This is an era of apocalyptic prophecies. We are told from many sides that the end is nigh; that things are bad, that they will get worse, that we must be poised to enter the final battle.
The problem is this: that we cannot seem to agree on what it is that we are fighting.
In America, we hear two prevailing narratives:
That our demise comes at the hands of godlessness and socialism, at the hands of sexual immorality and atheists without conscience who refuse to recognize the authority of God, at the hands of the lazy poor and parasitic immigrants who drain our coffers.
Or, we hear that our demise comes at the hands of religion and capitalism, of those who in self-righteousness would blame and fear the Other, of those who would blindly cling to what they are told are God’s edicts, of those who see profit as a moral virtue and poverty as a moral vice.
Ingenious, isn’t it, how neatly those two stances turn us against each other?
Both sides will argue that they have morality. Both sides will argue that they have love. Both sides will argue that it is the other’s LACK of love that creates all of our problems.
If both sides were acting out of love, neither one would need to argue it.
Love was the foremost message of Christ; for the sake of Love he broke Old Testament laws, choosing to spend embrace the “sinners” who were of sincere heart rather than the religious authorities who ultimately had him put to death for blasphemy.
Love was the foremost message of Karl Marx; just as Christ advocated to meet the needs of the many through individual Love, Marx advocated to meet the needs of the many through an economic system.
Both spoke against hostility, greed, and exploitation. Both warned of the grave moral perils posed by wealth; Christ said “it is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” Could this have anything to do with the modern phenomena we see, where the comparatively wealthy so frequently hoard personal wealth while scapegoating the poor?
The followers of Christ and Marx, in other words, should be on pretty much the same page.
So why aren’t they?
It is for each individual to answer the question of why love has not prevailed in their life.
Perhaps it is enough for us to remember that, no matter who your role model is or what your income level is, you have the same highest calling.