Are We Facist? Yes, We Absolutely Love Faces!
Thursday morning met us with a new addition to our church sign. Someone had given up some of their evening to spray paint “Facist” across the front.
“Facist”. Huh. Do we have a thing for faces? Yes, we absolutely love faces. We love all faces. We love the faces of those who are born and those who are still in the womb. We love faces of all sizes, even the smallest that are still developing. We love faces old and new, near and far, and of every color. They are all made in the image of God and they will live forever.
Now I have a sneaking suspicion that our off-hour painter wasn’t trying to help us state our love of faces. I am pretty sure this person was trying to spell “Fascist.” Too bad spray cans don’t come with spell checker. So are we fascist? Fascism has to do with oppression. We are absolutely against all forms of oppression. Why? For the same reason we are “Facists”; people are made in the image of God and God created these image-bearers to live in freedom. We are a church that wants to see people live in freedom, and not only to be free but to flourish to the highest degree in that freedom.
So where does freedom come from? And how do people flourish in it? There is only one foundation for freedom and that is through unalienable rights that are conferred not by any state or nation, but by the transcendent God. God gives the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If such rights come from the state, then the state can retract them. But they aren’t given by the state, they are given by God to every human being, including human beings in the womb. As image-bearing humans in the womb, whole and distinct from their mothers, they also have God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We will stand to protect the vulnerable and speak for those who have no voice.
What about the pursuit of happiness? We are just as committed to human flourishing as to the freedom that it happens best in. There is only one way that brings true and lasting human flourishing. That way is to accord with the truth of how God made us and the rest of the universe. If we are to love people rightly towards true human flourishing, we have to know what is true and then point them to that truth. As 1 Corinthians 13:6 says “love rejoices with the truth.” Additionally, 1 John 5:2 says, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.” We love people best when we are telling them and pointing them toward the truths of God’s Word and his commands.
However, we recognize that all of us have pursued happiness in wrong ways. For all have sinned and have fallen short of the truest of all happiness which is the glory of God (Romans 3:23). But God has made a way back to true and eternal happiness. He has provided forgiveness through his Son, Jesus Christ, and his death on the cross. And not only forgiveness. It is better than just getting a clean slate. We aren’t only forgiven, we are also made perfectly righteous in Christ. People can be clothed in the righteousness of Christ and enter into full and unhindered fellowship with God through Christ. How can you get this? Through faith alone. With repentant faith that turns from a sinful pursuit of happiness to trust in Christ to provide everything, God will save us to the uttermost.
We want to turn every face to the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). Yes, we are happily and gladly “Facist.”
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