Are we any better?
As we gaze at our TV screens these days and se the barbarities, as we face the capabilities of other humans who share and breath the same oxygen as we do, live under the same bright sky as we do, of committing atrocities against their fellow humans we find within ourselves a sense of self-righteous comfort in knowing that we would never do these things and that it would be unthinkable for us to belong to a group, a culture, a religion that would practice such atrocities. Well, think again!
We may justify certain acts committed by people whose stories we revere today stating that “it was another time, another reality” but do we really know that “our group, religion or culture” once practiced the same gory acts of vengeance, murder, ethnic cleansing and religious purging that the Islamic extremists are now practicing?
What if there were cameras?
What to say of Samuel cutting Agag as narrated in 1 Samuel 15:33? What to say of the son of a Dodo a killer of such nature that the “hand clave to his sword”, an atrophy that practically engrafted the sword to his hand (I Sam 23:9-10 don’t mind if you’re a Dodo, you may bear killers one day). What if there were cameras filming it and showing for all the world to see in the nightly news? Oh, that without speaking of David beheading Goliath; It is not a farfetched thought that if we could see it on the TV screen, David would have us up to the time that rock hit Goliath’s forehead, but, he certainly would have lost our support the minute we would see him chopping the big guy’s head!
I could go on and on with examples, but, then again, allow me: what if there were cameras when Calvin consented in Servetus execution? When the atrocities of the Crusaders were practiced? Think about it!
All these shows that we as humans are capable of doing the most heinous, the evilest of acts in the name of that which we deem sacred and unchangeable! It also enhances and gives a total new perspective and meaning to the teachings of Jesus, the Christ: “love your enemies; bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you!” – This teaching really highlights what real Christianity is! Look at Paul: “even if my body is given to be burned” (perhaps in martyrdom) if I had no love it would mean nothing; Check Peter, writing to a church under persecution he says: “Do not repay evil for evil, just be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is in you”. In studying early Christianity, those first brethren understood nothing of vengeance and hatred; they even took the words of Jesus literally, imagine that! They believed that “no one has greater love than this: than laying his own life down for his friends” was a call to die for their friends in the new found faith! Yes, what a concept! They took the words of Jesus literally!
Christianity, the “Judeo-Christian” thinking of today cannot and should not be so “nowistic” so as to ignore its own past of blood, heinous acts of revenge, “an eye for many eyes”, and protect your religious and cultural, and, in the case of the Church, your doctrinal purity, at all cost, including burning people at the steak, murdering, plundering, or throwing their enemies in prison with no trial, or any type of justice that we are so arrogantly proud of dispensing today.
Have that in mind: nothing today is as Christian as Christ intended. We are not better than anyone for being “judeo-christian”! If there were scenes preserved from a blood-stained past, would feel as self-righteous as we feel today as we look upon another human being burned while his executioners cheer and chant praises to their God? Remember the words of the one who said “love your enemies” or “forgive so you will be forgiven”: “…there will be a time that one who kills you will deem to be (in killing you) doing a service to God…” – Jesus knew how to predict extremist religion of any kind!
Is Christianity Christian?