Christ. That’s the resolution.
Tomorrow marks the 21st anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi people of Rwanda. I work for a company called All Across Africa and we have a lot of partners in Rwanda. This has me researching the genocide for some social media posts or whatever, but as Christian I’ve had several epiphanies over the weightiness covered in Scripture. My eyes have only ever just skimmed over passages like, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Galatians 3:28 (ESV). I knew the truth of the verse and I rejoice in it: Praise God! The Jews aren’t the only ones finding favor in the sight of God… we all are and it’s a free, undeserved, gift of grace! Weeee! Thank you Lord, that in your eyes, you just see a son or daughter whom you love just the same. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Here’s the reality though: The way God sees, decrees, feels, and deals with everything is in 180 degree opposition with how the world, estranged from him, sees, decrees, feels, and deals with things. Genocide and terrorism in general are bold-faced exhibits of this truth and it blows my mind.
What’s at the root of genocide and civil unrest? Yes, issues of justice and reconciliation but why is there injustice and no reconciliation of different religions, ethnic groups, and so on? Because there IS justice and reconciliation with God. Why would a sinful world have it, when they don’t have Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Romans 12:12 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Colossians 1:21-23 says this: “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.”
I can go on forever, listing verses explaining how prior to being transferred out of darkness and into the kingdom of light, we were estranged from God and at enmity with Him. It is the Spirit of God which we receive upon placing our faith and trust in Christ and his finished work on the cross, that we are transformed and Divinely – truly supernaturally – changed. So that now what is entirely unnatural is possible to be made natural. So that now, what was unnatural is what WAS unnatural. Hostility, violence, injustice, inequality, unrest. Yes, some people who are not professing Christians still can see that it’s all jacked up! But to me that’s a testimony to the common grace God has on mankind. Though they are at enmity with God, they were designed by Him, in His likeness, and in the World He created – though it is far corrupted and far deviated from the glorious way it once was. But they have that in them still by the grace of God. Just as how we all have some degree of intrinsic knowledge of ‘right and wrong’ – though again, many have a jacked up idea of what is right and wrong. I think that’s how non-believers still oppose such violence. Because they do know right and wrong. How else would they experience the conviction that causes them to acknowledge they’re all wrong and need the one thing that is right?
Well, why don’t these terrorists and rebels and aggressors also have that cue in their brains telling them it’s wrong? I think they do. But I think some are running further from the common grace of God than others. And I think it’s up to no one to determine in whose heart the Spirit works. This is a fallen world indeed.
And it needs the transforming work of Christ, and Christ alone.