As everyone knows, many people in the Middle East are rioting, demonstrating and attacking the United States’ embassies. Our soldiers continue to be killed as have our diplomatic personnel. All of this has happened allegedly because these people blame the United States of America for the insults of their God in one film, made by one producer in our country. Their God is known as Allah and their religion is Islam.
I want to go on record as saying that I have not watched the film but I absolutely condemn the violence and loss of life. Blaming an entire country for the act of one is senseless. Even if that one film did represent our entire country, which it does not, violence is not the answer. I doubt that Allah would advocate the violence in his name. Of course he might. I am definitely not his spokesperson.
As a Christian and I do not advocate violence to solve differences, except in the most extreme of circumstances. But I could not help but to notice the outrage these people had concerning how their God was treated: the depiction of Allah in the film. These people do not tolerate someone insulting the one that they worship.
I remember being in high school and studying about Holy Wars in History. I truly did not learn much about them, because when I heard the phrase “Holy War”, I immediately closed my mind. I did this because I couldn’t entertain the use of the words ‘Holy’ and ‘War’ being side by side in any sentence that was to make logical sense. My opinion hasn’t changed much over all of these years.
But the recent events have made me think, what if we Christians got that upset whenever someone insulted our God and our faith?
This is what was on my heart when I spoke with my prayer partner this week and she said the same thing. She related the story to me about seeing a picture on Facebook of a man carrying a sign. The sign said “When Jesus returns, we need to kill him again.” She spoke about how that offended her. She made the very good point that we need to make it clear to people that we won’t tolerate that kind of talk about our Savior.
We don’t think that we should protest and respond to the extreme point of the violence and loss of life, but just enough to let people know not to insult our God if they want to stay on any kind of good terms at all with us. That would be demonstrated love. Don’t misunderstand me. Love and loss of life are not compatible most of the time. But love and passion are very compatible. I think that we Christians need more passion. We need to be passionately in love with our Christ, to the point that we do take it personally whenever someone insults Christ. But rather than kill our adversaries we need to passionately minister to them, so that they, too will be unable to resist this radical love. I am not so sure what this would look like; what the physical manifestation of this kind of love would be. Maybe you could help to fill in that part of these ideas in the comments section.
In the United Methodist Church, we are taught to embrace our similarities with others and not to focus on our differences, to be glad that God is God and will be the final Judge. In essence, we are taught not to act like they are acting in other places in the world.
Thanksgiving Challenge and Joy Dare
Today, I am thankful for:
269. My friend Madelyn.
271. More moderate weather than in the summer.
272. Enjoying the company of my church family.
273. My friend Cindy.
274. A successful surgery for Amy.
275. A break from football practice.
276. My friends Amy and Sharon.
277. Orange Crushes.
278. The altar.
copyright 2012 by Kathy Robbins