Jim Denison on the Best Way to Change the World

Jim Denison is the founder and CEO of the Denison Forum, a nonprofit Christian media organization that comments on current issues through a biblical lens. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.


Some stories in today’s news animate us in inverse proportion to the degree they affect us directly.

Democratic House managers, led by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), opened the presentation of their case for impeachment yesterday. They are accusing President Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

For many Americans, the Senate trial frustrates us in large part because we can do so little about the cultural rancor it illustrates. It is our partisan polarization writ large, with the two sides in conflict while one hundred senators sit passively and the nation watches from afar.

If the trial ends as expected, neither side will get what it wants. The president’s supporters will be angry at what they perceive to be an unjust prosecution, while his opponents will be angry at what they perceive to be an unjust outcome. Each will blame the other. And no one seems to know what to do to change the partisan impasse in which the country finds itself.

“AN EPIDEMIOLOGIST’S NIGHTMARE” 

Other stories in the news animate us in direct proportion to the way they affect us directly.

The death toll from the China coronavirus is now at seventeen. After emerging in a seafood and livestock market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus has now spread across China and into the US.

Last night, Chinese authorities began work to quarantine Wuhan, sealing off its highways, public transportation, airport, train station, and long-haul bus hubs. The city is home to eleven million people. It would be the largest city in America (New York City’s population is estimated at 8.3 million).

In addition to the local threat, the Lunar New Year holiday in China is bringing hundreds of millions of travelers across the country and the world. According to the New York Timesthis mass migration is “an epidemiologist’s nightmare.”

The virus is frightening because it holds the potential to affect us all. So far, no drugs have been shown effective in treating coronavirus infections in humans. Scientists are working on a vaccine, but it could take more than a year for one to become available.

Doctors advise frequent handwashing, staying clear of people with respiratory illnesses, and avoiding areas infected by the virus.

A COUPLE WHO CHOSE LIFE 

The best way to change the world is to change what we can.

Consider abortion, our subject yesterday. Faced with intractable pro-abortion activists and a culture that is moving further from biblical morality each day, it seems impossible to make a difference.

But every child we help is an eternal soul worth all we can do and more.

I remember a young couple I met in my last pastorate. They were dating when she became pregnant. Both had their lives ahead of them and knew their families would be traumatized by her pregnancy. Abortion seemed the only answer.

We spent time together in prayer and Bible study. They decided to give their child life and eventually married. Their girl is high-school age today. I will always be grateful to them for allowing me to play a role in their decision.

When we serve others, we serve ourselves as well. A scientific study of first-semester college students examined the relationship between goals they identified as “compassionate” and those that focused on the student’s “self-image.” They found that students who sought to fulfill compassionate goals experienced “decreased distress” compared to those who focused on themselves. By contrast, those who focused more on their self-image experienced “chronic distress.”

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Source: Christian Headlines