The group of self-righteous nationalists in Florida that are planning to burn Korans on the anniversary of 9/11 think they are sending an extreme message to a group of Islamic extremists. They are right; they are sending "a" message. But they are stupid enough to not recognize the following:
- You don't "reach" any member of any other religion by burning their holy book.
- Tit for Tat is NOT what Jesus taught.
- 15 minutes of fame isn't worth the danger they are putting Americans in all over the world.
- "Outreach" in the name of a church usually has positive connotations.
- They are limiting their own ministry to radical, fundamentalist nationalists.
- They are hurting legitimate ministers of the Gospel who are laboring among Muslims to bring the the message of Hope.
- Messages of reciprocation only inflames hard feelings.
Your right Br. Rick,
Jesus did not teach tit for tat, in fact He taught a radically different way to respond to enemies and those who hurt us. What makes that even more remarkable, is that He lived in a country and a time where He had no rights, and was horribly oppressed by an occupying power. Yet, consistently He taught another way, a way that is not our normal, human response.
No one ever said following Christ was an easy thing to do, and times like this, is where the Gospel has to make a difference, OR it matters not at all in our lives.
I really like this quote taken from a prayer by St Nicolai of Zica, it makes me think.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them. Enemies have driven me into Your embrace more than friends have. Friends have bound me to earth; enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.
I agree with your comments. Following Christ IS NOT easy. Unfortunately, so many well-intended people portray Christianity as a "get it all-give nothing in return" kind of arrangement. Jesus certainly never said that!
At our Wednesday night prayer meeting at our church, one of the items listed is "our enemies." I've never heard anyone pray "God, get 'em." It is always, "Lord, bless those who hate us." Very impressive to hear those words week after week.
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