Had I lived in the civil rights era in this country, would I have had the courage and understanding to stand with those who were fighting for equal treatment?
If I had lived in Germany during the 40s, would I have hidden Jews from those seeking to kill them?
Would I have criticized Abraham Lincoln when he led the process of introducing the Emancipation Proclamation?
Had I been alive at the time, would I have joined the crowd shouting ‘crucify him’ before Pontius Pilot?
Silly as it may seem, these questions scare me.
Mostly, because I know how imperfect I am. I worry that in the midst of these situations, I could have come to the wrong conclusions through arrogance and selfishness.
And when I talk about the wrong conclusion, I don't just mean the one that lost. We all know that history is written by the victors.
What happened to the Armenians in Turkey was wrong. Dropping nuclear weapons on civilian populations was wrong.
Obviously, I'll never know the answer to these questions. But it makes me look for the people groups and issues in our day that need people to stand up and courageously speak out.
Where are the issues that I need to apply the values gained from studying the scriptures and work for what is right?
There's many issues we argue over today: gun rights, universal health care, gay marriage, minimum wage, etc.
How can I be sure that I am pushing on the side 'of the angels' as the phrase goes?
I believe it comes down to a simply concept - that I must always chose the side of love.
I love this quote by Napoleon:
“Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him.”
Love is willing to give and sacrifice whereas force is willing to kill and take.
Where can I pour out my time, and energy and resources and efforts and possible my life for a cause greater than myself?
I believe this question will lead us to the places where we can work for redemptive and creative causes.