Arbiters

By: Gabriela Yareliz

As someone who interacts with Christians from all political leanings online through my website, I have observed how subtly and yet blatantly we have turned from Scripture on many issues and sort of made ourselves our own little gods. We often gravitate toward whatever makes us feel righteous, good, included and unlike whoever we have othered or judged in our minds.

I have been reading through Good Kills: God, Good, and The Sword by David Engelhardt. A refreshing but heavy-ish book after I finished my mystery novel by some “cutting edge” New Yorker that was not a “masterpiece” unlike what the cover said. (I promise you, the writer himself couldn’t explain the ending to his own book, it was so bad). But back to Good Kills, which is much better– my most recent passage was about morality and how we see current issues. It reminded me of a conversation I had with someone who works in ministry. She had told me that abortion was not wrong as it only affects the woman, not the unborn child or anyone else involved. I was bewildered not by her position regarding abortion, but more by the reasoning behind it, which was so clearly unbiblical. It made me wonder when we (me included) became arbiters of what is right or wrong or what is oppressive and what is oppressed or when we as a church and its leadership discarded God’s ideas about life concepts and created our own.

It made me think that we are in the messes we find ourselves in because if there is anything the pandemic has taught us it’s that many spit on the privilege/advantage of others and want to make them pay for it, but when given even an ounce or a possibility at reserving power, privilege or control for themselves, they don’t hesitate to take it. We haven’t just lied to each other about why we find ourselves so broken and shattered as a society. Worse, we have lied to ourselves.

We often think that it is a society without God that we must guard against. What we have failed to realize is that many of us, as revealed in the way that we see (and treat) others, have made ourselves god instead, and that, perhaps, is even scarier.

The only solution is to walk toward something set outside of us. Something that challenges and humbles us. Something that reminds us that we are not the deciders of standards and morality, but that it was set long before we came along in our arrogance.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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