Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Price of Peace


I sometimes ponder what exactly it is that has made me what I am. I'm a follower of Jesus, but I don't follow along with the majority of folks who claim to be the same. You see, I'm awfully stirred up about the way that people who claim to follow Jesus are treating their Muslim neighbors. There's quite the hullabaloo about the planned Islamic Center two blocks from Ground Zero in New York City. The charge of that ruckus is being led by a lot of people from conservative Christianity. A ultra-fundamentalist nut job that has a following in Florida is even planning to go so far as to burn a copy of the Koran this September 11th. He said that it was to show Muslims that we won't be intimidated.

I wonder where Paul's words in Romans 12:18 fit in this whole policy of protestation? Paul instructs followers of Jesus, saying, "If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." So, how is holding an anti-Muslim rally being at peace with all men? Didn't Jesus say, "Forgive, so that you can be forgiven?" Not that the millions of Muslims living at peace in the US (as they have for centuries) have anything to be forgiven, but the attackers did. So, if we're forgiving the radicals, like Jesus says to do, we should also be loving our neighbors as ourselves, which Jesus also said was tantamount to loving God. And, Paul follows that up with living at peace with all men, so far as it depends on us.

Given those ideas all in context of each other, it seems that Christians should be, at the very least, lovingly tolerant of, and perhaps, fighting tooth and nail to ensure the freedom of Muslims to build their community center. It seems so very hypocritical to call oneself a follower of Jesus and not try to act like Him or obey his commands (which is equivocated to love by the disciple John).

I used to be offended at the saying, "When fascism comes to America, it will be draped in the flag and carrying a cross." I'm not anymore. Sadly, I think its too late to be watching for it. Evidence seems to suggest that it's already here.

1 comment:

Niki said...

Excellent thoughts, Jared! I completely agree. Are we Christ followers first or Americans first? Will we be about peace, freedom, and loving our neighbor? Or will we spew angry words and punish many for the actions of a few, denying them what they as Americans have a right to do?