I spoke to some primary school children a while back about a popular song by Guy Sebastian called, “Get Along”. The chorus ran,
Dear God, dear soul, dear mary, Muhammad,
Can we all just get along? Can we all just get along?….
The thought in this song is that if only the religions of the world would get together and sort out their differences we would have ourselves a peaceful world.
So, I asked the kids if they knew who the characters mentioned in the song were. They didn’t. Next, I asked them if they ever fought with one another. They did.
And so, it occurs to me that perhaps the problem lies much deeper and nearer the heart. You don’t need to be Muslim, Christian or Jew to start a fight. Just be yourself.
James, a follower of Jesus put it this way,
What causes fights among you? Is it not that your passions are at war within you? You desire and don’t have so you murder. You covet and don’t obtain, so you fight and quarrel… (James 4:1)
Man is torn. He has a law written on his heart telling him to love his neighbour, but this law is at war with a jealous nature – a nature that began to dominate our lives when we turned away from the One who wrote that law.
And so, as one of Israel’s ancient kings, King David, recognised, nothing short of a new heart will overcome the war within.
Ironically, in the Gospel, the solution to this war is death – the death of our old self, along with its misplaced and selfish passions. It is a death that Jesus was willing to undertake on our behalf to bring about a new humanity and secure lasting unity on earth.
Guy Sebastian wants a multicultural Utopia, but he can’t have it. Mary and Muhammad are not just representatives of a different religion, their entire worldview is in opposition. Mary wanted a Son sent from God who would save her from her sin, Muhammad said that God has no Son and so man would have to save himself.
Multiculturalism is not just impossible, it’s a mark of a societies’ decline. For wherever it has been attempted it has not only failed – it has brought down the nation.
True unity is not the removal of all distinctions. It is the union of all parts to one body – one head. It’s the reunion and reconciliation of heaven and earth (Revelation 21:2), man and God, man and his neighbour.
This is why a man and a woman can get along in marriage. They are united, different though they are, by a common head. By a law that governs them both in the covenant of marriage. And when this is the case, man can not only get along with those around him, he can even rejoice in the variety of lovely differences. Differences that exist under the Lorship of One God.
Many good people have sacrificed themselves in the cause of peace and unity but the peace and unity remain elusive. And so, we are left with a choice. We can go on sacrificing ourselves for the cause, or we can accept the sacrifice that God has already provided.