Photo Credit: Barack Obama/Twitter
Photo Credit: Barack Obama/Twitter

Former President Barack Obama’s first in a series of three tweets in response to Charlottesville broke the record for the number of likes Twitter announced yesterday.

The first tweet (below) that now has at the time of my writing over 3.8 million likes lead off a three-part quote from the late Nelson Mandela.

He then tweeted:

Regarding politics, this was a far, far better response to Charlottesville than what President Donald Trump offered.

This quote from Mandela is a beautiful sentiment, but it is theologically flawed which isn’t surprising because of Mandela’s worldview.

I submit that hate comes naturally, and we must be taught to love.

Now, we certainly were not created that way.

We bear God’s image; we were created to be in communion with Him, (Genesis 1:26-30).

But humanity went wrong. Here’s something I wrote when discussing the doctrine of man a few years ago.

Adam and Eve were created in a perfect environment, and enjoyed God’s presence in a state of untested morality.  Eve was then deceived by the serpent and partook of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which God had forbid them to do, (Genesis 2:16).  Adam then willingly sinned against the only commandment that God had given them, (Genesis 3:1-6; 1 Timothy 2:14).  Man then fell, breaking his fellowship and communion with God, bringing a penalty of sin and death to all generations and a curse to the world around him, (Genesis 3:7-19).  This sin nature has been passed to every human being since Adam, (Romans 5:12), with the exception of the second Adam, Jesus Christ.  Mankind is born alienated from God, (Romans 5:19).

Man from then on has been in spiritual darkness, (Ephesians 2:2; 5:8), in ignorance, (1 Peter 1:14), blind, (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 4:18) and lawless, (1 John 3:4).  Everyone one in history has sinned, (Romans 3:23) and deserves death, which is eternal separation from God, (Romans 6:23).  Any good that mankind can do is only by virtue of being created in the image of God, but even then our good works are considered as nothing but dirty rags before God, (Isaiah 64:6).

We are all conceived in sin and have a deceitful, wicked heart. What is natural is enmity towards God and a rejection of all He is which also includes love.

The Apostle John wrote in his first epistle:

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother, (1 John 4:15-21, ESV).

We also see this in the Gospel of John as Jesus taught his disciples the night before his crucifixion, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:12-13, ESV).

Jesus also commanded us to love our enemies, (Matthew 5:44), which is something that does not come naturally.

Love is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence of Christ-followers, (Galatians 5:22).

It doesn’t come naturally. Any love we can muster is because of God’s common grace and because we bear His image, but true love can only be known and had through Jesus Christ.

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