When Things Get Weird

Stephen Chavez

Coordinating Editor, Adventist Review

When Things Get Weird

One of the first songs we teach our kids in Sabbath School has these lines: “Red and Yellow, Black and White, all are precious in His sight.”

These words take us back to the Creation account: “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.’ . . . So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them” (Gen. 1:26, 27). These verses remind us that all humanity came from the hand of God; that the blood flowing in our veins is the same no matter our skin color, ethnic background, economic status, or education level.

Yet one of the great trends, not only in North America but around the world, is the rise of nationalism: the idea that if you weren’t born here, you don’t belong here.

One of the reasons people in Great Britain voted the leave the European Union was that they opposed the open borders that allowed immigrants from anywhere in Europe (and elsewhere) to immigrate to England. It’s one of the reasons people in the United States elected a president who routinely denigrates those who seek to immigrate here. It’s why people perpetuate the myth that immigrants come to the United States to steal our jobs and take advantage of our social programs.

We have to get back to the fundamental principles of our faith.

The rhetoric has become so strident that White supremacists may now be found attending rallies and shouting slogans that epitomize the philosophy our grandparents fought against during World War II. How weird is that?

Maybe it’s time for all of us—young and old, native-born or immigrant, conservative or liberal—to remember this simple truth: “All are precious in His sight.”

While we’re at it, we would do well to remember that other profound principle we teach our children (along with “Jesus loves me, this I know”): “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matt. 7:12).

As things get weird, we have to hang on to the fundamental principles of our faith. Just as we wouldn’t want to be sexually harassed, we have to resist those who take liberties with those who seem weak or vulnerable. Just as we wouldn’t want to be stopped and frisked for no other reason than the color of our skin, we have to speak out against that exercise, which is alleged in several large cities in our country. We have to be a voice for those who don’t have a voice, particularly those who are inexorably being deprived of affordable medical care and social services.

Things are weird and getting weirder. Although Bible prophecy indicates greater and more outrageous societal changes, that shouldn’t stop us from going back to basic Christian principles: the ones we teach our children as soon as they’re old enough to understand spiritual values.

When the disciples asked Jesus about the future, one of the signs He mentioned was this: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). While it’s easy to love those who look like us, have a similar ancestry, or share the same values, the challenge when things get weird is to remember this basic, theological reality: “Red and Yellow, Black and White, all are precious in His sight.”

Stephen Chavez is an assistant editor of Adventist Review.

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