"At one of the Graveyards here in [my hometown], the officials in charge were asked by a group of Muslims, that they demanded a section just for Muslims. The officials told the Muzzies NO."
"Why don't they demand a free ride back to their country where they can get the respect they deserve."
"shudda told em for christains only"
"the christian graveyard would be decapitated heads and nothing else. We just need to NUKE THE SONSABITCHES."My heart hurts right now. The above conversation was carried out by one of my friends on Facebook and several of his friends. They all claim to be Christian. And they make me weep for what Christ's Church has become. They make me weep for all it was meant to be. They make me weep, because this is not what it is supposed to be.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you...
The person who said that was killed. He was forcibly dragged from his private prayer meeting in a private garden, betrayed by a man he had spent every moment with for the past three years--training, teaching, loving. He was dragged to a place where the most important people in the religion that had worshiped his Father for so many centuries accused him, beat him, and called him the foulest names in the book. Then they sent him to the despised Romans, the people who had wrested control of his people's homeland from them, just to add a veneer of legality to the whole proceeding. He was beaten, his back torn open, his life's blood poured upon the ground. He was mocked and humiliated by the people he had come to save. And then they put him upon the most sophisticated, yet most brutal, torture device known to man, and let him hang there to die. Through his blood, we find remission. He came back to life for us, so we could find freedom. He's building a beautiful place for us, where there will be no more pain.
That is what someone did for us, someone so very important.
And yet, somehow, people still think that their words are okay. That somehow, they have no bad repercussions. That somehow, they're still being good ambassadors for Christ.
The annals of the past are filled with stories that seem quite frightening. Pioneer missionaries, first making inroads into Africa, bringing the light of the Gospel. Their stories are filled with dangers, fears of the unknown. Cannibals, plague, wild animals, tribes that worshiped strange spirits and listened to the every whim of medicine men. These missionaries could be killed at a moment's notice. And, very often, they were. They gave their lives for the one who meant everything, who had sacrificed so much and given his all for them--and they gave their lives for much the same reason. Yet it never made them stop, never made them wonder whether there was a different way. They died, and others filled their place.
Disease. Victory. Famine. Joy. Death. Life.
Where is the love that would do that? Where is the love that sent these people to those places to die? More than that...where's the love that sent the most important One of all to die? Where is the love that would say "not my will, but thine be done?" Where is that today? Where is the love that would say, "You know what, you're trying to kill me. You're in bondage, enslaved to this idea. Let me tell you about my Savior. You don't want to hear it--that's fine. There will be others, with the same sort of love, the same undying passion for you, a sinner who has murdered and lied and stolen. They will come to tell you of a man, who was so, so much more than a man, who died for you."
Where is the Christian love that will look at dead Christians overseas and see it as a reason to send yet more missionaries? Where is the Christian love that will spend hours every night on its knees for lost men who know no other way? Where is the Christian love that will cry out, from the depths of a bleeding heart and will say, "God, send me! These are your children, your precious creations, each one unique and beautiful and wonderful in your sight! Send me to change them through you, to make them new creations, to show them the beauty and wonder that can only be found in you!"
Where is the Christian love that will look up into the eyes of an executioner and say, "I forgive you." Where is the Christian love that will give up its own salvation for the sake of its lost and dying brethren?
Where is the simple, earth-shattering idea that there is something stronger than hate and lies, and that it is truth and love?
Where is the love and desire that turned the world upside down with a handful of poor, illiterate men and women?
Somehow, people think that because they're not like us, because their rhetoric is as hateful as ours, because they've insulted us, Christ's words don't matter anymore. Love can't possibly conquer that, they say. Roadside bombs and enemy armies and conspiracies--when have they ever stopped Christ's message?
Those same people would call me idealistic. We have to fight, because they're trying to kill us. Jesus never said anything about not defending yourself. I have my head in the clouds, because we need to fight back: they're a threat!
And we can turn the world upside down. Let's not return hate with hate. Let's not respond to the killing with more killing. Let's reach out to these people, Christians, run the risks, spread the Word. Let's do something a little foolish and utterly, wonderfully mad, like inviting a bunch of Muslims and Christians over to our house for a hamburger cookout. Let's find out why people are being radicalized and do something to stop it. Let's realize that our rhetoric only feeds theirs, and stop running our mouths.
Most of all, let us live like our Savior did. Let us be willing to die for him, as he was for us.