DLGP

Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Does It Really Matter?

Written by: on September 24, 2023

Identity

Fukuyama shares with us the problem with identifying only with those like us or in Christian vocabulary like minded. Fukuyama reminds us of the importance of sharing national beliefs, and a need to find a way to have an identity that supports our democracy instead of undermining it.[1]

Francis Fukuyama is an internationally recognized academic, specializing in political science and currently teaching at Stanford University. In The End of History and The Last Man argued that liberal democracies and free market capitalism might be the final type of human government.[2]

Three takeaways from this book:

  1. We long for dignity and people to recognize our worth.
  2. The political left has been fractured by the rise of identity politics and is giving way to nationalism.
  3. We can help lessen the divide by creating more inclusive identity groups.

Politics has begun to pivot on identity. The Left has fallen into arguments over minority rights, such as those of a tiny minority who change their sex, while the Right uses nationalism to harness anger at inequality and deprivation. A resentment of indignity could thus explain why rural English voters chose to “take back control” and reject the modern European referendum.

The shift towards identity politics threatens to fragment society by dividing people into zealous tribes. If people no longer vote according to their values, such as an attachment to liberty, but by their identities, such as their faith, then democracy ceases to function.

Love Thy Neighbor

As Christians we are commanded to love and find our true identity in Jesus Christ.  There is a difference of honoring people and having fellowship with unbelievers from 1st John. In the Gospel of John 13:35 says “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We can honor people and listen to them without getting offended, upset, and even casting a demon out of a person. We simply struggle with cultural or ethnic differences rather than people trying to be difficult or indifferent.

Conclusion

Technology and transportation are shortening the distance of indifference. We are moving to a more global community instead of individual communities. Therefore, learning and honoring other cultures is going to become a normal practice especially in generations to follow. My hope is to avoid future wars and choose diplomacy over division.

Our environments will always impact how we live our lives, and we need to be okay with that. We cannot expect people that live above the Artic circle to live and act the same as people who live in metropolitan areas. We must be okay with people being different from us. My dad and I were best friends. We loved to fish together and be together. It did not really matter which vehicle we used, it really depended on if we needed the truck to pull the boat or if we could take the Prius and be more economic.

When we hate and have intolerance for other cultures and ethnicities, we are exposing the condition of the brokenness of our own heart. When we cannot love others, we cannot fulfill the Great Command as Christians. We will always be self-focused. The world, cultures, ethnicities will continue to deteriorate. Division and war will continue over and over because of the condition of our own hearts

[1] Fukuyama, Francis. Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment. First edition. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018.

[2] Fukuyama, Francis. The End of History and the Last Man. Penguin Books, 2012.

About the Author

mm

Greg McMullen

Pastor Greg resides in Lake Stevens WA and pastors a small rural church in the Machias area . The Well Church has a large food ministry in which many different cultures come each week to gather food and counsel. The Church has a small school that is bearing good fruit. Pastor Greg has a large family of 10 children and enjoys fishing and hiking.

6 responses to “Does It Really Matter?”

  1. mm Chad McSwain says:

    Hi Greg
    Lots of great points to consider. What do you think is our Christian response to the right and left of the political divide given identity politics? I agree that a faithful person would find their identity in Jesus, yet my experience is that the people in my pews really have their identity in Donald Trump or an injustice they experienced. How do we help people see the deeper story in a fractured culture?

  2. Chad,
    This is a difficult question as our state and church have suffered greatly. At this present time, we have many republican churches, democratic churches, churches divided and pastors/churches at war with each other.

    For me personally, I could have rode the republican wave as I suffered persecution and heavy restrictions from the democratic party in our area. At one point I was encourage to run for mayor.

    However, the Lord reminded me of my calling as a pastor, I slowed down, repented, and preached the Word of God and not my opinions or feelings.

    In John 6:53-57 Jesus says eat of His flesh and drink his blood and the crowds left. This is what killed my momentum during Covid and lost a great deal of financial support, directing people back to the word of God.

    The turning point was a sermon on Mark 12:17 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s. And They marveled at Him.”

    What struck me in this sermon, that we are to honor government and leaders, but Jesus was also reminding the Jewish people that they were made in God’s image and asking them who image are they going to reflect.

    I made a decision at that time to reflect Jesus Christ and lost 60% of my financial support. However, Jesus has been faithful.

    I would encourage Christians that we were made in His image and to reflect Jesus Christ to others. I hope this helps.

    May grace and peace be multiplied to you and your ministry.

  3. Audrey Robinson says:

    Greg,
    I enjoyed reading your post and learning from your insights. The irony of your statement “We are moving more to a global community instead of individual communities” struck me. In theory and by all accounts that is true – but it appears as though we are moving into individual identity (of resentment) communities.

  4. Michael O'Neill says:

    This was a great post. You truly live out the “loving thy neighbor” commandment. You already answered my question about “Why?” in regard to the hatred for helping during our Zoom call. Money is the root of all evil. No surprise that it is the culprit behind the hate in your world. I’m praying for your continued strength, brother!

  5. mm David Beavis says:

    Good work on this post Greg. You pointed out that when people choose tribe over values, there is a crisis on our hands. What do we as pastors do to help people choose values over tribal, identity politics?

  6. Alana Hayes says:

    You truly live out the love thy neighbor! Loved reading your post!

    What did you mean by: We are moving to a more global community instead of individual communities.

    Do you think this is because of the internet as a whole? Social Media?

Leave a Reply