Burning the Quran

Recently it has been in the news that a Christian church in Florida has decided to burn the Muslim holy book the Quran to commemorate the 9/11 attacks on the trade center in New York.  What an insult this is for the Christian community to bear.  This is not how Jesus would have us behave.  I have to wonder just what this congregation hopes to accomplish.

God’s plan for Christians was not for us to attack the things that we don’t agree with.  But for centuries this has been the case for many people who say they follow Jesus.  Jesus never attacked anyone’s beliefs.  I don’t think He would approve of this latest event that is being done I’m sure ‘In the name of Christ’.  It is no wonder the Christian community has been labeled as judgmental and close minded for decades.

This behaviour will do nothing to advance the Christian message.  This behaviour will only result in a deeper animosity and offense being created between Christianity and the world.  The Christian church and message is supposed to be one where everyone is accepted as they are and for who they are.  God values people, even the ones who don’t want to follow Him, and we as the church should be following His example.  Not doing such things to create a deeper separation between us and the world.

God loves people just the way they are.  Jesus died for us while we were still enemies Romans teaches.  He didn’t wait for us to choose to follow Him first.  God also loves us to much to leave us as we are, and when we decide to follow Christ He begins to change us from the inside out.  God gives us His power to live His way.  We get to live in relationship and partnership with God.

This behaviour is definitely not Christian behaviour, and I do have to say that I am deeply grieved by the position this congregation has decided to take, and the fact that they are being so public and vocal about it.  One more sad blot that we as followers of Christ have added to being a Christian.

Being Transformational – Salt and Light part two

We as Christians have the ability to influence and transform the world around us.  This is what Jesus was telling us in Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

We have the ability to influence the world around us because salt by its very nature influences everything it touches.  Salt always makes a difference. Even if we never get to see the difference being made.  Light also makes a difference, but its effects go deeper.

We are able to be salt in the world by living out our faith for people to see.  Letting the world around us see by our lives that there is a better way.  We are being light when we are helping people connect the dots between who we are, and what God is doing in us.  Being light involves us sharing God’s goodness with the world around us.  Using things like our testimony to direct people’s view from our character to God who is the reason for the hope that we have.  Jesus said In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Our task in the world is to live our faith for the world to see – Salt, and to help people connect the dots so that they can make the connection between our lives and our Father in heaven.  Let people see our good deeds so that they can give glory, or honor and credit, to God in heaven.  Our lives are a testimony of God’s goodness, and we simply need to help people come to understand this testimony.  And we are able to do this,  whether we feel we are able to or not.

God knows we are able to do this because He has strategically placed us where we are to be able to have the greatest impact.  The Greek word for “Set” is ‘Keimai’ which involves divine appointment and strategic planning.  Now not many of us feel like we are strategic.  We most often feel that our lives are random, or the product of our circumstances.  But God sees us like a city on a hill.  The city wasn’t just dropped down anywhere.  It was place where it would be visible, and often made of white limestone which would reflect the sun during the day, and the torch light of the city at night, making it visible from a distance both day and night.  He knows that we don’t place a light any old place.  We place it where it will illuminate the largest area, giving light to the most people.  God sees us as strategically placed in our situations and relationships, and knows that we are able to transform the world around us.

God knows that Salt always makes a difference, and people are in darkness are drawn towards light, even the smallest one.  We can influence and transform our world.  All we have to be is Salt and Light.