Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

 

Unbeknownst to me, I would say to my parents “am I my brother’s keeper” to indicate - I do not know where my siblings are or what they were doing. But as I reflect upon the world today, I cannot help but wonder if many of us have the same mentality? Are we so preoccupied that we are unconcern about what our brothers and sisters are going through? While I am unable to answer for everyone for fear of making a hasty generalization fallacy, I must admit that we have certainly become individualistic rather than community oriented. If you look at the world today, you see that we use our gifts and talents to make money. Now there isn't anything wrong with this, but it becomes concerning when we do it for ourselves with no concern for our brothers and sisters.  There is much to do in our world today, while you are reading this article, there is someone addicted to drugs, someone contemplating suicide, some family forced to flee their home, like in Syria and sadly many at danger because of Covid-19.  Are you your brother’s keeper?

The Enlightened keeper

 Let's take a step back in time, a time when mankind broke free intellectually, the “Age of Reason” (also known as the Enlightenment) a time when man began to move away from the “Kingdom of God” and formulated the “Kingdom of Man.” There was no longer a need to turn to God for answers to life’s meaning. Mankind became the autonomous rational thinker.  In layman’s terms, an autonomous individual is someone “understood to be one's own person, to live one's life according to reasons and motives that are taken as one's own and not the product of manipulative or distorting external forces.”[1]  And just what are these manipulative or distorting forces? Well, for starters – the Bible.  “Thanks to” the Enlightenment period man was seen as “inherently good” and the idea of original sin was oppressive. Matthew Barrett, author of God's Word Alone states:

  • “The enlightenment individual believed [that mankind] could have access to pure human reason which would allow him access to tear down traditional ecclesiastical myths that only served to oppress societies of ages past. The Enlightenment man confidently declared to the world that he had come of age intellectually, and it was now time to liberate himself from the assumptions he had previously inherited from mother Christendom.”[2]

 Am I saying that the ability to reason is bad? Absolutely not! What I am saying is reason without God and His Word is detrimental and it is the world we see today.  “Where Enlightenment thinkers departed from Christianity was in thinking that this quest for objective, universal truth and knowledge of the world can be done, and should be done, apart from God’s Word.”[3]  God tells us to come reason with him[4], that’s the key, but the autonomous individual has no room for God; we are to reason with God, not without Him. We are to become more kingdom minded and community oriented. 

The Postmodern keeper

 With such an emphasis on mankind’s ability to know things, one can clearly see why the Bible took a back seat and God, well according to Nietzsche, He was dead.  Fast forward into the 19th and 20th century into the Postmodern Turn where all that exists are opinions, differing views and perspectives. In fact, there is no such thing as an objective truth for example, murder is wrong, or rape is wrong. This places the Bible – God’s Word as just another text with differing views. To make matters worse, postmodernism basically states that the meaning of a text is dependent entirely on the perspective of the reader. It is no longer what God intended or what the author intended to say but rather what do you the reader interpret it to be. So, there is no surprise when we see Christians misquoting scripture and using it to support their own radical views and it should be no surprise why we have become so individualistic and forgotten about the Kingdom of God.

 With such a radical turn it is not surprising that this view has crept into the church.  Those that continued to serve and believe in God came to him as the autonomous rational thinker. This individual employed God in the business of serving mankind and to supply his individual needs - God give me a spouse, house, children, car, money, fame so that I can be successful and happy in life.  What do you think would happen to mankind with this view of God? Mankind has made God to serve him and not the other way around.  No longer is “God’s plan to establish His kingdom on earth and to bless the people of the world as they respond individually to faith…[for] as God works out his plan, personal fulfillment for individual Christians is a byproduct of fulfilling our role within God’s people, the church....This is why the emphasis on the Bible, and especially in the New Testament, is not on individuals rights or fulfillment, but on the unity of God's people.”[5] In other words, we are to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (and your heavenly Father already knows you need them all - Matt 6:32) will be added unto you.[6]  All these things are secondary, it comes after you seek His Kingdom first.

A Challenger to keepers

Therefore, I challenge you today – be your brother’s keeper. Do you know someone living alone? Call and check-in with them. Not because Covid-19 affects the older people more mean the young does not need to stay home, let’s think of our brothers and sisters and do our part. What about the social injustice that is taking place in the world today, black men being imprisoned wrongly, young girls and boys being offered in sex trade, businessmen making billions off opioids while our loved ones are dying from it. My prayer is that many of you will arise and take up the mantle in the Kingdom of God.

Where are the Harriet Tubmans, the Bryan Stevensons, the William Tyndales of the world? Where are the Pauls, the Jeremiahs, the King Davids and the Queen Esthers? Where are You? Are you hiding? Are you scared? Well it is time to arise and be your brother’s keeper! Let us show the world why Christians are the light of this world.

 

Copyright © 2020 Power of Worship Radio, All rights reserved.


[2] Matthew Barrett, God’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture, (Zondervan, MI, 2016) Kindle version.

[3] Matthew Barrett, God’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture, (Zondervan, MI, 2016) Kindle version.

[4] Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be read like crimson, they shall be as wool.

[5] Walt Russell, Playing with Fire, (NavPress, CO, 2000), 29.

[6] Matthew 6:33 ESV.


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