We identify ourselves by so many different ISMs. Each ISM is tied to an ideology or belief system. These different ISMs influence our personality, our language, our friend group, our religion, our vote, who we marry (if we marry), how we raise our children, our sex life, and so on. With each different ISM we adapt, we place ourselves and others in categories and attach labels. These categories and labels begin to determine tribes. We bind ourselves to our own tribe of ISMs; our own people group that looks like us, talks like us, thinks like us, and posts the same stuff on social media.
As we allow ourselves to fall into these tribes, we begin to distance ourselves from those who are not in our tribe. ISMs switch from being the thing that binds us into the thing that we use to define others. The person is transformed from a person of value to a mere collection of ideals that we can discount and ignore if they are not in our tribe. This is when the ISMs begin to grow in power and influence over us. This is when ISMs begin to divide the tribes and build walls between them. Communication is cut off. Ideas are no longer exchanged. Tribes on the other side of our walls become marginalized and misunderstood. ISMs come in many forms such as; nationalism, regionalism, conservatism, liberalism, secularism, legalism, materialism, racism, atheism, agnosticism, spiritualism, elitism, criticism, classism, socialism, nominalism, communism, sexism, ageism, absolutism, egoism, and so on and so on. The list of ISMs stack up like pallets of bricks destined to build walls.
In order for the walls to be torn down and peace established the tribes must be disbanded and ISMs must die. The old thoughts, the old habits and mindsets, the old man must die and the new man reborn. Systems don’t eliminate ISMs. You can’t legislate ISMs out of existence. You may slow them down or quiet them down for a time. They may even go dormant for a season, but they will return again like weeds in a garden. In order to eradicate the ISMs, they must be met with a radical solution.
Only one such radical solution has ever been known to accomplish such a feat. That solution is found in love. Not just any love but the love of Jesus Christ. This love eradicates and destroys the DNA of the ISMs through the power of the Cross of Jesus Christ. The weed infested garden of man is reconciled to the great gardener and restored to produce a bountiful harvest. We become a new creation in Christ. All of our ISMs are put to death. This reconciliation and restoration happens on the day we find ourselves at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ. This day is what the Bible calls the day of salvation. This is the day that ISMs die.
When ISMs die at the foot of the Cross, we become one with Christ and one with the body of Christ. Peace is established, groups are disbanded, walls are torn down and the disjointed body becomes one group in Christ. Uniqueness is best cultivated and appreciated by unity in diversity. Our uniqueness is celebrated through unity with Christ and through Christ. Jesus Himself is our peace who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall by abolishing in His flesh the hostility. Jesus established peace by making, in Him, one new man from the groups. Submitted to the will of the Father, we become rooted and grounded in the love of Christ. We are cultivated and nourished by God to begin growing into seeds of His love. We are seeds that are to be planted throughout the world in order that the fruitfulness of God may be seen and experienced across the globe.
2nd Corinthians 5:16-6:2 “From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet we know longer know Him in this way. Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making His appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to become sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with Him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive the grace of God in vain.” For He says, “At an acceptable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation!”
The Day of Salvation is the day ISM died.