Black Lives Matter! Police Lives Matter! All Lives Matter! And so goes the chanting, the memes, the blog posts, the Facebook arguments. And in the midst of it all, something fundamental is being missed. Sure, there is a great deal of emotion right now. The thin skin of civilization has been punctured and we are all aware (even if we don’t want to think about it) that things could fall apart quite easily around us. Evil men and women are tearing at the very fabric of civilization, and anarchy could descend upon us speedily. Then many lives would be lost, to be sure.
But in the midst of the emotion, and hopefully before thinking ceases and a raw fight for survival plunges us back into the dark ages, I for one would like to leave a monument to the fact that some of us tried to warn, tried to dissuade, tried to reason.
Let’s take the [Fill in the blank] Lives Matter chant. What is it supposed to mean, no matter who is using it? Two words. Lives. Matter. What is a life? And, matter—to whom, and why?
See, in the old world view, the one that had a created universe, a Creator, and man as a creature made by God and defined by God and hence given transcendent meaning (and responsibility), both words had meaning, and a grounding upon which to rest and to remain relevant from generation to generation. So the first word made sense and communicated something to others. Lives, life—gift from God, precious, to be protected and nurtured and celebrated. Life, of tremendous value, of tremendous worth, because it is invested with that meaning and worth by the infinite and unchanging God. Human life, definitionally different than animal life. Human life, defined in its expression and in its intended fulfillment and joy by its Creator. Man and woman, both made in the image of God Himself.
Matters. Has meaning beyond that merely assigned by current culture or conception. Matters because God made it to matter. Matters because God is accomplishing His purpose which includes mankind as His image bearer and object of His redeeming grace. Matters because God as lawgiver defines the weight and importance of human life. Matters to God, hence must matter to the image bearer.
Because all human lives matter, in this worldview, law and ethics and morality is to be defined and enacted on the basis of its protection and nurturing. Law is to be obeyed because it reflects God’s truth. There is a real “right” and a real “wrong” because God has spoken and man, His creature, hears and responds.
But this is the old world view, the one now reviled, indeed, hated by the elite of Western culture. The new world view, this “brave new world,” this, shall we say, AmSoc (instead of IngSoc?), has taken over in the hearts and minds of not only the elite, but is now reaching “street level,” and the result is, as should be expected, chaos. The chaos is seen in bathroom signs at the local retailer. It is seen in the destruction of the institution of marriage and the family. And now it is seen on the street as lawlessness becomes ever more present, ever more the reality of this decaying society.
How can the new world view say any “lives matter” at all? The new world view has set up as its highest good the autonomy of the creature, man. There is no Creator, there is no objective truth, there is no objective morality. Reality is as man defines it to be. Have male genitalia but think you are a woman? Fine and punish the person who does not bow to your whim. Want to marry your horse? Where have you registered for the wedding (Target, undoubtedly)? The greatest example of the great idol of HA (Human Autonomy) is to be found in the Temple of Molech, aka, the headquarters of Planned Parenthood, where the “woman’s right to choose” is the euphemism for the most cold-hearted murder of the pre-born child. No one is allowed to question Molech! This is heresy of the highest order to even consider any other view in this brave new world.
Since “lives” are just the random result of impersonal forces acting upon nature, there is no way to speak of human life as sacred, or valuable outside of the value assigned by the currently popular governmental system. Without that infinite reference point provided by the Creator, “life” becomes a mere construct, capable of changing definition, and worth, on the whim of the majority. And this is why they can’t say lives, or anything else, really “matters,” because what might matter to the randomly firing cells in my cranium today might well not matter tomorrow. Accidents of impersonal nature are just that way.
So what we are seeing is the inevitable result of the new world view—the disaster of secularism taking deeper and deeper hold as the corpse of Western civilization finally begins to decay. The old world view, or, to be more specific, the Christian world view, if it is allowed to be fully biblical and radically Christian, shines a bright light upon the problem. Secularism destroys man because it makes him a mere animal. It dehumanizes, and as a result, destroys purpose, morality, meaning, and law. It is much easier to kill another human being when you believe at the root that you are both animals fighting for the same pile of goodies. And there is no judgment day coming—once you are gone, you are gone. Space dust once again.
When Christians say the answer is “the gospel,” we need to be able to explain why. The gospel is the answer because the gospel changes hearts and minds, brings peace between men and women and God, and thereby brings peace between those who likewise bow before their Creator in repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. All very true. But the gospel is the answer because the gospel is not addressed to space dust. The fundamental power of the gospel is that it is addressed to responsible, worthwhile, image bearers of God. The gospel affirms the value of all human life, and renders the melanin content of the skin, or one’s genealogy or history or culture utterly irrelevant. There is not one gospel for Jews, another for Gentiles. Not one gospel for the Asian, another for the African, another for the Native American. No, just one gospel, and this destroys not only the secularist insistence that we are all just animals, but it destroys the power of racism and says, “No!” to those who would try to clothe racism in Christian garb.
Only a great move of the Spirit of God in our nations can stop the slide into either chaos or, more likely, totalitarian police states. Only the gospel that is biblical and whole and consistent can be the answer.