17 septiembre 2014

The Lost Message · El mensaje perdido

"The Second Mile", from Journeys with the Messiah, by Michael Belk

Is Religion truly an opium?
A drug that robs human beings of clear vision, humanity, and dignity?

The rise of the radical Islamic terrorist movement ISIS (IS)
and its affiliates around the world shows us precisely how poisonous
and dangerous man-made religious systems are.

And that they have absolutely nothing to do with God.

These murderers have gone on killing sprees so bloody,
so surrealistically sadistic that suddenly, the dark smokestacks of Ausschwitz
seem to be belching their infernal fumes over us once again.

Beheadings, even of children. Crucifixions. Robbery and extorsion.
Sexual slavery and perversion. The list goes on and on, all "in the Name of God".

How should we respond?  Is there any way to stop these monsters,
to "cure" the fever of this religious madness?

Jesus' own message of self-sacrifice and radical love
seems to leap off the pages these days:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away." ~ Matthew 5:38-42

 Yet, as Alice Su admits in her excellent article:

"How do Christians respond to terrorism?
My church answers falter.

'Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.'
OK, but really?

What if I were Iraqi or Syrian or Gazan?
What if the Islamic State crucified my father?
What if an Israeli bomb blew my family into pieces?

What if everyone I loved was hit
with chemical weapons?

I meet person after person for whom this is reality.
I wonder what I can say to them.
I write down their stories.
I cry. I want to vomit. I turn to God."

I will be reflecting more on these questions, and on the truly
"Lost Message" of Jesus in upcoming posts.

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