Q. I've been damaged by the bigotry of humans. The selfishness and segregation sickens me. So I doubt churches…I doubt cults. I will not be controlled or manipulated by anyone. I can, however, trust. I can learn. I can grow. I will choose freely. My heart is worth that. My life is worth that. (A.M.)
You sound like a frustrated but honest person. I think I can safely speak for everyone when I say that all of us have been damaged by bigotry and selfishness. You aren't alone. Instead, you speak the truth about the human condition. It's called "sin."
A bigot is "one intolerantly devoted to his or her own prejudices or opinions" (Merriam-Webster 2001, 50). You are assuming that only Christians are "bigots." But, what about raging atheists who call Christians "stupid" or mentally "challenged?" That sounds like "bigotry" to me, too. Bigotry isn't just limited to the church.
Nevertheless, planet earth is filled with people who need help. They are sick. They are cruel to one another and to those outside their family, culture or nation. This is because mankind is infected with "sin." He is born to die because his very DNA is tainted. We all have "bad blood." You have made this point yourself in your opening statement.
As long as we live out our earthly lives this will be the case. There is no escaping it. We are all sinful beings who will die.
Fear of Dying Rules Everything
The biblical book of Hebrews contains an interesting passage in this regard. It claims that Satan holds the power of death over us. Because of our fear of death we are subjected to a form of slavery all of our lives. But, Jesus came to set us free from this. Here is what it says:
"Because God's children are human beings - made of flesh and blood - the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying" (Hebrews 2:14-15, NLT).
Becoming an Inferior Being
This verse explains God's purpose in becoming a lesser being - flesh and blood - just like us. He came to save us from death and all fear of death. In other words, we are not alone. We do not suffer from mankind's bigotry and selfishness by ourselves. Instead, Christ came and died for all those sins committed by humans - while He was in human form. As C.S. Lewis said, "We are a visited planet."
Would you purposely Die for an Enemy?
God's love for us is powerful. He chose to die for us while we were still cruel, selfish, sinning beings (Romans 5:8). I wouldn't do that - would you? Would you deliberately die for someone who did something terribly wrong to you? I doubt it.
Resurrection beats Cloning
Yet, as sure as scientists will soon "clone" living things back to life, God promises to raise our bodies from the dead - in a new, powerful way superior to "cloning." Life won't always be so hard - filled with selfish, bigoted people. We are promised something much better. I hope, therefore, that you choose to accept His offer of salvation from death and sin for you - personally. It is described in these words:
"It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you…Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said" (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, NLT).
Those who believe this will be resurrected from the dead - unlike cloning - with full self-awareness and memories intact. Forever. Now that's something!
"And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not
(Job 19:26-27, ESV)
Maranatha! (Come quickly, Lord).