Jesus asked His followers:
“Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15)
If you were to ask someone that same question, what would their response be? Would they describe your physical attributes, such as being short or tall, or having brown hair or blonde hair? Would they describe your character, such as being kind or rude, stubborn or easy-going, joyful or cynical? Or would you be described by your political perspective, whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal?
The Identity Agenda
Today we are inundated with an “identity agenda” that defines us by our political beliefs, sexual orientation, education, job, or even favorite sports team. This viewpoint affects both the culture and its politics. So how should we as Christians respond to the identity mentality that now dominates our culture?
The answer begins with “I am.”
Isn’t it interesting that today whenever we describe ourselves, we almost always begin with “I am” and then continue with whatever narrative? Significantly, when Moses asked God how to answer the Israelites’ question of who sent him—what was the authority and motivation behind his actions—the Lord answered him, “I Am” (Exodus 3:14).
As humans created in the image of God, our identity flows out of His identity, not out of our race, gender, political affiliation, or any other such superficial characteristic. Without God, our identity and how we describe ourselves will always be incomplete and insufficient.
When God is our identity
As people turn away from God as the foundation of their identity, any level of disagreement is now perceived as a personal attack. Politics was never intended to be personal because it was never intended for us to identify more with a political party than with our Creator. Gender was never meant to be a defining question because we were never meant to identify more with our sexual orientation than with a loving, sovereign Father.
The identity agenda feeds the lie that the government needs to think and act on behalf of some particular group. It feeds the lie that you can empower women while demeaning the unique roles that only women can play, such as wife and mother. It feeds the lie that only certain lives matter. It feeds the lie of tolerance, while holding that traditional moral and ideological differences are intolerable and must be silenced.
Imagine if everyone, starting with Christians, valued others regardless of their beliefs, lifestyles, jobs, or favorite sports teams.
Imagine if we removed the labels and name-calling from conversations.
Imagine if lies were combatted with truth.
Imagine a country where the majority of people rested in and identified with their Creator and His Kingdom rather than with politics and worldly entities.
Imagine the good that could come out of such a place!
Let us therefore:
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around our waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.” (Ephesians 6:14)