Over the past several years rhetoric against American history, white privilege, gender inequality, Christianity, and more has been championed by secular organizations, college professors, and politicians. The fervor has become increasingly intense. Students violently protest speeches that haven’t even been given yet. Average citizens assault politicians in public restaurants and elevators. Police officers are shot while sitting in their car, and celebrities rant on the nightly news.
While many – if not most - of these protestors harbor bitter hatred for their orthodox Christian neighbors, they are ironically proving a central theme of the biblical narrative - all while stating their own – often anti-christian - case.
When anyone advocates that it is socially and morally just to discriminate against, falsely accuse, attack, slander, or otherwise diminish one individual for the past sins of their ancestors, they are surprisingly agreeing with a biblical theme. Amazingly, many of these same people grow noticeably angry if you apply the same principles to them. Allow me to explain.
Many in today’s culture strongly disagree with the idea of universal sin. The Bible teaches in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 5:12 tells us that sin entered our world through the act of one man – namely Adam.
This is considered ridiculous and unfair by those who do not accept the Biblical position. They say that the Hebrew/Christian God is completely unfair and unjust to judge all people based solely on what Adam did. Although the theology is a little more sophisticated than that, let’s keep it simple and go with their argument.
CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS
To have integrity means that something is complete – missing nothing. To have integrity in our thoughts and arguments we must be consistent regardless of the situation. Integrity disallows the opportunity to apply different standards based on differing circumstances. The academic term for such inconsistency is “situation ethics.” It is unsustainable in the real world. To base justice on race, privilege, economics, or any other factor, imbalances the playing field and no longer satisfies the demands of legitimate justice. That is why many of our courthouses display the image of Lady Justice with a blind-fold. Peeking is not allowed!
So, we can’t have it both ways. If it is unfair and unjust to judge all people based on what Adam did, then it is unfair and unjust today to judge all white people, all men, or all members of a particular group based on what an individual associated or related to them once did. Likewise, if you say that it is fair, you must agree that God is being fair with the whole “all have sinned” thing.
RELEASED FROM THE PENALTY
Mercifully, God did not leave us in such an untenable and horrifying position. He willingly sacrificed His own Son on Calvary so that our debts and those of our ancestors were paid completely and forever. All we must do is accept and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and the transaction is complete.
In this way, God fulfills the promise of Ezekiel 18. No longer will children be judged and condemned for what their parents did but will stand on their own before God for the decisions they make and the actions they take. For those who never accept God, the punishment of all the world is upon them, for those who do, the punishment has already been accepted by Jesus Christ.