (As a Christian, I find that a flag or emblem or statue honoring the Roman Emperor Nero is completely undesirable. I am certain that a Jewish person would be utterly repulsed by a monument remembering Adolf Hitler standing in a local park.) When you start looking at life through someone else’s eyes, you can see the shadows hovering over certain parts of our culture.
Nero and Hitler should both be remembered and never forgotten, not as heroes, but as the truth describes them, as villains. Their statues, portraits, etc. should be in a museum where people can choose to explore and study and learn about their terrible lives to help insure it never happens again. In much the same way, banners, flags and statues honoring those who have participated in the owning of men should also be placed in a museum for posterity’s sake. That way, we would never forget and never allow any group of people in our free country to be intimidated, face discrimination, or ever be harmed because of the color of their skin.
Jesus taught us a long time ago to treat others the way we would want to be treated. If each of us would do so, we could end racism and the vices that are associated with that terrible sin. We wouldn’t have our cities ruined by riots and destroyed by hate.
Jesus is and always has been the only answer. We cannot honestly call ourselves a “Christian” (Christ follower) until we follow Him and His example of goodness, love, and kindness for all people.
Jesus loves you and He did something about it. Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose again from the dead to offer me and you the opportunity to become children of God and be forgiven of all our sins.
Will you put your faith in Jesus alone to be your Saviour and Lord?
Let me know if you have trusted Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour.
Leave a comment below.
God Bless! See you in church!
(Pastor Jones can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PastorTonyJones or visit an upcoming service at Faith Baptist Church … “The Church on the Hill.”)