I woke up distressed about the news in Charlottesville as I have walked those grounds for four years as a undergraduate. I think about what it means to gather together and love people, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and teach others how to live without superiority and hate in their hearts. Is there no answer in scripture? Is there no teaching here?
I go to Philippians 2 and the instruction to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” I go to Ephesians 2 and the teaching on unity; I think about how we are all being “built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” I go to Galatians 5 and read again about the fruit of the flesh that inevitably feeds division, rage, hatred, and factions. The sin we see in Charlottesville is an ancient evil. In fact, it points to the enemy of souls and the “spiritual forces of evil” that aren’t flesh and blood. We unite in the battle against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6).
As people around me ask what to do and how to help when we see attitudes and actions rooted in superiority and hated I think of this: Everywhere we go, might we teach what it means to believe that others are better, have more to teach us, understand God in a way we haven’t experienced yet, and connect with our souls to fashion a special structure that houses God in a more complete way? Fundamentally, we belong to one another, and we have an enemy seeking always to divide. We proclaim this in our homes and neighborhoods, in our schools and in our churches. We understand firstly that the cause of what we see is spiritual. The solution, first of all, is as well. We go to God’s word, depend on Jesus’ supernatural power to heal division, and we move out into the world as agents of peace, unity, and mercy.