Do Any Lives Matter?

You would have to still be engaging in extreme self-isolation to have missed some key non-coronavirus headlines over the past few months.

Do Any Lives Matter?

The actions of one man and one woman have, in particular, dominated my newsfeed. On 26th May, officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd for over 9 minutes until he tragically died on camera for all the world to see. Less than a fortnight later, award-winning author JK Rowling ignited a fiery Twitter debate by declaring:

“If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.”

Unsurprisingly, both situations provoked an enormous backlash and crusades began under the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #TransLivesMatter. The protests of the former have been marked, especially in the UK, by a desire to rewrite our history; the responses of the latter have been to rewrite our biology. Rather than debate the merits of either case, I think the first question to ask is, do any lives matter?

Many billions of people on this planet believe we are all here because of a cosmic accident. Some chemicals interacted and, billions of years of evolution later, here we all are. So, whether you are female or male, black or white, transgender or cisgender, your life doesn’t matter, no lives matter, because we are all only matter. As one UtG writer states:

“The atheistic worldview says your life has no ultimate significance.”

However, if you look at our world from a Christian viewpoint, then all lives matter. The Lord Jesus Christ and His followers have demonstrated this consistently. It should be no surprise that many of those who campaigned for the abolition of slavery were God-fearing men and women, whilst early evolutionary thinkers such as Darwin and Galton were associated with acts of shocking racial genocide as this excellent article explains. And, whilst JK Rowling’s stand against erasing the biological concept of ‘women’ is courageous, the Bible clearly points to the fact that we are, as one author puts it, “more than the sum of our biological functions.”

In fact, from start to finish the Bible’s message is one of how much God loves and values every single human life no matter their race or gender identity. The first book of the Bible explains:                     

“So God created man in his own image…male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27 ESV).

We are the only part of God’s creation made in His own likeness – what an honour! God reiterates the unique value He has placed upon human life when He tells Noah of the consequences of taking it by murder:

“From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man…for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:5,6 ESV).

Not only do we see the value God placed on every human life in creation, the New Testament shows the infinite value He placed on it in redemption – when He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for our sins by dying on the cross: “God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved… Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:3-6 ESV).

Again, no exceptions, God desires to save all people, not just certain subgroups. Every single life matters to Him, and to Christ the Saviour who died for us.

Does my life matter? Do any lives matter? The Bible’s answer is a resounding yes! God made you in His own likeness and, despite that likeness being marred by sin, Christ died for you, rose again and is now in Heaven waiting to receive any and all who will come to Him in faith. Many portray Christianity as being the source of much narrow-mindedness and division but its message is all-inclusive! In a world that is increasingly in turmoil, and where many wrestle with inequality and the suffering it brings, the welcoming words of Christ have never been more needed or relevant:

 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest... Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28,29 NLT).