I thought I was done with the Privilege topic, but then I read about the churches being attacked in Egypt. This is Holy Week. We’ve gone to worship every day and twice on Maundy Thursday. Not once did any of us worry that we might be targeted. I know that Muslims, Jews and even Black Christians in this country can’t always say the same. I am grateful for my Privilege in knowing that I can worship in safety. On this Good Friday, as we remember Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, I pray the day will come when all God’s people will have such Privilege.
As part of my Lenten commitment, I’ve been reading “He Chose the Nails” and “On Calvary’s Hill” by Max Lucado. Lucado emphasizes the fact that Jesus knew, even before He started His ministry, how it would end. I am wearing black today as a symbol of my mourning for the fact that I fear, if Jesus came back today, we’d kill Him again. After all, He was a Middle Eastern religious fanatic who taught that we should all be living by God’s law.
He was executed by the method of the day because of fear and political expediency. The fact that he expected it and was prepared to sacrifice himself doesn’t alter that fact. For more than 250 years, His followers were also persecuted and killed by the popular methods. In the middle ages, Europeans, professing Christianity, killed thousands to “free the holy land” from the Jews and Muslims who had always lived there. Today, we have leaders promoting discrimination against people for their religious beliefs, just as those early Christians suffered under the Romans, the Muslims suffered during the Crusades, and the Jews suffered in Germany during World War II.
While I may not always agree with the teaching of other religious organizations, including some Christian ones, I fanatically declaim their right to hold their beliefs in peace as long as they allow others to do the same. Whether or not we agree with them, we have no right to judge, only God is supposed to do that.
There is only one God, people. The fact that others call Him by different names, doesn’t mean it’s a different being. We have many names for Him ourselves. In Spanish, it’s Dios; in French, it’s Dieu; in German, Gott; in Swedish, Gudaväsen; in Russian, Boga; all from Christians. The fact that Islamic nations say Allah, doesn’t make it a different God, any more than Jews saying Jehovah or Yahweh does. We all worship the God of Abraham.
We adhere to different teachings, claim different prophetic voices, but we start from the same beginning and we should respect the fact that others could only take the path that was before them as they searched for a relationship with the only God that exists. We are instructed to go forth and preach the gospel, not to condemn those who do not accept our proselytizing. Our only concern should be our personal relationship with our Lord, not the correctness of other people’s beliefs.
Rant over. I cannot judge those who do not agree with me, even those whose actions are based on obvious prejudices. God is in charge, whether the majority of people choose to believe it or not. He gave us free choice because He wanted us to choose to love Him and live by His commandments. I am sure He is saddened by the state of His world today. I know I am.
This is not the post I had planned for this week. That one got bumped to next week. Come back then.