Our Broken World Needs Love, CLS Speakers Say

If there was one takeaway from the Christian Legal Society’s event Friday evening, it’s that our world’s pursuit ought to be real love.

The event featured three presenters – Alycia Wood from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, CEO of Global Scholars Dr. Stan Wallace, and Craig Bakker, program director of Fight the New Drug. Each of these speakers used their time to discuss what they believe the world needs more of: love.

Wood began the night with her presentation titled “Why Christianity?” She made her claim as to why she not only believes in a higher power, but specifically in the God of Christianity and the Bible. Wood presented several arguments for her position, but the one she put the most emphasis on was that of the sacrificial love of the God of the Bible.

Wood acknowledged that most religions have some form of a creation story, and that many people would argue all religions are reaching towards the same goal using different methods. She asserted, however, that the aspect which she believes sets Christianity apart as the truth is its emphasis on sacrificial love.

“None of this climbing up the mountain stuff,” Wood said. “All the other religions are climbing the mountain trying to get to the guy at the top. None of that. Christianity says the opposite: stop climbing up because God’s coming down.”

Wood added that other religions which claim to have all-powerful gods do not have the same basis, and because of this, anyone who lays down their life for another can be greater than one of those gods.

“If we recognize that love is the greatest ethic and sacrifice is the greatest demonstration of love,” Wood said, “then if those gods can’t sacrifice themselves that means that those gods cannot give their life for you. They can’t show their love to you in the greatest possible way. Which means they can’t possibly be the greatest possible being because I can out-love them.”

Dr. Wallace spoke on living according to Christian faith while practicing a career. Wallace referenced the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:7, in which the prophet Jeremiah encouraged the Israelites to seek the well being of their captors.

Wallace spoke about how Christians can care for others, particularly when they have drastically different beliefs. He believes one of the best ways to do this is deontology, the philosophy which states there are objective moral codes in existence and it is our duty to fulfill these.

Wallace discussed different ways of viewing deontology, the first of which is the idea of natural law. This, he said, is the idea that there are naturally occurring morals within humankind.

“It gives us a lot of common ground with those who may not share our worldview,” he said. “We might be in a business where we have a partner who doesn’t share our Christian worldview, but we both agree there is some value in certain behaviors.”

Wallace pointed out that the Bible, in places like Romans 2:14 and Proverbs 6, agrees with the idea of deontology, saying that people are given a conscience by God.

Wallace then discussed the divine command theory of deontology which states revelation from God through his word fills in the gaps that are missing from natural law. He discussed the idea that while most people believe we are all equal, divine command theory provides us the reason why that is.

“Natural law gives us sort of a general equality,” he said, “but special revelation helps define why that is. Each person carries inside themselves this infinite worth and value because they were created in God’s image. And so regardless of what they believe, where they live, what they do, what they promote, they are equally valuable because they share God’s image.”

Wallace also presented arguments against the philosophy of deontology and refuted them. He concluded that without applying this idea of deontology, societies collapse.

“Without applying these transcendent principles, then justice wouldn’t be for all,” he said. “It would be justice for some. Maybe only for certain ethnicities. Maybe for those who are deemed more valuable in some way. Maybe justice only for those who you want in your life.”

Porn kills: The slogan of Fight the New Drug has been embraced by thousands of people, including well-known celebrities like Joseph Gordon Levitt and Rashida Jones.

Porn kills: The slogan of Fight the New Drug has been embraced by
thousands of people, including well-known celebrities like Joseph
Gordon Levitt and Rashida Jones.

Bakker is the program director of Fight the New Drug (FTND), a nonprofit organization fighting to raise awareness about they perceive to be the harmful, drug-like effects of pornography. FTND seeks to inform people about the negative effects porn has on the brain, relationships and the world at large.

Bakker said that pornography’s effect on the brain is very similar to drugs. The pleasure systems in the brain become so accustomed to the unnatural amounts of dopamine and oxytocin released by viewing porn, he said, that the brain becomes increasingly dependent on it.

“When you look at images and videos like this, it biologically can change your brain,” Bakker said. “Then those preferences that you normally would have for normal relationships change and you begin to prefer the things you see in porn. And it makes it more difficult for you to express love, and to have love, and to even know what love is.”

Finally, Bakker informed the audience of the effects pornography has on the world.

“Pornography has become degrading, humiliating and at times violent,” he said. “A recent study found that of 304 of the most popularly viewed pornographic materials, 88 percent depicted physical violence towards women.”

The harm in this, Bakker said, is it desensitizes us to the sexual violence we see in the world. He said 80 to 90 percent of prostitution happens over the Internet through pornography.

Bakker referenced the case of Flanders and Callum, two Florida men who lured young women and teenagers into modeling and eventually drugged and forced them into porn. The two falsified documents of teen girls and sold the videos to major porn companies. The men were caught last year, but not without having done seven years of damage.

“All those videos, they’ve been viewed millions of times and have actually been voted as some the most popular pornographic videos on major porn sites,” Bakker said. “[People view porn] without realizing every time you click on something, it probably leads to something illegal.”

FTND’s slogan is “Porn kills love,” something which Bakker said we desperately need. He said society needs to address the drastic harm of pornography in an effort to repair our crumbling world.

Each of the presenters at the CLS event concentrated on the necessity of love, especially in our world’s state of brokenness. While each speaker came to the subject with a different focus, they each encouraged those in attendance to analyze their lives and determine how they plan to respond to the matters presented to them.

For more information on the speakers and their causes, visit their websites at rzim.org, stanwallace.org, and learn.ftnd.org.

 

mwharton@unews.com

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