Many of the things each celebrity lists in this video are inherently good things. I’m absolutely an advocate of looking after my neighbor’s interests and not only my own, though of course not through a government mandate, but willingness of heart. Loving our neighbors as ourselves is part of the summing up of the entire law, according to Jesus Himself. And just on its face, this is a virtue any society should uphold. I’m also in favor of building stronger communities in which we do help each other, although of course I believe the church should be a strong, influential, integral member in the community as well, in order that the Gospel may spread to those who don’t know Christ.
What I primarily negate in this video (even before the political aspect) is the worldview and theological perspective this understanding of serving others springs from: it is secular, postmodern humanism, that is, the exaltation of humanity. Some version of this can be seen in history in Genesis 11:1-11 at the Tower of Babel. Humans were made (dare I say designed) to worship. And if we don’t worship the Lord, the true God, and refuse to make Him the center of our lives through Christ alone, we will worship something else, of necessity. Martin Luther called the human heart an “idol factory.” And rightfully so.
God clearly labeled exalting anything else above God idoltary in the Old Testament. And when groups of idolaters get together in unity, they eventually exalt themselves and their own supposed power above God. It’s the entire history of man, and by God’s grace, each of these man-centered systems of exaltation wind up falling apart before they wipe all of us off the face of the Earth. The Tower of Babel is one example where the Lord intervened to stop man and his self-exaltation and it is the road humanity is on at the moment and has been on since our existence on this earth. This will ultimately culminate in the end when all of unbelieving, God-rejecting humanity will unite in rebellion against God and His Son. This is plainly what Scripture says in Revelation at the end of time. Man is not getting better. Man is headed to destruction, except for the salvation Christ provides.
Now when you put these two groups together, both secular humanists and Christians, both of whom are serving others, they may look very similar on the surface. Both give money to the poor, both help the sick and disenfranchised, orphans, widows, etc. But ask the question to each group, “Why are you doing this?” and you will get two fundamentally different answers, with two separate foundations upon which the reason is built. The Christians’ reason for looking after our neighbor’s interests and not our own is rooted in Scriptures such as Philippians 2:4-11 which says,
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
As this passage shows, for the Christian, the whole point of serving others is ultimately the exaltation and glorification of Christ, which all gives glory to God the Father, made possible by the cross. However, the assumption of secular humanists (in this case a large number of progressives, particularly in this video, though certainly not all progressives) that humanity is always getting better, goes against verses in Romans 3:10-18 which describe man’s condition as utterly and devastatingly hopeless and lost apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ to rescue us from our helpless position as a result of sin.
Mankind’s default destiny, apart from the saving work of Christ to bring us to Himself is to go to hell, the place of deserved punishment for rejecting our Maker and His Gospel in Christ. We all deserve it. And it will be populated with people. Jesus spoke more about hell than about heaven in the four gospels. And He spoke more about hell than anyone else in Scripture. Why? Because it is real, people are going there, and the only way we won’t is if we believe in the saving Person and Work of Jesus Christ, in His life, death and resurrection. There is no other way. We either bow the knee to Christ, believing in His saving work, or we perish forever under the weight of God’s omnipotent judgment. We cannot be good enough to get into God’s presence. Jesus must stand in our place (through faith and trust in Him), bear our punishment, and we must be clothed in His perfection if we are to be accepted before God.
However, whereas the Christian basis for serving others is rooted in an enthusiasm and exaltation of Christ, the secular humanists’ basis for serving others is rooted in an enthusiasm and glorification of humanity, that we are somehow always improving and getting better as humans, which is a complete and utter lie according to Scripture. It says we are getting worse in fact. Take 2 Timthoy 3:1-5, 12-13 for instance:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power … Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
For the Christian, the notion that man is always getting better is antithetical to what Scripture has clearly laid out, and Scripture is God’s Word, given to us that we may know the way unto salvation; a true, everlasting utopia where Christ, the eternal God, is our gloriously perfect Leader and Master, forever.
But aside from the theological basis as to why I have a problem with this stuff being shown in an elementary school(!), there is the political basis. And it has to do with (dare I say) the Constitution. This is not a Democrat versus Republican issue. It is an American versus un-American issue.
In America, the President is not our lord or master and we are not his “servants” (as is stated in the video). Rather, the President is elected as a public servant. He is not a public Master as in other systems around the world. What I have a problem with from a political standpoint (aside from the moral issue of a reference made to giving someone “the finger”) is this statement at the end:
“I pledge to be a servant to our President and all mankind, because together we can, together we are, and together we will be the change that we seek.”
This is just pure cult of personality hero worship, a secular enthusiasm for humanity, with a flair of subtle (or not so subtle) Marxist theory in there, that the engine of change in society is the proletariat (the working class), with our glorious leader leading us ahead into a bright future. It envisions a peaceful global utopia where everyone is just nice to each other, for the sake of being nice to our fellow “brothers and sisters” and pleasing our leader, whomever that may be. Now will these kids understand or comprehend all of the aforementioned that is inherently laced throughout the video? Certainly not. But they will certainly comprehend the understanding that we are to obey our dear leader, President Obama, and be his servant, when such an idea of an American President is frankly un-American.
And this was shown to elementary school kids. Yeah, I have a problem with that.