Americans and their friends are praying for Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, shot at close range by a gunman on January 8. Their prayers are no doubt behind the “remarkable recovery” she has shown so far.
Why is the American public riveted to the news about Gabrielle Gifford? Some, no doubt, are naturally compassionate. Many people who are not expressly Christian in their beliefs tend to operate from a biblical framework. They grieve when tragedy strikes their community. They empathize with hurting families. And they pull together behind an elected representative who becomes the victim of senseless violence.
A theology professor I know says that many people borrow from the Judeo-Christian worldview. The materialist humanism they profess offers no foundation for compassion, dignity, or justice, but they affirm such concepts. To watch them, one would conclude they believed in a relational-yet-transcendent Creator, a loving God who is involved in the lives of people.
No one would ever guess that many people who care about what happens to Congresswoman Giffords also profess to believe that she (like everyone else) is the result of spontaneous generation and natural selection!
There’s nothing wrong with their compassion. It’s their belief system that is twisted. Their sense of compassion and community comes from someone else’s theology.
In a forthcoming book, Darrow Miller points out that
… human beings desire community. God exists in relationship and made us for relationship. This relational or social view is connected to the first part of the Creation Commission, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth …” (Gen. 1: 28). We procreate eternal beings that walk the bounds between heaven and earth, time and eternity.
The Bible views people as creatures made in the image of God, made for relationship, created to love. Such a view leads to respect, compassion, and a sense of community.
The atheist/materialist views people as mouths to feed. The natural results of the materialist view include neglect, abuse, abortion, euthanasia. And murder.
We should thank our gracious God that the fruits of materialism don’t always ripen into a full harvest.
- Gary Brumbelow