How Then Shall We Love?

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Scarlet Lindsey | Civil Patriot

I remember, years ago, hearing about a famous book series by Francis Schaeffer titled How Then Shall We Live? It’s been on my mind a lot this week as I’ve processed the events that took place (and continue to take place) in D.C. 

Schaeffer traced Western history from Ancient Rome to the time of the writing of his book (1976), addressing three areas: philosophic, scientific, and religious. As a Christian, he believed in basing society on the Bible and on a belief in a God who was/is both personal and involved. Basically, the book was a treatise against humanism and for the concept of biblical/godly love. 

He also addressed the issue of values.  Schaeffer believed that, if our values weren’t intrinsically tied to something solid, we would run the risk of sacrificing our freedoms in exchange for an authoritarian government, which would then tell us what we should value. His chief concern centered around the very real fear that fascist regimes of the 20th century would try to manipulate and control us in subtle ways, using information control, psychology, and genetics. 

Jump ahead to January 2021. Many on the Left would argue that Trump (and all of his supporters) represent fascism. Just this week a wonderful Christian friend was falsely accused of this very thing (being a fascist). 

I still scratch my head when I hear that accusation. In fact, I would like to suggest the very opposite. From everything I’ve been able to glean as the Left has propelled itself toward a more socialistic viewpoint, they are the ones attempting to control and manipulate, not the other way around. So, I believe we are seeing signs of fascism, for sure, but from the very ones pointing the finger at us! 

Let’s start with the word “love” and how they have used it. 

I started hearing people on the Left accuse conservatives of “not being loving” a few years back. The examples they gave: 

  • If you loved the poor, you would be more generous with your tax dollars.
  • If you cared about the sick, you would gladly pay more taxes so that everyone could have free healthcare. (Everyone except you, of course. You’re middle-class, so you won’t actually benefit from the free healthcare plan; you’ll simply fund it.)  
  • If you really loved immigrants, you would let them all come in, no questions asked. (And you would pay for their food, clothing, healthcare, and college.) 
  • If you really loved people of different gender persuasions, you would change your narrow-minded beliefs and keep your mouth shut. 
  • If you really loved your children you would make their lives as easy as possible and would never expect them to be held accountable for their behaviors. 
  • If you loved babies, you would stop worrying about aborting them and pay more attention to the live ones (as if we didn’t care about the live ones!) 
  • If you really loved me, you would never share your narrow-minded beliefs publicly, but would (of course) allow me to share mine. 

These days, they’re not talking about love anymore. The tactics seem to have changed. . .a lot. I’ve witnessed this personally as I’ve watched wonderful friends lose loved ones to politics. Mind you, these friends of mine are quiet conservatives who aren’t terribly outspoken. But apparently the fact that they voted for you-know-who was enough to cause Left-leaning family members to strike out like venomous snakes. They’ve taken hard hits. . .from people who once claimed to love more than they loved. 

Which is so ironic. 

Venom from the lovers. 

So, back to the title of Schaeffer’s book: How then do we live? I’ve been asking a deeper question: How then do we love? How do we continue to show—through our actions and our policies—that conservativism is the more loving way? That teaching a man to fish is more loving than simply giving him a fish. That giving a child (or immigrant) boundaries is for his/her own safety? That freedom of ideas/thoughts/beliefs is actually something to be encouraged, not bashed? 

Is it by lashing out? Is it by engaging in arguments online or in person? Is it by demanding and insisting they bend to our way of thinking? 

Probably not. 

The only way I know to show love is to simply move forward with clean hands and pure hearts, convinced mankind will be better off. . .

  • Without socialism. 
  • Without communism. 
  • Without forced ideologies and beliefs. 
  • Without censorship. 
  • Without anger over our differences. 
  • Without demands that we believe what we’re told to believe and speak only what they tell us to speak. 

In my heart, I am convinced it is more loving: 

  • To speak truth in love than to hide truth under a bushel and pretend that it is (somehow) shifting and changing over time. 
  • To continue to stand in the face of adversity, even when falsely accused. 
  • To bravely march into the battle, arms linked with likeminded friends/companions. 
  • To think of our children and grandchildren and to ensure they never, ever live in a world where they are told what they must believe (and/or speak). 

The answer is (as Schaeffer suggested) love. 

  • But it’s a tough love. 
  • A hard love. 
  • A love that will stand the test of time. 

For that kind of love, I would truly give my life. 

 

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