Friday, March 24, 2006

humiliated?

In the news this week is the story of a man named Abdul Rahman who lives in Afghanistan and is on trial for converting to Christianity, something that is punishable by death in Afghanistan. It’s a heart breaking story and, considering the location, brings to mind what some of the early Christians must have faced when converting to Christianity. You can check out the entire story here, but the following sentence, uttered by cleric Abdul Raoulf, caught my eye;

"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die,"

The idea that God can be humiliated. This is an idea that has always fascinated me and, while many of us wouldn’t phrase it that way, it’s a thought process that many Christians share as well. It’s an extremely human take on God and His nature yet, I would argue, that if it were possible for God to be humiliated, He wouldn’t be God.

So, when we use phrases like “stand up for the gospel”, what do we really mean? And, incidentally, how do you “stand up for the gospel” and why does the gospel need being stood up for? Is it being picked on? Is the gospel being humiliated? Again, to suggest that the gospel somehow needs “defending” is to suggest that the gospel might just be a little weak in some areas. That it just might need rescuing.

I think that when we speak of defending God or the gospel, it’s really ourselves that we’re defending. We’re defending our own intelligence. We’re standing up and saying, “I am not crazy for believing that the Son of God came to earth, in the form of a man, after being born in a manger, and after working for thirty years as a carpenter and studier of the scriptures, and allowed himself to be crucified so that I might be forgiven of my sins. I’m not crazy!” What we’re doing is defending our own theology or “take” on God.

Abdul Raoulf is not defending God against rejection, he’s defending Islam, a religion. And what’s the point of that?

Larry recently posted a question concerning militant evangelism. Certainly the Bible speaks of a spiritual war, but there’s a fine line between fighting the forces of darkness, and fighting against another human being who simply doesn’t yet believe.

That’s my take anyway. What do you think? When it comes to defending anything concerning our religion and beliefs, do they need defending? And, when we say that we’re defending God, is it God or is it our pride that we’re defending?

Comments on "humiliated?"

 

Blogger ThePessimist said ... (4:39 AM) : 

Yes, it seems God is easily humiliated.
I like your theory that all defense of god/gospel is really a defense of the believer.
But you don't hear too many evangilists saying "What do you mean the earth is older than 6000 years?! I'll kill you."
It seems to be a muslim thing. It just doesn't seem to take much to fire off a muslim riot.

 

Blogger Taminee said ... (6:11 AM) : 

Good topic considering I planned oninforming you of the "wonderful Christian" group we have out here. Yes, I am saying that sarcastically. To give my opinion on your blog, I say there is no reason to "defend" God or the gospel. Why? The people who we might be debating this information with are not in need of statistical defense. They are in need of a witness to show them the true meaning.
The group out here? Colorado courts are working on the "Don't ask. Don't tell" policy in the military. There are some independent cases going on in Colorado. As was the case a few years ago when a gay man was killed in Wyoming, this church group showed up with their banners in protest. they are "Christians" so you must know they were against homosexual rights of any kind. Their posters not only have verses from the Bible, but are complete with drawings of "homosexual acts." I know I have a lot of quote marks...sorry. This time, the news was there to cover the entire story which just helps this group out in advertising their stupidity. They claim to be a Baptist Church. Complete with their gay bashing posters and "God Hates Gays" T-shirts. For anyone just browsing these comments, please know that these are not Christians. The news interviewed a little boy in the group, maybe about 9 years old, and when asked how he knows God hates gays, he said it is in the Bible. The reporter asked where it is in the Bible. Total silence and a dumbfound look that said it all.
If I'm not mistaken, in the Bible it states that He does not like the sin. BUT, God does not like any sin for that matter. The wonderful thing about God is that He forgives the sins of man, even those of people who foolishly claim to do His works when they are turning people away from God. I believe the battle we must win is that of winning people to God. I've said it before, shouting your disgust and dismay in the face of non believers will not make them compassionate to your beliefs. How to you explain to someone who thinks they are obeying God's will? How do you witness to someone who doesn't think they need witnessing?
My mom works for the Colorado Baptist General Convention. I asked her, in reference to this group, what they do when people call her and associate them with this group. How do you make someone believe your Christianity or your association is not following the same path as this group? There are plenty of obstacles out there without putting the stamp of Christianity on a group who is anything but.
When my judgement is upon me, will there be protestors with their banners lined up condmening me? NO! One Judge who knows my heart. One decision that has given me a clean record in His court. I am not gay, I have never stolen, used drugs, or done anything illegal. However, my sins are no less than these. So, maybe there shoud be protestors on my lawn!

 

Blogger Taminee said ... (6:18 AM) : 

One more thing, should you have a bit of curiousity, this group has a website, which quotes scripture out of context so that Christianity seems so much harder to achieve. I am not promoting this website by any means, rather showing you the misguided ways of this group. the site is www.godhatesfags.com (I hate even typing that word I apologize for the offensiveness of this)
So, see I guess this answers your question about defense. I am defending true Christianity, and yet that wasn't my goal when I started this post.

 

Blogger Jim said ... (3:32 PM) : 

This reminds me of hearing people claim "God is on our side!" On OUR side?!?!?

Anyway, I agree that our defense is of us, not God. Isn't that the case in most disgreements? I am not convinced we are as passionate about the issue at hand as we are about being the victor.

 

Blogger tarisayl said ... (11:52 PM) : 

Praise God he has been saved! If you haven't heard the news lately, Mr. Rahman is now in Italy with the welcome of the Italian government. He was released from prison temporarily, but could go back if the case against him was reopened. Any guesses on whether or not that would have happened? How humbling is it that this man lived in a country in which Christianity was punishable by death and he converted anyway, and I'm too shy at times to ask people if they know the Lord? The worst that could happen to me here is they could get angry. I can see how close a comparison that would be.

 

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