Us against Them
Well, today is International Women’s Day. If you do a web search you will find zillions of articles celebrating or commemorating the day. Articles by evangelical Christians? Not so many. In fact, it takes quite an effort to find any comments at all and most of those I eventually found were not so happy about the whole thing.
I spent a half hour or so reading some of the top articles on the day and find that, for about 90% of what is said, there is no reason whatsoever that evangelicals shouldn’t be saying a loud amen. Who can argue with being against sex slavery? Violence against women? Female genital mutilation? Poor health conditions for women? Bad economic opportunities for women? So why aren’t we evangelicals out there in the forefront of this day?
The answer is simple, the day gets lost in the “us against them” struggle. The rationale goes something like this: (a) Feminists celebrate this day, (b) We are against feminists, (c) Therefore we are against this day. We can’t let ourselves be “for” anything that people we are “against” are for. Huh?
I’m actually getting a little tired of keeping track of things I need to be against. I am supposed to be against secularism, materialism, socialism, same sex marriage, and a host of other things. The list of things I need to be against sometimes seems a little dubious. I received an e-mail this week telling me that, as a Christian, I need to be against an assault rifle ban. If you want to be against that, fine, but I how that an evangelical issue?
Sadly, there are a lot of “thems” out there who seem just as willing as evangelicals to play the “us against them” game. It almost seems that we start to look like two little children on the playground; nobody wants to stop because “he started it.” But I actually think that we have the better reason to give up the game.
No matter what we are against there is one thing we can agree that we are for – spreading the word of God’s saving grace to the lost. I have never heard of a single person who has been nagged, argued or badgered into accepting Christ as savior. Isn’t it possible that our attitude of “against” actually obscures the love of Jesus? If we play “us against them” doesn’t it sound as if we are more concerned about showing how pious we are than winning the lost?
Another problem of the us against them game is that once we start how do we stop? Don’t we have to be vocally against those who overload their dinner plate? (Proverbs 23:2) Those who get divorced for the wrong reason? (Matthew 19:9) and the guy who turns and looks at the teenage girl in the mall? (Matthew 18:9).
When Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball it was said that he was the right man at the right time. He was the right man not because he was strong enough to fight back but because he was strong enough NOT to fight back. He silently endured horrible treatment and abuse and, in the end, became a revered as baseball icon. In this he reminds me of someone else – Jesus.
Maybe we shouldn’t fight back either. Maybe we should put aside us against them. Maybe we can even celebrate International Women’s Day. I agree that if our nation followed Biblical principles we’d be better off. But maybe the first principle to follow needs to be to seek and save those who are lost.