This last week my heart felt very heavy. I felt glum, lethargic. My physical posture was that of slumped shoulders, downcast eyes, with a splash of tedium. So as I read through my growing stack of books, listened to an eclectic collection of songs on Spotify, watched dystopian movies like Interstellar, or took my daily walk around the lake with my wimpy corgi who cries each time a big dog approaches, my mind could not stop trying to sort out the “why” behind our current state of affairs.
It seems the topic up for discussion this week is prejudice. Not prejudice based on race but prejudice toward people who don’t have the same worldview. I was surprisingly encouraged when I looked up the definition of “prejudice” in the 1828 Noah Webster dictionary (now isn’t that a very Christian homeschooling thing for me to do?):
(n) Prejudgment; An opinion or decision of mind, formed without due examination of the facts of arguments which are necessary to a just and impartial determination.
(v) To prepossess with unexamined opinions, or opinions formed without due knowledge of the facts and circumstances attending the question.
In reading Pride and Prejudice this week, I came across Elizabeth Bennett exclaiming:
“I remember hearing you once say, Mr. Darcy, that you hardly ever forgave, that your resentment once created was unappeasable. You are very cautious, I suppose, as to its being created.”
“I am,” said he, with a firm voice.
“And never allow yourself to be blinded by prejudice?”
“I hope not.”
So according to this definition, Mr. Darcy responded appropriately toward Mr. Wickham. Mr. Darcy was not acting out of prejudice in this relationship. As the story unfolds, Mr. Wickham did prove to be quite reprehensible. Mr. Darcy had not made a hasty decision about Mr. Wickham and was not acting out of prejudice toward him.
In the same way, I would like to evaluate my own thoughts and motives to determine if I’m prejudiced. I’ve had to grapple with differing worldviews in my little protected bubble where I felt I would be safe from opposing views. We homeschool after all – with other Christian families. How can we read the same Bible, pray to the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, believe in the same Jesus who was crucified, died, and was buried, to end up on different sides of how humans are to live their lives?
It seems friends and ministers of the Gospel have drifted to differing beliefs about God and are empathetic toward the groups of people who are demonstrating, even toward those mobs who violently play tug of war with long-held values of our country. Those who are vehemently opposed to prejudice seem to be acting out of prejudice toward anyone not chanting their unique mantra.
As a follower of Christ and also a citizen of the United States, my loyalties are being sifted. My values and conscience lead me to vote for the Republican Party, but my hope is not in the system. I would prefer that the nation could unite behind values of the sanctity of life, marriage between a man and woman, the sanctity of gender, the importance of work, our being the Bride of Christ. But it seems all this is old and needs to be replaced with the new order.
Because I believe in the inerrant word of God — that salvation is found by confession and turning away from sin, that God is coming to sort the goats from the sheep and I believe that my life is not my own but belongs to Him — I can state confidently that, No, I am not prejudiced in the way I view people’s life choices. Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will receive their eternal reward.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Romans 6:12-18)
Father, open our eyes to see the reality that is affecting the physical world. I’m choosing to stand on the monument of God’s Word and He gives me great peace. I trust in you Jesus, the Prince of Peace and Savior of the World.