Abandon the Culture Wars, In the Name of Jesus

What is your life worth
to you?
to someone else?
The value of one human rises and falls
through the ages
depending on the market
for flesh
and soul.
In ancient times, life was cheap.
One marauding tribe slaughtered another.
Captive women and children were sold as slaves.
Disposable, interchangeable, discounted when damaged.
Every day, some people died;
others were born.
A renewable resource. Life was easy to create and simple to end.
Easy to measure – in gold coin, in ability to labor, to provide pleasure, to use as fodder in the frontline of war.
In those days, death was a familiar companion like the village idiot or the local healer.
Death was a personal, home-grown affair handled by the survivors as a matter of course;
mourning – a brief affair or a lifelong estate depending on your perspective.
There was nothing antiseptic about death then.
Both ends of life were cottage industries with screaming, bleeding, wailing, and tears coming from the back bedroom while stew bubbled on the stove and children finished their evening chores. The dead were moved at night time to the kitchen table and someone else moved into their bed before the spot was cold.
Jesus changed the value of human life.
Before He died, lives only ended in death –
by His victory over death, each life has the opportunity to be eternal – to stretch beyond the visible to the land beyond the veil.
This knowledge ushered in an age marked by people who valued and cared for others like they would care for immortal beings, including the weakest of the world.

Christians instituted the first hospitals. Monks and convents took in unwanted children. Missionaries educated girls as well as boys.

In the name of Jesus, every life mattered. Every life had rights. Every sparrow was seen and known by God and so was every beating heart.

Hospitals, convents, monasteries, schools, orphanages, laws, courts over kings, freedom even for the loser in the battle, justice even for those not in power.

The kingdom of God rushed in to preserve and protect life leaving evil gasping to keep up.

But evil has made great gains in the present age.
55,000,000 beating hearts ended by the mothers who refused to allow them to survive the womb – often pressured by fathers who felt no connection to the unseen heart, no responsibility for the result of their pleasure.
Women, children, gentle men trafficked in the sex trade even in small town America. Exploitation on unprecedented levels available with a click of a mouse or the flick of a credit card. Wide-eyed girls ordered up like used books from Amazon.
Young men and old men so desensitized to the value of human life they gun down children, even five-year-olds only bit players in their personal pageant of narcissistic sadism.
Human life used to make a point or hijacked as accessories to madness, as vessels for misdirected rage.
Murder is now an intimate affair – children killing parents in their beds, mothers drowning children in their bathtubs, husbands burying the bodies of their wives in undisclosed locations.
Not only do we devalue the lives of strangers, now we devalue the heart that beats beside us in bed, inside us as new life, or bending over to tuck us in at night.
Are you like me – struggling for answers, seeking solutions that might stop the next slaughter or at least reduce the body count?
It’s hard to blame people for seeking to control the weapons or the systems or the media coverage in order to establish a foothold for sanity as the planet spins out of control. But somehow I know intuitively this is not the answer anymore than tying a child to a stake is the way to keep him from running away.
I believe, that just as Jesus was the answer when He came – He is still the answer now.
I believe it’s time for a new Christian revolution.
I believe that Christians everywhere must make every effort to value life and to infuse this value into every corner of society over which we have influence.
We must imagine that in every human exchange, we are interacting with someone created in the image of Christ who may very well exist for all eternity.
C.S. Lewis said it best: “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
So I say this: Lay down your arms in the culture wars. Stop trying to influence culture. Culture has an end date.
Instead, BE the likeness of Christ you are called to be.
 Respect and value all other humans as potential immortals, as beings of such value God gave His very Son for them.
There’s a battle on but it’s not a battle for nations or cultures, or civilizations. It’s a battle for souls.
Let’s stop falling for the diversion and take our weapons to the actual field of battle.
It’s not Newsweek you’re trying to reach with the gospel, it’s the guy in the next cubicle, it’s the girl on the bus, it’s your mother, it’s your son.
Stop worrying about controlling their access to guns and give them, instead, access to the Holy Spirit living within you.
Value their lives by laying down yours – your politics, your agendas, your need to be right.
Value their lives by letting them see Jesus in yours. Silence the media and listen to the Holy Spirit, instead.
You are immortal. Conduct yourself accordingly.


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11 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Ginny Jaques says:

    Wow! Amen and amen.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am now determined not to argue the gun control issue. It’s really pointless, isn’t it? You’ve given me a new perspective on how to spend my time, my energy, my words. Thank you. MOMMA

  3. Wow. God bless you!

  4. Beautiful! Yesterday I was reading about the altar in the Temple was “soaked in holiness: so that everyone who touched it became holy. I pray the same thing for us today–that we will be so soaked in the Holy Spirit that people will change just by knowing us. Not because we are anything special–but because God wants to use us to change the world.

  5. Pam Manners says:

    Wow, Lori. As soon as I finished reading this, a snippet of Scripture popped into my head: ‘a voice of one, crying in the wilderness…’ You are that voice today. Thank you, Lori, for this much needed ‘call to arms’for me. For everyone. And, thank you for your amazing insight and for your words which will, hopefully, turn heads back and cause feet to move in the direction we need to be facing and walking.

    I’m sharing this.

  6. Have to disagree with you here, friend. The gun control, political coverage is one thing, but we are in a bigger battle with the culture war involving morals and truth. Yes, the church needs to BE who they are, but we also need to stand up, even battle for that. And maybe it means kicking over a few tables.

    • I guess I just think our problems aren’t something that can be legislated or boycotted away. Sure, people should voice their opinions when there’s a clear Biblical position to be had but we need to be aggressively moving forward with actions that value life and that are a creative force – not scrapping like we’re cornered in an alley with our backs up against the wall.

  7. Linda says:

    I have come to agree with your position as I’ve matured (both in age and in spirit!). Trying to convince an atheist or a pagan that Jesus is the only Way will probably fail, but as I have learned to love these people, I hope they sense the Spirit of Christ in me and will seek Him.