Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How Should We Respond

I was saddened this week as I listened to talk radio and read blog posts by “conservatives” responding to the announcement of Senator Ted Kennedy’s recent malignant tumor diagnosis. The venom spewed towards this man was horrible. Comments ranged from “This tumor may be the karma for leaving that dead girl” to “Hope he suffers like Mary Jo did” and everything in between. This response was not terribly different from the bile that we saw from some of these same people at the death of Yassser Arafat or Sadam Hussein. Why is this worth mentioning? It is noteworthy because it serves as a glaring indicator of how far “conservatism” in this country has fallen away from the Christian worldview that formed the foundation for conservative thought.

So how should we respond to Senator Kennedy’s illness. Should we revel quietly in the knowledge that a powerful force for antibiblical ideas in government will at a minimum be preoccupied with his illness and less effective in advancing a secular humanist agenda in our nation? Should we simply ignore his illness? Maybe we should create alter ego profiles on our favorite blog spots and write scathing posts calling out the wicked ideas advanced by Mr. Kennedy’s politics and suggesting that his cancer is God’s wrath. Maybe not.

What we should do is pray. We should pray for Mr. Kennedy, for his family, and for the doctors that will treat him in the coming weeks and months. We should pray that this difficult time in his life will be used in a way that will glorify God. We should pray for our nation, for healing of political divides and that the response of Christians to this tragedy would be used for God’s glory in this nation. We should speak out against those that revel in Senator Kennedy’s suffering. Why should we do these things? Why should I wish good upon someone who is so completely my political enemy? Because it is what we are commanded to do by God’s word.

First, and foremost, Senator Kennedy is a human being. He is an image bearer of God. His life has intrinsic value – we can not, in fact we MUST not devalue his life because we disagree with his politics. We might hear others saying (or say ourselves) But, but, but…. What about Mary Jo Kopechne! What about his support for homosexuality, is support for abortion, his, his, his…. Look at all the damage that he has done to this country through his advancement of liberalism! Christian conservativism has few enemies more powerful or influential than Senator Kennedy. So as my political enemy I surely must have the right some satisfaction at his illness. No. When we allow ourselves to go to that place, to the place where we place out political agenda above the humanity of our adversary, we have lost the high ground. So how should I relate to Mr Kennedy – my political enemy…

I should love him….

That’s right – remember – “love thine enemy…” I am pretty sure that there is not a biblical footnote that exempts us from loving our political enemies. Not only is this consistent with God’s word, it is part of God’s plan for the building of His church and for the discipling of nations. What does it say about Christians when we are seen earnestly loving our enemies. Imagine the impact of that idea on someone to whom the concept of loving one’s enemies is totally foreign. We do not know how God will use our response to this situation, but we can know how he wants us to respond.

1 comment:

Eutychus said...

Well said!!!The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Let us pray for Ted Kennedy and his family as he suffers thru these time. "The good that men do is often enterred with their bones." I know that his political group has done good things, too.
The conservatives have also dragged this Republic down. Case in point. The evangelicals (conservatives) wanting to affirm their identity, now that they have dirt on their testimonies,want to be pure again. An Evangelical Manifesto. I believe some of these people also soil the name of Christ. I believe that there are some Christian Liverals,(I have been told that this can not be)or just liberals who might be good for the Republic.
Again my friend, good point on what we should do.