I am from Lebanon. I grew up during the Lebanese Civil War. Hearing of the grinding atrocities in Israel not only reminds me of my childhood, but also our impotence as humans when it comes to our flaws, our violent wars, and our murderous nature.
As we all reflect on the sad happenings in the Middle East, I ponder on one question: What does our world need in order to remove the scourge of death and suffering?
Some may say the world needs democracy. Others say good leadership or good governance, or perhaps less corruption or less extremism. Some may blame Islamism, or Zionism, or populism, or communism, or fascism, or sectarianism, or any of the other “isms,” beliefs, and ideologies, that shape us, divide us, and many times set us against each other.
None of these things provide the answer.
The answer is found in the Christian worldview: This world is corrupt. Humans are flawed. What the world needs is God. Full stop. The change we need is the saving grace of Jesus in our hearts.
Sometimes we look at the troubled areas of the world like the Middle East or Central Africa and think, if only these people had the values of the West. If only we could transform them to learn and accept the philosophy of the Western world.
My response is this: Remember what happened with Christian, Reformed Germany? The Third Reich. Remember what happened with the super evangelical US of the 19th century on the heels of the First and Second Great Awakening? A Civil War killing close to a million people. Look what is happening in super Orthodox Russia and Ukraine. Any society, regardless of its genteel inhabitants, is susceptible to being torn apart by war because the human heart is evil.
Yes, let’s preach good philosophies. But above all else, let’s preach Jesus. That’s what the world needs. The transformative message of love and compassion that changes the heart of man through repentance and belief in the atoning work of Jesus on the cross.