Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Anti-bullying week

I've been asked to speak at a High School and was informed that it's anti-bullying week this week (they should have one of those every week!)

I was thinking of speaking on something like this:

The Christian worldview provides a real / rational foundation for believing in the value of every human being.

Bullying occurs because people view others as having less or no value and because they don't believe, or don't live in light of the fact, that they are accountable for their actions and will have to answer for what they do.

On an atheistic view of the world, these things are of course true. On atheism we are just chemicals fizzing and molecules colliding. Sometimes then in certain conditions the chemicals will fizz and produce abuse, or at certain temperatures the molecules will collide with added force.

On atheism we are just advanced animals, and animals pick on the weak all the time. If atheism is true, then just like other animals there is no law above us which we are bound to obey, and no judgment before us which we must face.

Furthermore, if atheism is true then what we do ultimately doesn't matter, and if what we do doesn't matter then we don't either.

Thankfully there are many reasons not to believe that gloomy view of reality. The Biblical message is that you are no fluke of chemistry or accident of history produced by a mindless, heartless, purposeless universe. You have been created by God in His image.

That implies at least three things:
  1. Every person is created as a representative of God - everybody, no matter their size, shape or colour, bears God's image - it isn't anything to do with what they look like - it's to do with what they are. This is why we can't treat anyone as though they don't matter. Every human being has intrinsic value - that is, they are valuable in themselves, not for anything they can do. The Lord Jesus Himself said that one person is worth more than all the world (Mark 8 v 36)!
  2. Every person is created responsible to God - what we do matters forever. You are accountable to God and answerable to God. Your actions have eternal consequences.
  3. Every person is created for relationship with God - that is the purpose for being, and that is where satisfaction is to be found. God is serious about this relationship because He gave His Son to pay for our crimes so we could enjoy that relationship (John 3 v 16).
So my word to the bullied is this - take heart, God thinks a lot of you; and my word to the bully is this - take heed, God thinks a lot of that person!