Who said, “History is on our side, and we will bury you”? Nikita Khrushchev, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953-’64, made this hollow prediction in 1956. It was a threat against the United States and other free nations.
Did it happen as he predicted? No, it did not. Instead, in December 1991, the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate countries. Its collapse was hailed as a victory for freedom and a triumph of democracy over totalitarianism.
What happened to the communist leader’s boast, “history is on our side”? Well, it was a wishful claim with no substance. It was an empty threat. One might call it rhetorical shadowboxing.
How many times have you heard the more recent claim, “If you oppose homosexual marriage, you are on the wrong side of history”? It sounds to me like history is repeating itself. Here we go again.
I like the way Jonah Goldberg explained the phrase in his New York Post article titled, “The Pathetic ‘wrong side of history’ Plea.” His commentary, published March 21, 2014, said, “The right side of history is bunk. In domestic politics, people (mostly liberals) tend to say, ‘You’re on the wrong side of history’ about social issues that are breaking their way. It’s a handy phrase, loosely translated as, ‘You’re going to lose eventually, so why don’t you give up now?’”
In other words, it’s a mind game, a mental ploy that is heavily used in prisoner of war camps. The strategy plays with the emotions of those in captivity, hoping they feel defeated enough to surrender any final strings of hope they may be holding in their grip.
Michael Hanby, a Catholic professor and writer for The Federalist, phrased it another way. “It is not an argument but a ‘conversation stopper’ designed to put an end to argument by urging opponents of same-sex marriage to resign themselves to a fate which they are powerless to resist and exempting advocates of ‘marriage equality’ from the burden of having to think about, much less defend, their position with depth or rigor.”
You might have to take a breath after reading that sentence. Read it again. Hanby is correct. Those who oppose biblical values are being excused from reasonable thinking. They just spit out the “wrong side of history’ phrase and chuckle merrily on their way without offering a substantive defense of their position.
I’ll be honest. I’m a bit bewildered by the ‘wrong side of history’ phrase. It can be officially classified as a cliche by now. On the other hand, maybe not. To call it a cliche actually seems to give it a measure of dignity that it does not deserve.
So, let’s dispense with pointless questions and raise some questions that have substance. Here’s one, “Are you on the wrong side of God?”
Four years ago President Barack Obama and others on the left openly claimed they opposed same-sex marriage because it was a violation of their Christian faith.
Apparently, they did not want to be on the wrong side of God. Today the same leaders say they have evolved. Now they support same-sex marriage.
Not one, on the other hand, has suggested that God has changed anything. God and His values were simply eliminated from the conversation.
The Bible says God met Moses on a mountain to give him 10 foundational laws. Exodus 32 records the story about the Hebrew people’s impatience and idolatry.
Moses had been gone for a long time. They thought he should not stay so long on the mountain. Weary of waiting, they devised their own god – an idol of gold that looked like a calf. Aaron, Moses’ brother, participated in the crime against God. In verse 26 Moses raised a very important question to the people, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”
Moses and the Hebrew people were seriously at odds with each other. But he did not ask them, “Is God on your side?” Neither did Moses claim, “God is on my side.” The question was, “Are you on God’s side?”
There is only one way to know if we are on God’s side. Read what He says about Himself, about humanity, about sin, about salvation – let God speak for Himself.
If we are honest, we cannot read our preferences into what He says. We can’t design God around our desires. Let God speak for Himself. The Bible is His revelation of Himself to us. Let God introduce Himself and His standards. Then, we can ask, “Am I on the right side of God or the wrong side of God?”
The application of this question is not limited to the same-sex marriage issue. What about abortion? Without a doubt, the recent exposure of Planned Parenthood’s gross, unacceptable atrocities against human beings forces us to ask, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”
It’s time to ask questions of substance about all of the issues of the day. To do so will not silence the voices of rebellion. They may become more vicious. Intensified emotion is expected when one has no other defense. But our position is unchanged if we take our stand on God’s side.