It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

07 September 2010

Just trying to be like Jesus...

10:06 AM Posted by steve flores , , 9 comments
I’m disappointed after watching and hearing the “christian” responses about the mosque being built in downtown New York on the news this morning. The voiced frustration was not done in a loving way. From one person talking about burning the Qur’an, to another saying this is a Christian nation and Muslims should get out, to another accusing Islam as a religion not of peace, but of war – it’s all very disheartening and has left me speechless.

I’m wondering if this is the way Jesus taught us to respond from the Bible, not our heart, because it doesn’t sound very Matthew 5:43-48 – “Love enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Where did we get the gospel that says, “Be hateful to people who don’t believe like you,”?

Even if the mosque idea is offensive, how does the Bible say we should respond? Matthew 5:38-42 should give us a great place to start – “turn the other cheek.” Some may say this sounds too meek and that’s absolutely right. What does meekness get us? Matthew 5:5, Jesus said, “The meek shall inherit the earth.”

I wonder what Jesus would say in response to the “christian’s” hateful words. I wonder if in an effort to be pure and holy, we’ve become too much like the Pharisee, found in the Bible. We know how Jesus responded to them (see previous blog post). Or what if He’d respond like he did to Peter in Matthew 16:23 – "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Multiple times, Peter in all his zealousness did things Jesus disagreed with. Peter, not wanting Jesus to be taken away, cut off the ear of a servant and what was Jesus’ response then? Matthew 26:52-53 – “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”

So, burning the Qur’an, what does that prove? “Muslims get out”? Christianity isn’t some exclusive club-religion. It’s inclusive. Jesus died for all (John 3:16 – “whoever”), even those who don’t believe or who do, but act like they don't. “Islam not of peace but of war”? And with a stance, as heated and biting, like this, are non-believers to assume Christianity is about peace? Turning on the news this morning makes that difficult to believe.

What is our response? Prayer and love. What did Jesus do when He faced opposition and ridicule while facing impending death before the Council? He remained silent (Matthew 26:63). We could learn a lot from Him right now to build His kingdom.