“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
As our time on Earth grows inexorably short, the judgments of our fellow-man, the absence of love in the voices of those pronouncing the judgments, and the association of those voices with those identifying themselves as Christians troubles me more and more.
In my post of December 3rd entitled Another Black Eye I commented on a small Free-will Baptist Church in the Kentucky hill country who banned an interracial couple from becoming members of their small congregation, or being involved in any aspect of leadership or discipleship in connection with its ministries. The reason? Their interracial relationship.
In another stellar demonstration of Christian fellowship, Terry Jones, who pastors a church in the Gainesville, Florida area is reaching out to mosques and Muslims in America’s heartland this way:
The organization of controversial pastor Dr. Terry Jones will reportedly burn Korans and images of the prophet Muhammad if Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is executed for his Christian faith.
Dr. Terry Jones of Stand Up America Now said the planned protest would “obviously get Islam’s attention,” saying Christians “cannot just stand by and do nothing,” according to the Christian Post.
Terry, meanwhile, and his Florida-based organization protested Islamic Awareness Month at the University of Florida last week.
“We have very little that we can do as a Christian community to protest the inhumane activities of Islam,” Jones told The Christian Post.
The irony in all this is that these two stories which exemplify the worst characteristics of what the world now associates with Christianity have as their underpinnings the absolute the things that Dietrich Bonhoeffer died for in Nazi Germany. He was one of the few clergymen bold enough to stand up to the Nazis and shine the light on them for who they really were. He paid for his “treason” with his life, while his predictions of what would become of his country and the Nazis unfolded in sharp detail for his remaining countrymen to see for themselves after the war.
Here’s another irony: Jones today re-announced his plan to burn Korans in support of Pastor Nadarkhani, even after the Iranian government appears to be backing away (as delicately as possible) from its plans to hang the young pastor. After the accidental burning of Korans in Afghanistan, which led to so much bloodshed recently, I wonder if the deliberate destruction of Islam’s holy book, would incite Iran to go forth with its original death sentence? Betting Jones didn’t give that much thought.
As I often do, let me encourage you to match up that which Jesus exemplified in His three years as Immanuel, God with us, with what you see in the above unfortunate examples which are frequently associated with true believers in His Lordship:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Jesus placed no conditions on this fruit and we are to apply these things to all people, situations, and against any other vain philosophy, particularly hatred masquerading itself as Christianity. Remember what Jesus Himself said:
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15
Remember that prophets called the people to warn them about the consequences of their sin, their rebellion against God not to do what men like Terry Jones are doing. he is anathema to anything inspired by the Holy Spirit sent to us by Jesus 2,000 years ago and he will certainly answer for his leadership.
God bless you all.