Admission: I am struggling with how the puzzle of the Christian, Jew, and Muslim fits together.
The Christian/Jewish orientation spiritually, I understand. The Bible is very clear that the Jews are God’s chosen people, that though I am entered into the plans of God through the New Covenant in Christ, and believe this supercedes the Old Mosaic Covenant, still… the promises are in effect. Strengthened through the Christ who is the Yea and Amen to all God’s promises. And the Jew is still the recepient of God’s Promises. That has not changed, and will never change.
That means that it is still in effect that Israel is the apple of God’s eye, that those who bless the Jew, God will bless, and those who curse, God’ will curse.
I have no problem knowing what side of that equation I wish to be on. I do not always agree with all Jews on all things, but I am established in the stance that I will choose to do them good. Simply on the basis that this is God’s way. No hard thinking or choices there.
What I have problems with in considering the Jew is in the temporal scene. I ran into that when considering the orientation on how to deal with the threat of Islam.
Islam I have no trouble identifying in the temporal realm, but what is said of it in scripture to understand it spiritually? Is it separate from something such as Caesar’s Rome? Or not?
In the spectrum of history Islam was sometimes referred to as judgement from God. That a wayward Christianity had lost its salt and sense, and thus the rise of obscure Islam to test and discipline the complacency. But what if I transfer this to todays’ world scene rather than that of the Middle Ages?
How to deal with the Muslim, -though as enemies they wish to destroy me, my nation, my religion-, yet even as enemies I should see them in the light of God’s creation: love them and pray for them. That does not mean I will not oppose their destructiveness, but it does temper my attitude. It divides the man from the system of that man.
And above all, the Christian should advance the light of Christ. We should be about the Father’s business of evangelizing and living out the truth of His Love in the earth.
Awareness of Church history means that for centuries there have been the saints prayers for the gates of Islam to be open to the gospel. We are living in the day of the answer to that, but do we have the open eyes to see our commission? Or are we too busy guarding our temporal kingdoms?
Muslims fill the cities of the West in ever increasing numbers, but we stand aside cowering and unsure. Talking of what steps to be taken to “protect ourselves”. Is this the Christian Orientation? The mission field has come to us, and what is our plan of action? Close our eyes and wish they would all go away so we can continue our comfortable WASP existance? With the challenges that we long had relegated to resignation: the tension of race and class something to which we had developed workarounds, instead of real solutions….?
And our relationship to the Jews. Are we afraid to offend to say “Jesus is your Messiah”? Or worse, do we harbor prejudice and murderous resentments? Allowing the pogroms of old some lingering coals? Or do we love them enough to tell them the truth, even while standing in the position that we will embrace and protect them no matter what their choice on their Messiah? Whether they reject, to honor and stand by them; or whether our fellow man is dedicatedly secular, care for them? What is our orientation? To the Jew or to the Heathen, what is our orientation?
And are we willing to take the results of being offensive for the sake of Christ? To understand that no one is going to thank us for seeking to persuade them of the message of Christ.
If we are not correctly oriented we may fall into the trap of believing we may strike at those who threaten us. But Christ did not teach that. We have God’s protection in the form of the government’s authority and it behooves us to maintain a government of justice and of protection of the rights of all. but our personal stance is be harmless.
Who is more vulnerable when that is lost? Jews seem to be the sign. Their loss of rights or of welfare signals that the Christian is next in line. And those who are caught in the vortex of racial and creedal hatreds are easy to hate, but the call of Christ is to overcome such with the truth working through love.
I am not sure that Christians are prepared to recognize these things. There are probably many who will find my viewpoint distasteful, but the logical end of such views is to be harmless. If my view is to do no harm to others, but to promote the cause of Christ and live within the parameters of His teachings…. then offensive or not, I will do no harm to my fellow man.
And this is in keeping with the admonition to do the same. But if I will take on the cover and mantle of seeming tolerance that will necessarily take sides in crushing other beliefs by force…. then I am a danger to all and a betrayer of my own. Are we not moving in the direction of this choice scenario?
And here is the paradox of the worlds form of tolerance: in order to protect tolerance one must move against that which does not tolerate. There is no reliance upon the justice or intervention of God. God and His order of authority are meaningless in the world’s own system…where it abides only its own definitions, goals, and finally, existance. When it tells you it can handle the situation by its own methods… dealing with the physical demands only… is it being truthful?
Do you believe the Muslims will “play nice” once their temporary demands are met? Is this their belief system, to stop at an economic prosperity and “live and let live”? If we could offer up all our worldly goods as tribute, would this be sufficient?
And what if we should defend the Jews right to exist, within their own choice of religion? Will the ransom of the worldly goods hold then? Or will we be asked to give the Jew up, then to finally give up our own convictions …and capitulate to the necessary end of this, Sharia? Or if things go to a purely secular end….. the necessary end to all signs of religion and a moral bankruptcy that has no restraints, but gives only to the strongest and most ruthless?
What are we seeing in France, I wonder. What happens when the beast breaks his cage, and the master cowers in fear…. there is a seeking for a new stronger master, and an evil feudalism that has means that no former feudal lords ever had availble heretofore.
Is this what Revelation in the Bible foretells? A dark star dark age, where it all collapses in on itself? How close are we…how much daylight is left to promote the welfare of all men, and give good news to the poor, the oppressed, and the disenfranchised? And what are we waiting for? And whom are we serving, promoting, and abetting?
We see France, now, as a fireball far away. We think that we have had our own riots and recovered, our own upheavals that are now dormant. But I just wonder whether we are orienting ourselves rightly, and what is our compass? And does that compass remain true, or is something effecting all that we are, so far, ignorant of?