The recent tragedy in Charleston, reminds us why our world needs Christianity. The Christian faith offers a simple solution to such needless violence. It is the fifth commandment, which says, “You shall not kill.”
Our secular culture has sought to remove Christian values from the public discourse. But it is these values that help us maintain a stable society. The fifth commandment recognizes that we share a common humanity. It is God’s way of saying, “The gift of life comes from me. You do not have the right to take my gift from another person. Do not do it!” No matter how angry we might be, or what greater purpose we think it might serve, God forbids an individual from taking the life of another. How many tragedies could be averted if people followed this one commandment.
The laws of the state provide some disincentive against crimes. People who commit murder ought to understand that it is highly likely they will be caught. The punishment will be severe, either life in prison or the death penalty. But civil laws are apparently an insufficient deterrent. What do we need? Even stiffer penalties?
One answer is that we need a moral law that transcends even civil laws. If we want a moral society, there must be a greater motivation than the fear of criminal prosecution. Christianity offers one. It is life in relation to God and lived for the love of God.
Our society removes Christianity from its public consciousness at a cost. Christianity provides motivation for moral behavior. In fact many of our racial problems could be solved if people simply observed the golden rule of Jesus: “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.” This simple rule provides a pattern for human relationships that solves most problems. Why would we not want to promote such virtues?
There are many reasons people do not like Christianity. Christians should recognize however, that their voice is needed. Whether others like it or not, Christians are still the “salt of the earth!”
Robert Bohler, Jr.