With the recent events in the news, I feel like I really want to say something longer than a facebook status.
I am glad to know that most Christians are against what the Florida congregation still plans to do (as of now*) on Saturday, and have a mass burning of Qur'ans. (*I wrote this originally as a Facebook note and at that time it was still on, but I have read that he has canceled the burning now.) Because that is completely against what that day should be about. As Christians we are preaching Jesus Christ. Here are words that I would like us to think about as we come up to Sept. 11, 2010:
5:16 - "Let your light shine like that in the sight of men. Let them see the good things you do and praise your Father in Heaven
5:39 - "If a man hits your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well."
6:14-15 - "For if you forgive other people their failures, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you will not forgive other people, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you your failures."
I found those just skimming through the beginning of Matthew. I could post a dozen more, at least. This country is starting to fall backward. Hate and anger seem to be rising. My prayer is that we can start to move forward. My calling is for Christians especially--let's work at practicing what we preach. The words of Jesus are hard words to hear and even harder sometimes to follow. It isn't easy to offer forgiveness to the people who crashed the planes. Maybe for some of us it feels impossible. But let's start by forgiving the Muslims who live in America, who call themselves citizens, and who also cried and mourned when the towers fell. Because some of us are turning our grief into anger against them, and they have truly done nothing wrong.
If a non-Christian evaluated Christianity solely on the Cursades, he could come to the conclusion that Christianity is a religion where killing of non-believers is allowable and sometimes even sanctioned by God. It's appaling to me that there are actual people who really do believe this! It's just as apalling to true Muslims that so many Americans/Christians seem to believe that Islam is really supportive of murdering unbelievers. If you didn't know, that's not true. Believing that is the same as thinking that the church in Florida planning to burn Qur'ans is representative of all Chrsitians. Not even close.
The Qur'an and the Bible aren't very different. Of course, some of the differences, like Christ crucified, are major and important, but many of the teachings of Jesus are echoed in the Qur'an. Read some of it sometime. Maybe Sept 11. And do something good to help stop the hate.