My dear Christian brothers and sisters, I ask that you will read this post and I pray that God will move on your hearts to hear the message here./p>
When the Israelites were delivered from slavery, God commanded them concerning their treatment of each other and of aliens living among them. These commands were given so that the harsh treatment they endured in Egype would not repeat itself. People were not to be held in such debt that it made them poor and homeless. People were not to be kidnapped and sold into slavery–those who kidnapped another person and sold him into slavery were to be punished. Fathers and children were not to be punished for each other’s sin; instead, each person was to be responsible for his own sin. A portion of the harvest was to be left for the poor to glean so that the poor had food. All these commands were summed up in Dt. 24:22: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.”
We Christians often live by the attitude that “that is the Old Testament and we live by grace.” Yet we do not live by grace at all. Grade, in fact, is entirely consistent with this Law–this Law that has been fulfilled by a great sacrificial love that has absolutely no concern with preservation of its own life!
In America, Muslims have been enduring hate crimes for many years. Sadly, these are escalating. The Des Moines Register recently reported a note threatening "he’s [Trump] going to do to you what Hitler did to the Jews".
Is it grace to forget our past and treat others with the kind of harshness that we ourselves do not want to endure?
We fear and fight against Muslims because we don’t want a repeat of the past. We don’t want to return to a time when Muslims dominated society and enforced their religious preferences on Christians. If you are not familiar with church history, this was what prompted the Crusades brutal wars in which people were forced to “convert” to Christianity or be killed.
Friends, this is not conversion. Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly! You may argue the passage in which Jesus says he came not to bring peace but a sword; but I tell you that he never raised his hand against another person. In fact, he healed a person after Peter did just this. Jesus came into the world that the world might be saved through him. How are acts of hatred toward Muslims accomplishing this goal?
Remember your past as members of the Body of Christ. Remember that you once endured pain and enslavement and death at the hands of practitioners of another faith. Do not repeat those practices in the name of God. Jesus said that in this life we would endure persecution. He never promised that we would have peace or freedom to worship him. He was thrown out of his own temple because of his teaching. Why should we expect better? Why should we expect to be honored and protected when the one we worship was not?
Our witness would be far better if we were kind to those who do not practice the Christian faith. The witness of love is the witness that in Acts 2:42-47 resulted in the adding of thousands daily to the Church. Can you imagine what would happen if we did this today!
- Sermon: I Will Praise the Lord - October 8, 2017
- God’s Call is Forever - April 4, 2017
- Remember and Live by Grace - March 22, 2017
- Worship in Spirit and Truth - March 19, 2017
- “What Can I Do for You?” - February 12, 2017
- To Seek and Save the Lost - September 11, 2016
- Weeds in the Daisy Pot - June 27, 2016
- Daddy’s girl - June 19, 2016
- The Two Trees and the Everyday Fall - June 1, 2016
- Can We Carry the Cross - March 25, 2016