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Saginaw, Michigan, United States
A sinner who may come before God because of Christ

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Responding Differently

I was pretty appalled at some of the Christian response to the recent situation where a schoolteacher in the Sudan was arrested and threatened with prison and lashing for allowing a child to name a Teddy Bear after the Islamic prophet Mohammed.

A pastor on You Tube named a pig that same name and even on the View there was a discussion on how Christian's would have had cows if someone had named a Teddy Bear "Jesus".

I disagree. As individuals and as a church we hold His name as holy with reverence, but no where are we told to force others to do the same.

You see, our faith is based on a personal relationship with God. We are His children and He is our Father, our Savior, our King, our Counselor, our Deliverer. He will never leave us and will always be with us.

Yes, we should defend His name when it is misused, but these should be personal actions.

The hub-bub over some company's not using "Christmas" reaches a fever pitch. Like the Christian faith hinges on whether Lowe's calls something a "Holiday Tree" or a "Christmas Tree".

Back to what makes me sad, though, is that so often we, in responding to these events, forget about grace and being gracious and kind. Naming a pig after another religion's revered leader is just plain nasty. Where did Christ or God ever tell us to act in that manner?

It is one thing to write to Kohl's and ask them why they ommited Christmas (they told me they were going to use that term closer to the day) and another to organize mass boycotts over this.
We can lose sight quickly of our main purpose, to bring the good news and become just like the world we are told not to be like.

A couple of years ago there was a boycott of Blockbusters here in our area. We have an East side of town that is very poor, high crime, and mainly ethnic minorities and a West side and suburbs that are not. When Blockbuster opened a video store, the only one, on the east side, they used the usual price to rent a video. On the west side there are a number of video outlets so Blockbuster has a lower price (in response to the competition).

A local activist Christian group organized a boycott of Blockbusters because they charged more on the east side, claiming racism (which is an odd claim for a belief system that sees only one race from Adam and Eve) and exploitation.

In furthering this boycott, they partnered with some of the competing video stores. The tragic witness of this is that those stores refused to open stores on the east side and some of them offered x-rated videos. It was a horrible witness and one that certainly did not glorify God.

My point is that we are no longer individuals but are part of the family of God and what we do, what we whine about, how we act all reflect on our Lord - the one who died on the cross for us.
I hope that we all keep that in mind the next time the line is long at the store or some unbeliever shows their ignorance.

For His Glory,

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