I watched and listened to the speech by President Ahmadenejad today. This posting has nothing to do with the content of his speech at Columbia University. It deals with us – Americans – and our character.
I saw with horror, the “angry crowds” (CNN description) of protesters. And, was terrified to see the the association of people who claim to be Christians so charged with anger. Is it the Christian way to be judgmental, or angry, or hateful? Does Christ command us to be full of pride, to be arrogant? Does the Gospel permit us to be rude?
Is Christian Hatred the Forgotten Virtue?
We are the bearers of God’s peace. We are the new Israel, the new Jerusalem. We are the Lord’s chosen people. What kind of example do we set? Christ said, in Matthew 5:43-48:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
We must be tax collectors, because we only love those who we know love us. We hate those who we think hate us. We say it is fine to disrespect the President of Iran because of allegations and/or facts about the Iranian regime. As we were told as children, “two wrongs do not make a right.”
We must be careful. I’m reading a book by Dr. R.C. Sproul: The Holiness of God. Dr. Sproul speaks of divine justice. In our arrogance, we forget that God demands that we be humble. We are absorbed in our way of life and flirt with danger. We are so arrogant that we forget God’s justice. When God shows forth His justice and we reap His wrath, Dr. Sproul reminds us: “It is as if He (God) were saying, ‘Be careful. While you enjoy the benefits of my grace, don’t forget my justice.”
In dealing with the speech of President Ahmadenejad, we must regard it through the lens of Christ; we must first remove the log from our own eye. We reprimand him because of various alleged abuses, yet our Nation has also committed such abuses. We debate over whether the President says that the Holocaust does not exist, yet President Bush could not – and will not – call the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade a crime against humanity. We accuse Iran of preventing all of its citizens from enjoying the benefits of freedom and democracy, yet Washington, D.C., the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Colonies do not enjoy those benefits.
So, I ask: are we pure enough to judge another?
The media asks: what did his speech today accomplish? I ask: what does our hate accomplish? Where does our tone lead us – if not to war? With the stance we take, do we really expect another result?
The Lord is not smiling at us. We misrepresent the cause of Christ, and He will not tolerate being vilified. We are attempting to pull His Holy Name down to our level, when we should be striving to climb up the ladder of divine ascent. Repent, for the days are short.
I’m keeping my eyes open. May the Lord keep the city, that my watching be not in vain.