If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3 NASB)
Two things collided in my living room this morning as I was trying to pursue God’s Word and got distracted by a wall posting on Facebook. Following my path of reading one Psalm each morning, I came to chapter 11, verse 3: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Not paying attention, I let the mouse pointer wander off the edge of my electronic Bible and before I knew it I was falling face first into the Manhattan Declaration.
My intentions had been to finish the Psalm and then move to Corinthians to consider Paul’s advice on showing love and avoiding divisiveness while living in an immoral culture. Instead, I read a carefully worded and well considered declaration of how we might do this very thing in our own culture today.
The Manhattan Declaration is a Christian manifesto on the sanctity of life, the dignity of marriage, and religious liberty. Energized by the phrase, “no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence” I signed document.
I didn’t just sign the declaration, more importantly I read it carefully. I was reminded to, “have compassion for those so disposed [toward immoral conduct]; we respect them as human beings possessing profound, inherent, and equal dignity; and we pay tribute to the men and women who strive, often with little assistance, to resist the temptation to yield to desires that they, no less than we, regard as wayward.”
It is one thing to quietly show loving kindness and respect for all people in our daily activities, but what happens if society becomes so corrupt that our love of God and our perspective on human dignity is misconstrued to the point that it is said to be the opposite of love and kindness? I often feel like the world tries to tear us apart and pit us against each other and against God. We get accused of attitudes that just aren’t true. We get called names and then begin to treat each other as if what the enemy said was really true. Grrr!
Radical love and tenderness together with radical strength and determination is my answer. How can we who are called by God’s name do otherwise? Even if it results in ridicule or prosecution I will love boldy, care deeply and always choose to believe that my brothers and sisters in Christ are with me and not against me. Seeing my name together with nearly half a million others is a good reminder. Likewise, making a public statement in an age where my my name and my words might be noted for future reciprocity make it very real.
I felt solidarity with those from ages past who taught that, “just laws elevate and ennoble human beings because they are rooted in the moral law whose ultimate source is God Himself. Unjust laws degrade human beings.” (Words from Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail)
Tomorrow I will get back on the path with the Apostle Paul to follow his advice on how to demonstrate love to the people of this world and to live in unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ.