These are links to the two CBC pieces mentioned:
We live in times where it is easy to vilify those we disagree with. This goes for people or leaders who we disagree with. Think of how we read our newsfeed.
It is easy to think the worst of people who we disagree with. It’s easy to desire the worst; to want them to do poorly. But we’re not called to do the easy thing but the harder thing. Love for others is, in part, desiring the good for them. Even if you think they’re off base. Even if it feels as though you (or your “side”) has lost to them.
Consider this reaction to the election of a leader:
I didn’t vote for him but he’s my President, and I hope he does a good job.
—John Wayne (b. 1907) on the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960
And then consider this reaction:
I hope he fails.
—Rush Limbaugh (b. 1951) on the election of Barack Obama in 2008 (Source of quotes)
Which reaction shows most confidence, graciousness, courtesy, and maturity? Or to put it in more strictly theological terms… love? Love, after all, seeks the good of the other with no thought to pride of self. Love seeks all things. That kind of love is neither sentimental nor easy to accomplish in real time.
The harder thing is gracious and rises above pettiness. It seeks the common good and desires what is best – even for an idealogical opponent. In times like these, perhaps, we need this reminder more than ever.
“A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying.” A great moral hero of the twentieth century once said that.
This is the scene across the street from The King’s Fellowship, or least the building where we gather to worship. Each pink or blue flag (100,000 of them) represents an aborted child in Canada. The organization putting on the display was well represented in the park by a friendly, joyful handful of folks who stood ready to engage in conversation any who came by.
The presence of so many flags was an experience unto itself; somewhat like standing in front of a Rothko painting. I was struck with sadness at the number of human, unborn lives who will never get a chance to be born. And I was also filled with hope that our collective conscience can be pricked and this could change. Hope also because even if it does not change soon or even in my lifetime, there are those compassionate, courageous, and stubborn enough to not let this issue go forgotten.
Let’s pray for those least able to speak for themselves.
Let’s help to remove the burden of unwanted pregnancy.
Let’s help to foster a culture which values each and every human life.
Let’s care more about what is right, than we do about public opinion.
Let’s ask for mercy for our country.
I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?
By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.
Mother Theresa of Calcutta, 1995 National Prayer Breakfast
In the flood of the loss of humanness in our age – including the flow from abortion-on-demand to infanticide and on to euthanasia – the only thing that can stem this tide is the certainty of the absolute uniqueness and value of people. And the only thing which gives us that is the knowledge that people are made in the image of God. We have no other final protection. And the only way we know that people are made in the image of God is through the Bible and in the incarnation of Christ, which we know from the Bible.
If people are not made in the image of God, the pessimistic, realistic humanist is right: the human race is an abnormal wart on the smooth face of a silent and meaningless universe. In this setting, abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia (including the killing of mentally deranged criminals, the severely handicapped, or the elderly who are an economic burden) are completely logical… Without the Bible and without the revelation in Christ (which is only told to us in the Bible) there is nothing to stand between us and our children and the eventual acceptance of the monstrous inhumanities of the age.
Francis Schaeffer (with C Everett Koop), “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?”
As a pastor, my first obligation is to care for the people that are under my care in the local church. Everyone knows that the winds have changed and that societal views have changed in regards to marriage, sexuality, gender, and so on. There can be a lot of commentary about this but what most average Christians feel, from my observations, is something like this:
They really love their friends, co-workers, family members and neighbours. Whether they’re gay or straight, atheist or Muslim, living together before marriage or trying to adhere (like them) to a Christian sexual ethic.
They’re not especially put off by different life-styles, beliefs, or sexual orientations. They want to respect differences and have good relationships with the people they live and work with.
They may be confused about how their Christian faith relates to the shift in our culture’s understanding about sex and marriage. But they do still want to be faithful to God and what their Faith teaches them about such things.
They don’t want to judge anyone but they are concerned and are feeling pressure from the world around. Messages coming to them from the culture and the media are labelling them ‘bigot’ or ‘intolerant’. Many are concerned about what traditional/Biblical beliefs about marriage will mean for their careers and some of their relationships.
They don’t hate anyone.
But they don’t believe that same-sex marriage or homosexual activity is what God’s has in mind for his human creation.
They really love their gay friends and neighbours.
But they don’t know what is in store for the future.
They’d really prefer this wasn’t the issue that is pressing today.
This video is made by Roman Catholics but I think the sentiments would be the same for almost every Christian I personally know.