Tag Archives: Political correctness

Speaking of Morality

Speaking of Morality

If you enrolled in a class with the title, “English Grammatical Issues in the Twenty-first Century,” you would expect to discuss the fine points of English grammar at the cutting edge of decision-making. You would assume that no time would be spent memorizing parts of speech, because knowing those basic elements of the language would be the barest foundation for discussing the way the language is changing daily. You would likely expect the teacher to promote discussion of the reasons to embrace or reject changes that litter the landscape of daily usage in conversation. You probably would not find it odd if you and your teacher had differences about the way certain changes ought to be handled now and in the future. By leaping into the fray between those who tie themselves in knots trying to avoid using the masculine pronoun when gender is indefinite and those who simply fall into the usage of third person plural for everything, you know that you are in a conversation where people disagree. Yet you would expect to have the conversation and to include every possible nuance of difference over the issue.

A dispute over the right grammatical solution to a cultural problem can be contentious, but even those who advocate that real grammarians ignore the nonsensical attitude of the culture will recognize that the discussion does have more than one side. It would be shocking if a college professor shut down the discussion of one side in order not to offend the advocates for the other side.

Recently, a student enrolled in a class titled “Theory of Ethics,” where he fully expected that classroom discussion would often involve at least two points of view, perhaps more. However, he was completely baffled when the subject of gay rights came up, and the teacher chose not to discuss that subject. The discussion centered on the application of philosophical theories to modern political controversies. At the beginning of the discussion, there was a list of modern controversies on the blackboard: gay rights, gun rights, and the death penalty. The student reported that after discussing gun rights and the death penalty, the teacher erased “gay rights” from the blackboard and said, “We all agree on this.”

The student was disturbed about the refusal to discuss gay rights, and after class, he asked the teacher why she refused to open that discussion. When she responded with her point of view, he explained why he disagreed. Then she asked him if he knew of any homosexuals in the class. This question is ridiculous, because it implies that it makes sense for the student to know such a thing about the people in a group around him. The student did not know one way or the other. At this point, the teacher proceeded to explain that she did not think it was proper to discuss gay rights in the class, because someone in the class might be homosexual and take offense at some points of view. The student was dumbfounded. This teacher asserted that in a college level class on the subject of ethics, it was inappropriate to discuss the various points of view surrounding the contemporary issue of gay rights, because it was possible that someone in the class would be offended by the views that might be expressed in such a discussion.

The student attempted to assert a right as a citizen to hold an opinion in opposition to the opinion of other citizens. The teacher said, “You can have whatever opinions you want but I will tell you right now – in this class homophobic comments, racist comments, sexist comments will not be tolerated,” she said. ‘If you don’t like it, you are more than free to drop this class.” In those words, the teacher asserted that the expression of an opinion in opposition to gay marriage or gay adoption or anything else that is on the agenda of LGBTQ activism constitutes a homophobic comment.

People who express themselves on the subject of homosexuality are frequently called “homophobes.” Even pastors who claim to be Christian have been known to use that word when referring to people who understand the Bible to teach that homosexual behavior is sin. Still, it is shocking to discover that a college professor will not permit discussion of one of the thorny issues of contemporary culture in a class whose title invites exactly that discussion.

It is important to note here that the student who had every right to express his view in the cultural conversation about gay rights did something execrable. He recorded the conversation without telling the professor what he was doing. The student was upset, and he must have suspected what the teacher would say. He apparently turned on his phone as he approached the teacher but did not tell her what he was doing. It does not speak well of the character of someone who would do such a thing. We all feel rightly outraged when we hear that somebody could be spying on our phone conversations or our reading our emails without permission. Likewise, we all feel that we have a right to keep private conversations private. It is not hard to imagine why the student felt that he wanted a record of this conversation, but his concerns do not justify his duplicity. Readers who might have believed he was on the moral high ground in standing strong for biblical teaching about homosexuality will be disturbed and disappointed to read that he made a secret recording of the conversation.

This situation points up the truth that honor and integrity are tough standards. It is hard for any of us to do the right thing in every case. Sometimes we truly cannot sort out the conflicting issues and see what is right. In other cases, we talk ourselves into believing that the wrong we face justifies the wrong we do in self-defense. Nobody can read this student’s mind or search his heart, but he has tainted his testimony for Christ by doing something that demonstrates a lack of integrity. The old saying, “Two wrongs do not make a right,” applies here. It was wrong for the professor to refuse to discuss the ethical issue of gay rights over a fear that someone in the class would be offended, but it was equally wrong for the student to record the conversation without telling the teacher what he was doing.

Some who read this post will wonder why I make such a big deal of the recording. I make a big deal of it, because it plays into the hands of LGBTQ activism for a Christian who takes a moral stand against their agenda to do something that is also immoral, not to mention illegal. It is very hard to be a Christian in today’s culture. The secular view of Christians is that they are harmless when they are inside their worship buildings reading their dusty old Bible and singing stodgy hymns to their imaginary friend in the sky. Secularists do not care what Christians do inside their buildings. It is when we come outside and act on our rights and responsibilities as citizens to speak for high moral standards that the LGBTQ activists take umbrage. That is the place where we must be light and salt as Jesus taught us, and when someone does something such as secretly recording a private conversation, then we undercut our standing to speak of morality.

The men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution had high regard for the value of religious teaching in a society. In their view, the church was a valuable force in the culture for morality and integrity. They wanted the church to speak and act in the civic debate over any and all issues. In fact, by forbidding the existence of a state church, they hoped to avoid the inevitable pollution of the church’s moral standing by political involvement. They wanted citizens to bring the moral substance of their religious teaching with them into public life to add weight and perspective to civil debate.

If Christians could give their testimonies without the weight of sinful human nature constantly at work in their lives, then it would be simpler. This situation with the student is a real example of the complications that arise when sinful human nature acts with the context of very real outrage at the behavior of a college professor, one person in our culture whom we all expect to uphold the value of free and open discussion. The college professor’s attitude is suspect. The student’s behavior is suspect. It is hard to make a clear statement on the moral issues active in the story. It would certainly be a simpler matter if the student had not complicated the discussion by introducing a distracting issue.

Christians must be vigilant with themselves. Christians who want to participate in the public dialogue on complex social issues must not complicate the discussion by bringing personal baggage into the mix. Christians who want to be leaders in the social discussions must not muddy the waters by introducing issues that give their opponents justification for outrage of their own.

It is a call to a high standard, but then Christ calls Christians to a high standard: “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 None of us ever will be that perfect, of course. We can only presume to speak a testimony if our testimony confesses our need for grace and forgiveness. Nevertheless, when we make choices in our lives, we must keep in mind that we have a high calling always to testify to the truth as revealed in Christ, and our behavior must not blemish that testimony or give occasion to anyone to ignore the truth of our words. We are called by God to these discussions. We must respect that calling by living lives of integrity that add weight to our comments rather than distract people from God’s truth.

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A Verse for Meditation

Torah ScrollBlessed are the people who have learned to acclaim you , who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.
Psalm 89:15

To acclaim is to applaud or praise. This verb includes both attitude and action. We applaud something by expressing our approval. A common act of applauding is to clap hands together. We praise someone by expressing favorable judgment. We might even praise someone at a level that actually glorifies that person because we attribute perfection in some area. It may be out of order to attribute any area of perfection to a human being, but it is the least we can do for God.

This verse implies that we must learn to acclaim the Lord. It doesn’t come naturally. What have you learned recently about acclaiming the Lord that you did not know ten years ago?

It is always good to look at verses that precede and follow a focus text. The context may be enlightening. In this case, the context builds and enhances the meaning of the focus verse. The verse before it reads,

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
Psalm 89:14

What basis for acclaim is attributed to God in this verse?

Many translations use the phrase “steadfast love” in this verse and others where the Hebrew word ‘hesed’ appears. One such instance is a verse describing God’s work in the life of Joseph.

The Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor. Genesis 39:21

How is your understanding of the phrase “love and faithfulness go before you,” enhanced by the recognition that this is the same sort of steadfast love God showed to Joseph when he was enslaved?

The verse after the focus verse reads,

They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. Psalm 89:16

This verse is about the people who have learned to acclaim the Lord. Do you know anybody who consistently acclaims the Lord and exults in his righteousness? Do you think that people who frequently say, “Praise the Lord!” are doing that? What makes you believe they are sincere? Or what makes you think it is fake?

14    Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
love and faithfulness go before you.
15    Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.
16    They rejoice in your name all day long;
they exult in your righteousness.

Psalm 89:14-16

The culture insists that to express faith in God publicly is offensive to people who do not believe. Is it ungodly to offend people who do not believe? God creates us to love and serve him, but he gives us the freedom to do it by choice, not by coercion. The US Constitution also gives us that freedom. If our choice to serve God in a way that is visible or audible to others upsets them, does that reaction invalidate our freedom before God or in the Constitution? Does either the Bible or the Constitution say that one person’s freedom is invalidated by the hurt feelings of someone else? Does the Bible or the Constitution give a person the right to use hurt feelings to suppress someone else’s God-given freedom?

 

 

How Can Christians Avoid Rehabilitation by Government?

Just last week we all read with anxiety the report that in Oregon, the State Labor Commissioner is mulling a plan to “rehabilitate” business owners who refuse business in a way deemed discriminatory. The case that propelled this idea to the front pages is that of a Christian baker who refused the order of two lesbians planning a wedding. The Christian declared that his Christian principles forbade him to participate in sin. The Christian quoted the Bible as his basis for this decision. Every Christian knows that the Bible is a Christian’s guide for faith and life, because it is the revealed word of God. Every US Christian knows that the First Amendment protects Christians in the “free exercise” of their faith. Aaron Klein, the Christian baker, acted in full confidence that he was protected by the First Amendment when he exercised his faith, choosing to live by the teachings of his faith.

Apparently, in Oregon, the First Amendment to the US Constitution is unknown. If it were honored and upheld, the Kleins would not be facing fines and rehabilitation, actions commonly imposed on Christians in countries like China, Vietnam and Uzbekistan, but previously not imposed as penalties for the free exercise of religion in the USA. The notion of rehabilitating people who refuse to act against conscience is the direct consequence of the ongoing re-education of the citizens in the form of politically correct speech.

The Kleins should have known that they would be under a threat from the first time someone called the union of homosexuals a “gay marriage.” The word “marriage” has a definition, and the union of homosexuals is not it. For as long as there have been humans on earth, the definition of “marriage” is “the union of one man and one woman.” Because that is the definition, it isn’t possible to use the modifier “gay” with this word, because “gay” means “homosexual.” There can be no such thing as a homosexual marriage, and that means that there can be no such thing as a gay marriage. Homosexuals can engage in sexual activity, but that activity does not change the definition of marriage. Christians have made an effort to avoid using the term “gay marriage” simply because it is an oxymoron.

However, in the culture, shortly after homosexuals began telling Christians that they would be “on the wrong side of history” if they opposed “gay marriage,” LGBT activists introduced a new term in the glossary of political correctness: “marriage equality.” This term leaped right past the argument about whether there could even be such a thing as a “gay marriage,” and pretended that the argument about the definition of marriage was already over. Operating as if “marriage” could be anything somebody wanted it to be, LGBT activists proceeded to the argument that it wasn’t fair to deny legitimacy to gays who want to marry and be just like everybody else. It sounded a lot like my children begging to go to a movie I have forbidden because of its moral depravity. They cried, “But Mom, everybody else is going, and we won’t even know what they are talking about. It’s not fair!” The LGBT activists propounded exactly that argument: everybody else gets to be married and we want to be married, too.

For all their efforts to make the “everybody else” argument be about love and fairness, it should be noted that the masks came off when the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had to recognize the union of two lesbians as a marriage, because somebody somewhere said it was so, and it wasn’t about love or fairness or any of that; it was about money. The argument then boils down to this: no matter what the majority of the citizens of the USA think, if anyone is married by anyone to anyone, the federal government is obligated to recognize the marriage and administer benefits – read “money” – accordingly.

This travesty of justice is rooted in the re-writing of the definitions of words we all thought we knew very well: “marriage” and “equality.” It turns out that in the secular mind, which dominates the culture and dominates government, people are free to redefine words whenever the current definition doesn’t feel good, and when the definition changes, laws which were written on the basis of the definition at the time suddenly mean something different.

Which leads back to the Kleins. The Kleins define marriage in a way that is perfectly legitimate according to their faith, and more to the point, they use a definition which was in place when they established their business and made their decisions about the way they would operate their business.  They, like many other people in the US, thought they knew what a marriage is, and when they included wedding cakes in their suite of baked products, they thought they knew what a wedding is, too. The fact that a few very aggressive political activists have promoted and sold an idea that has no legitimacy in reality does not change the moral foundations on which the Kleins make moral choices. They don’t need to be re-educated; the culture needs to be re-educated.

The Kleins are actually victims of a bigger problem than a law that interprets their actions as discrimination. Their problem is bigger than activist redefinition of words. The Kleins are victims of voter apathy. Poll after poll after poll shows that considerably more than 50% of the voters define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Poll after poll after poll shows that the concept of “gay marriage” and of “marriage equality” are unpalatable to most voters. Yet every time there is an election in which the voters can speak, the voters who oppose the LGBT agenda stay home in droves. When the voters who oppose the LGBT agenda simply go to the polls and vote, the LGBT agenda always loses.

History shows that when the LGBT agenda does lose, the activists simply become more active. The battle against LGBT activism and its constant assaults on morality is exhausting. Voters who want the definition of marriage to be left alone get tired of fighting the pressure. No matter the agenda, all activists rely on this truth about human nature to get what they want. They always have the energy of pent-up anger, the pitiful, plaintive cry that “it’s not fair,” and the willingness of a certain percentage of the population to believe that the loudest noise is the most righteous cause. Voters who want to retain the present status are accused of being old and thinking old and dragging the society down by their old-fashioned silly ideas.

Unfortunately, this battle will never end. In a football game, when the home team digs in on the five-yard line to prevent the opposing team from scoring, there is a clock. No matter how difficult it is to “hold that line,” the battle will end eventually. The same is not true of the battle for marriage. Those who want to protect marriage and preserve it as God ordained it are now destined always to be digging in on the five-yard line. Opponents of marriage have the bit in their teeth. They will not accept any defeat as final. No matter how often they lose at the ballot box or in court or in the public forum, they will not stop. Defenders of marriage as the union of a man and a woman must sign up for the long haul. Voters who are tire of being asked to vote about this and related issues must never assume that anybody else will even go to the polls. Every voter who supports marriage must consider the civic duty to vote as a sacred responsibility.

Christians want to live by their Christian principles, and Christians believe those principles must govern every thought, word and deed, at home, at church, in business and in the voting booth. If Christians truly want to be free to continue living by their principles instead of being rehabilitated, they must recognize that the blessing of citizenship in a representative republic creates an obligation of participation as a voter. The only hope of avoiding the institution of government rehabilitation or re-education or whatever euphemism the activist choose is to vote while that right still exists. Reject rehabilitation. Vote in every election.

If you didn’t vote the last time you had the opportunity, why not?

What Would Jesus Do?

A friend of mine, explaining her political stance during the election of 2008, said, “I just ask myself ‘What would Jesus do?’ and then I vote for the candidate who will do that.” It sounds pretty simple.

  • Unfortunately, the simplicity of her viewpoint masks two important problems:
     political candidates are masters of the words and phrases that simultaneously mean everything and nothing, and 
  • even when a candidate says something meaningful during the campaign, it is extremely rare that the candidate turned elected official actually considers a campaign promise to be a personal commitment.

However, the ultimate problem with my friend’s approach is to discover what Jesus would do about any particular campaign issue. Christians remember that the apostle Paul admonished us to have the mind of Christ, but it isn’t all that easy to know Christ’s mind on political issues.

For one thing, the words used in political campaigns are not exactly the same words used in the Bible to record what Jesus said and did and thought about issues. Take the word tolerance for example. This lovely word has blossomed in politicalspeak over the past few years, but it is not found in the Bible, even though at first glance it almost sounds biblical. The idea of tolerance sounds very attractive when juxtaposed against ugly words like discrimination, racism and homophobia. The word tolerance is contrasted to these harsh words as it is paired with words meant to be kinder, such as inclusive

Tolerance as used in in political speeches is defined at the Merriam-Webster online dictionary site :
a : sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own
b : the act of allowing something

When people use the word in political conversations, tolerance is finely focused on specific behaviors. For example, someone who is tolerant of other races rejects the use of specific pejorative words to describe people of other races, takes actions to include people of other races in activities previously closed to them, and leads in aggressive remedial action including special considerations for people of other races where they have previously experienced discrimination. Tolerance creates the appearance of respectful acceptance of people previously excluded or abused on the basis of race. Tolerance makes the public image of a culture look better.

What tolerance does not do is to change people’s hearts. It does not transform hate into love, scorn into respect, disdain into appreciation. Tolerance does not build relationships.

In engineering problems, there really is no better way to improve some situations than to focus on tolerance. If part A must fit into part B, the engineer must specify a tolerance that keeps every dimension of part A inside part B. If the tolerance is not correctly specified, then the part will not fit and the machine will not work. The objective is not to make the two parts like each other. They simply must fit together and not rub or stick in such a way as to impede the operation of the machine. Inanimate parts have no emotions or attitudes. Smoothing a rough edge pretty much fixes the problem.

Not so with people. A group of people can say and do all the things an attitude of tolerance requires and still be in a state of relationship best described as a truce, or maybe even a powder keg just waiting to be exploded. The Korean War is historically recorded as having ended on July 27, 1953. Today, no official war is in progress on the Korean peninsula. However, between North Korea and South Korea, the relationship cannot be described as a state of peace except in the most euphemistic, determinedly optimistic view. Likewise, the countless “cease-fire” agreements between the Palestinian refugees and Israel during the 65 years of Israel’s existence have never for a minute established peace or any real desire for peace between the parties to the conflict. Every minute without gunfire that follows such a signing is only a minute in which all ears are tuned for the shot that signals yet another failure. The end of the Civil War in the USA was the end of slavery, too. The end of slavery was followed by a century of segregation, and more than half a century has passed since segregation was legally ended. Efforts to be more tolerant have led to semantic transitions from Negro to black to African-American, yet every political campaign reveals that something in the relationship between people of various skin colors is not quite healed by tolerant language and tolerant legislation and tolerant enforcement of the rules.

Why isn’t tolerance just what Jesus would do? My friend spoke at some length explaining her thought processes, and tolerance was part of her personal equation for determining what Jesus would do, but as you can see, tolerance is not very Christlike. Jesus did not teach, for example, “Refuse to call people ugly names. Except, apply ugly names to all the people who refuse to agree with you about the right name for the people you formerly scorned but now tolerate.” Look at the current gay marriage conflict. Jesus did not say. “Refuse to call homosexuals ugly names like *****” Except, call people who refuse to support gay marriage homophobic baboons.”

What exactly would Jesus do? When Jesus talked about the way to live together in a society, he said, “Love your enemy. Pray for those who treat you like dirt and call you names.” Jesus also said, “If somebody slaps you on one cheek, then turn the other and let him have at it again.” Jesus did not advocate tolerance. Jesus advocated love. Jesus was not about appearance; Jesus was about reality.

He demonstrated in his own life what he meant by love. Jesus touched lepers. It wasn’t enough simply to be seen in their company. He touched them. That was the ultimate uncleanliness. He touched the blind, the lame, the bleeding and the speechless. He touched the maniacs. He touched prostitutes. He invited a tax collector into his inner circle of followers. He never preached about the right words to use when speaking of someone he could not love, because he loved everyone.

Jesus gave absolutely no examples of tolerance. He did not tolerate people. He loved people. Jesus showed us what it means to love anyone and everyone. Jesus showed us what it means to build relationships with people who were formerly either enemies or at best neutral bystanders.

Jesus does not teach us to tolerate one another and put on a show of right language and behaviors. Jesus calls us to love people and care about what becomes of them. He showed us that love for other people shapes both speech and action. If we love people, we don’t need a glossary of tolerant language. Instead, if we love people, our love shapes our words and deeds. We simply give and give and give until we have nothing left to give.

Tolerance may work for those whose only objective is to be politically correct, but tolerance does not change anything. Love changes everything. Love heals wounds and builds relationships. Love builds up rather than tearing down. Jesus died to show us what love can do, and when we learn that lesson, the whole world changes. We probably cannot expect that any politician will do what Jesus would do, but if that is what we are looking for, evidence of tolerance will not meet the standard.

The things you might observe about tolerance can fairly easily be observed in most politicalspeak. The finest individuals can get caught up in the language and strategies of politics and lose their way. As Christians, if we are looking for a path that leads to the redemption of our culture and our nation, we would be well advised to actually do what Jesus did rather than to look for a political leader who promises that he or she will do what Jesus did if we vote the right way.

 

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic
Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic (Photo credit: jakebouma)

The teachings of Jesus are all about love. In fact, when we read those teachings closely, we discover that the teachings of Jesus are about transformation. When we get close to Jesus and spend time listening to him, we open ourselves to become different. When the Holy Spirit dwells within a person, that person simply cannot continue to be like everyone else.

Today’s daily news is filled with rhetoric about the way people relate to each other. If I read only the specific spoken words, I would conclude that all the people involved are trying very hard to get along with each other. Each party to the conflict simply feels the need to point out some little failing in the words the other person is using. Simply using better words would clear everything up in a flash.

NOT!

Politically correct language is not about loving anyone. The rules for speaking politically correct language do not transform anybody, and abiding by those rules will not produce a culture where people love or even respect one another. The best possible outcome from mandating correct speech is tolerance. If you have ever dealt with a sibling you could barely tolerate, you could testify to the fact that tolerance is not love.

Still, the secular culture of our day holds the usage of correct speech in high regard. The level of regard is expressed by those who not only watch what specific approved or disapproved words are spoken, but they also peer beyond the specific words and recognize when otherwise innocuous words have become code for forbidden words. I don’t need to elaborate on this image. You hear it every day from commentators and politicians and the spokespersons for politicians.

The problem with policing speech is that while people can be legislated to use or to avoid specific words with some degree of success, there is no corresponding success in changing attitudes. The underlying problems remain, and the problems are not all in the hearts of those who use what is considered to be offensive speech. For every person who expresses a heart illness that is manifest in speech that assaults someone, there is someone who cannot forgive some past offense, and that person is on high alert to find the slightest remnant or suggestion that the offense is approved by any speaker. Someone who takes offense at people who have done nothing to offend, finding hate speech and code words everywhere, has a serious problem with the inability to forgive. The mechanism of managing verbiage can never heal an unforgiving heart. That heart must be transformed by love, and that kind of change can only be made by the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to achieve transformation of the culture by policing the speech of the people.

It is hard to imagine how such behavior arose in a nation whose regard for the freedom of speech given to every human being by God himself at the moment of creation is enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution. As often happens, it arose in response to very real wrongdoing, but effects of the perpetration of evil have been exacerbated by the effects of the inability of people to forgive, even when the old wrong no longer even exists. This problem mirrors the behavior of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, and when we look at what Jesus thought about the Pharisees, we can see clearly why political correctness will never have the desired effect. Jesus criticized the Pharisees for washing the outside of a cup and ignoring the garbage inside. He accused the Pharisees of being like mausoleums – ornate and beautiful on the outside, despite being full of rotting corpses and the bones of the dead.

The solution to a culture where people actually do get along, where people respect one another and even love one another, is not political correctness. The solution is in the teaching of Jesus. Jesus said that love is the greatest commandment of all. We should love God above all, and love our neighbors as ourselves. He said that even if a neighbor became an enemy, we should love that neighbor anyway, and even pray for that neighbor. Furthermore, if that neighbor needed anything from us, Jesus said we should give it. We should not withhold ourselves or anything we have from that enemy neighbor while it lies in our power to make the situation better. When people are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit to live the law of love, then this culture will be transformed as well.

When I point out that political correctness will not solve attitude problems, I do not suggest that we should all abandon good manners and polite consideration for others in our words. I simply mean that good police work never ends crime. Criticizing or even punishing people for unacceptable speech does not really do anything for the issue that lies beneath the words. There is only one way to transform the human heart. That heart must be open to the Holy Spirit.

How does this work?

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17