Must Read Monday: Suicide, Bigotry and Worldview ReformJune 11, 2018
Bringing Light to Darkness
My conversations this weekend often circled around to suicide. Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. My sister’s colleague’s 27-year-old son… People who had everything and life yet to live. Why is answered with unsatisfying speculation and we are left feeling vulnerable to an Enemy now openly stalking us, seeking to kill and steal and destroy. Everyone has an opinion but nothing seems to be working as suicide rates in the United States continue to rise.
In the face of it all, Christians must lean in with hope – real hope – life and future altering hope. People are disconnected from their eternal identity in Christ, they are disconnected from the God who created, redeems and loves them, they are adrift without a temporal sense of meaning and purpose that only comes from knowing where you fit in the really grand (eternal) scheme of things. Christians, this is the moment to go where others are afraid to go, into the darkness of depression, mental illness, despair, desperation, drug addiction, denial. People are literally taking life into their own hands because they do not know they are beheld and loved by God. Let us not shake closed fists of anger but let us reach out with open-handed hope. Be light in someone’s darkness today.
Conversations I’ve had on air in the past with Kay Warren, Joni Eareckson Tada and others can be helpful in equipping you for the challenges conversations about suicide today. I also found this article helpful.
Truth as Bigotry
Last week a man said things he should not have said on social media. It cost him his job. The rightness or wrongness of his termination is not what I would spend time debating. The charge we as Christians in America need to answer is this: “Is it bigotry to believe homosexuality is a sin?” The question behind the question is who has the authority to define what is and what is not sin?
The only legitimate answer for the Christian is God. And here we must remember that the first commandment not only precedes the second but is paramount over it. We cannot authentically love neighbor if in doing so we are denying God’s authority over every aspect of life. But we must also engage in the conversation in the culture in ways that honor God and all of those whom He has made. That means that we do not speak of people in ways that are demeaning even as we speak the truth about God’s design for human flourishing.
How then can we talk about God in places like Silicon Valley?
How is a worldview formed and how can it be reformed? This article about a former member of the U.S. military and former member of the KKK is a story about generational hate, misunderstanding of the other and how a willingness to walk across the room (in this case drive across the state) can actually change the course of a man, a family, and a nation. We need more of this – and then we, as Christians, need to go where this article does not yet go: we need to bring God back into the conversation.
There is going to be a lot of talk this week about two big meetings: President Trump is meeting in Singapore with the dictator of North Korea to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, an end to the Korean War, and the human rights of the North Korean people. And in Dallas, Texas, the Southern Baptists gather for what promises to be an historic convention. Let us pray for both.