All Lives Matter
August 28, 1963. 250,000 people march to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., eager to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver a speech. One phrase in his speech became the rallying cry of the civil rights movement: “I have a dream.” These words have echoed across America millions of times since their origin, but has that dream become reality? Racism and discrimination in America began with black slaves being treated like property instead of human beings. The Nisei people, American citizens of Japanese descent, were sent to internment camps during World War Two. Modem-day controversies like Florida vs. Zimmerman, Mike Brown and the discrimination of abortion show that these controversies are far from resolved. All of these issues and more display the errors of culture and the depravity of man. The phrase “All Lives Matter” can be applied to many things, specifically racism and discrimination. But what biblical principles can be applied to help modem-day Christians cope with the problem of racism and the discrimination of abortion? By looking into God’s word, Christians must recognize that every person, no matter the race, age, weight, height, or physical appearance, matters to God.
First, remember that every individual is made in God’s image. In Genesis 1 :26a-27 it says, “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’… God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” This passage states that when God formed man and woman, he did so in his own image. For this reason, and others, the issue of racism should not be a problem to a Christian. Coming from a biblical perspective, remember that all human beings are made in the image of God. Therefore, if a Christian discriminates against another human being for any reason, they are discriminating against the image of God. Every single person deserves to be treated in a Christ-like manner, no matter their physical appearance or limitations. Mark 12:31 says, “And the second (commandment) is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Looking at this passage of scripture in connection with “All Lives Matter,” it is easy for a Christian to understand that Jesus commands believers to love their neighbor as much as they love themselves.
Next, realize that abortion is discrimination. In its definition, discrimination means “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or gender.” There is no approach to explaining this viewpoint to someone who treats an unborn child as a fetus instead of as a human being. Many people today debate when a baby is considered a human being. However, most Christians believe that at conception, that baby is just as much a human as a five-year-old child. The Bible says in Jeremiah 1:5a, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou earnest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee … ” This passage makes it very clear that God knows and has a plan for each and every person before they were conceived in the womb. From a biblical perspective, abortion is the clear act of discrimination against unborn human beings and is totally opposed to the principles found in scripture. When looking at the phrase “All Lives Matter,” do not forget the lives of 59,139,962 babies and counting that have been aborted since the Roe v. Wade case in 1973.
Finally, recognize that there is only one race, the Human Race. Genesis 2:22 says, “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” The Bible later says in Genesis 3:20, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” These passages state that when God created the earth, he made one man and one woman, and gave them the task to populate the earth. Every “race” of people ultimately came from Adam and Eve. Consequently, a Christian today should not discriminate against any “race” of people. As Christians, strive to be colorblind to the so-called “races” of the world. Seek to love everyone just as God loves you. The parable of the Good Samaritan tells the story of a Jewish man beaten and left to die on the side of the road. A priest and a Levite had the chance to show compassion to the man and take care of his wounds, but both decided that this man was not worth their time. The next person to come along was a Samaritan man. Jews and Samaritans had a history of bad relations, but this Samaritan man, although it is not known ifhe was saved, put aside the racial issues of his day and treated this man in a Christ-like manner. When these passages are applied to “All Lives Matter,” they can serve as a blueprint that Christians can follow when trying to sort through the issues of racism and discrimination in culture today.
To sum up, the phrase “All Lives Matter” has many different meanings and it can be interpreted many different ways. Coming from a biblical worldview is critical for a Christian to sort through every issue associated with this phrase. In Matthew 22:37-39 it says, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This passage of scripture is the foundation that Christians should use to combat the issues of racism and discrimination in culture today. As Christians, strive to see every person, no matter the race, age, weight, height, or physical appearance, as an opportunity for ministry, and treat everyone in a Christ-like way.
Article submitted by:
Maranatha Baptist Academy, Watertown, WI
2nd place contest winner of 2017 BFLW Essay Contest