Why Can't We Get Along?
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"False brethren . . . came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage, to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you" (Gal. 2:4-5).
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In a society that is currently being ripped apart by partisan bickering and, in some extreme cases, physical violence, this question begs an answer. Why can't everyone just agree to disagree, and live peaceably with our differences?
There was a time when that spirit of détente held sway in our culture. Democrats and Republicans could disagree civilly, if sharply, over policy differences; believers and atheists could politely argue matters of faith and religion. But in those days, the differences were tempered by a shared foundation of integrity and fair play. People may have disagreed, but at least they embraced a common moral framework, and respected the right of others to have their own beliefs within that framework.
Today, that common moral framework has collapsed. The very concept of "right and wrong" has been rejected by a sizable segment of the population, and "truth" is whatever each individual wants it to be. The result of this system of floating ethics is a coarsening of cultural norms, where good becomes evil and evil becomes good.
Prayer is outlawed in public schools, while unborn babies are slaughtered by the millions. Sexual perversion is openly celebrated and promoted, while those who defend the Judeo-Christian model of sexual behavior are targeted for exclusion as bigots. Belief in a transcendent God is dismissed as mental illness--and those who publicly express that faith are treated accordingly. The very right of Christians to practice and proclaim their faith is slowly being whittled away.
Paul did not back down from challenging the false teachers in Galatia, because he knew the damage their theology would have on the welfare of his Galatian friends. Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal because he understood the corrosive effects that their religion would have on his nation. Jesus publicly denounced the rulers of His generation for their hypocrisy, and paid the ultimate price for His courage.
Why can't we all get along today? Because, as never before in our lifetimes, there is a militant element in our society aggressively attacking everything God stands for and promoting raw evil. God's people have no choice but to push back with love and patience. It will be a hard, difficult struggle, and there will be casualties. But the one thing we cannot do is remain silent in the face of wickedness.