Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category

I Hate This

This is the side of a mosque in Tennessee that was recently vandalized. It makes me sick that someone actually connects the cross of Jesus Christ with such actions and thoughts.

The sad irony is that when they nailed Jesus to the cross they (and we, by our own sin) were rejecting him and saying, “Go home, we don’t want you.” Jesus Christ, on the other hand, was (and still is) saying, “I am doing this for you so that you can come home with me.”

You can read the story or see it at Talk Islam, where I learned about it.

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Last Sunday Switzerland shockingly approved a national ban on the building of minarets (these are the towers on mosques where they do the call to prayer). This is like having a national ban on church bell towers. It is amazing that such a thing could happen in Europe. What good does this promote? Will not having minarets lesson religious fanaticism? Hardly. And this comes from a nation whose constitution supposedly guarantees freedom of religion.

This is not a step toward peace. If you’ve read my blog you know I don’t subscribe to a kind of religious plurality where I believe everyone is right. But I do believe in a religious plurality where everyone is free. Free to worship as they like. Free to worship where they like. Free to build places of worship. Free to change their religion. Free to tell others why they believe what they believe.

Banning the building of minarets will only make Muslims in Switzerland feel more like they are outsiders. It will encourage them to disengage with their non-Muslim neighbors. It will encourage non-Muslims to continue to fear Muslims and refuse to get to know them. It will give Muslim fanatics more fuel for their fire (The west is anti-religious and is out to destroy Muslims). It will give non-Muslim fanatics more fuel for their fire (Muslims are scary terrorist and we must stop them).

You don’t need to be able to read the poster below to know that it does not promote understanding, love or peace. It promotes fear and peace does not prosper in fear.

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This is despicable. A Muslim Arab woman was stabbed to death in a courtroom in Germany. The motive? It seems to be that she was a Muslim who wore the veil. She was three months pregnant.

Followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, ought to decry this racism as strongly as we decry anti-Semitism against Jews.

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My wife and I watched The Express: The Ernie Davis Story last night. It’s about Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy (given to the best player each year in college football). We all know America’s ugly history of racism, but it was shocking again to see it played out during his life 50 years ago.

I especially get angry when people use Jesus Christ as rationale for their racism. In the movie there is a scene when Syracuse (Davis’ team) was playing against Texas in the Cotton Bowl. The Texas players had been making racial slurs the entire game and one of them asked the center before the ball was snapped, “Aren’t you ashamed as a white Christian to play with them?” The center responds, “Nope. I’m Jewish.”

This is so frustrating because not only is racism sinful in Christianity, but more importantly, it is a denial of the gospel. It is a rejection of the glorious truth that Jesus Christ died on a cross for all sinners to redeem people from every tongue, tribe and race for God. The Bible is clear on this.

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. – Ephesians 2:13-21

Jesus Christ is our peace, for he has removed the dividing wall between all peoples. All those who are in Christ are reconciled to God in one body.

There are lots of walls between so many different peoples today. We need to hear again and again that Jesus Christ tears those walls down. Like Jesus, we need to preach peace.

Back to Ernie Davis

Tragically Ernie Davis died when he was only 23 years old. But in that short time he accomplished much, not only in football, but in building a more just society. The movie gives the answer for how he was able to accomplish so much and I agree heartily. In the beginning you see Ernie’s grandfather teaching him this verse, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

For football fans, check out this short clip of Ernie Davis playing.

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