Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Great Quote

“Indeed, for women and other oppressed people, Jesus turned upside down the accepted wisdom of the day. Pharisees believed that touching an unclean person polluted the one who touched. But when Jesus touched a person with leprosy, Jesus did not become soiled-the leprous became clean. When an immoral woman washed Jesus’ feet, she went away forgiven and transformed. When he defied custom to enter a pagan’s house, the pagan’s servant was healed. In word and in deed Jesus was proclaiming a radically new gospel of grace: to get clean a person did not have to journey to Jerusalem, offer sacrifices, and undergo purification rituals. All a person had to do was follow Jesus. As Walter Wink puts it, “the contagion of holiness overcomes the contagion of uncleanness.”

-Phillip Yancey "The Jesus I Never Knew"

Monday, August 07, 2006

It's from a you know it's good

S. Cady has come through with another great post! Check it out, marvel at the link that he put in.

Seriously, the link is pretty stupid! His title is right, crying is my response.

Cady's Magic

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Peace through fighting....I think not!

I understand the Christian pro-Israel position. I understand the Israelis need to protect themselves from terrorism. I understand that there are Muslim terrorists out there who want nothing more than to destroy the Jews. I guess I just miss how fighting and killing people is going to solve the problem.

The problem in the Middle East is that for literally thousands of years the people of Israel and their Arab neighbors have been fighting. Both sides have been practicing hate towards each other. They have stood dogmatically on their positions and when those positions have been threatened they have responded with force.

As a result of this constant fighting and hatred they have continued to fued for the entire time. It’s just like the feuds up in the hill country of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee in the 19th century. The Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s kept fighting until just a few years ago. Why because there was always another axe to grind. There was always another revenge that had to be carried out.

This is the problem with fighting for peace. Look at World War II. One of the biggest causes was World War I. The German people were disgraced and humiliated after they lost, and it probably didn’t take a orator like Hitler (even though it was) much effort to rally the people behind getting revenge and avenging this disgrace. The hurt was already there.

Simple and plain, war does not lead to peace.

I am not saying we should not fight nor am I saying that a country does not have the right to defend itself. Israel as a sovereign nation has the right to stop another country from launching missiles into its cities. But just because it does have that right does not mean that they should expect force to stop another jihad movement from attacking her another day.

The only way for peace to happen is for one (or both) of the parties to agree to give up their right to justice, give up their pride, and move on. What would that mean? It would mean ideologies to change drastically. It would probably mean that Israel would lose it’s nationhood because the Arabs would take it by force. But then there would be no fighting.

If we look at the prescient that the early Christians set for peacefully giving up their rights we see how to gain peace. The Roman Emperors had it out for these people. They killed, tortured, divided them, enslaved them, and tried to do everything possible to destroy their movement. The Christians could have fought back, but they would have been destroyed. The Jews fought back, and in 70 AD everything they stood for was destroyed.

Jesus constantly talked about giving up your rights, about loving your neighbor, about not making it about you and what you wanted. He even set the example by dying on a cross. Culturally, turning the other cheek and walking another mile were references to the Roman soldiers. They would hit people. Jesus said to not fight back, but instead to allow them to hit you again-to give up your rights. Soldiers could make people carry their gear for a mile; Jesus said to offer to carry their equipment an extra mile. To again give up your rights.

Did Christians get hurt? Yes. Did Christians die? Yes. Were people’s lives totally changed as they watched Christians give up everything? Yes. Did Romans become followers of Christ? Yes. Was the Empire eventually won for Christ? Yes! Jesus’ message of a non-violent approach to peace does work. Who would have known God would have the answer?

It seems impossible. Is it possible for Israel and their Muslim neighbors to ever co-exist in peace? I think yes. But I do not think it will ever happen if they fight and if they continue to kill each other. Nope! You cannot win peace with war. It just doesn’t work.