In Paul’s letter to friends in Galatia, he was stirred to make this profound statement:
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law. But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 1But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
(Galatians 2:15-21 NRSV)
In light of recent debates with regards to Jihad and the Islamic agenda, it is fitting to have a quick look at Christianity’s recent history.
For instance: Protestants, Jews, and non-conformists were humiliated, persecuted, and tortured in utterly gruesome showcase events by church authorities in medieval times.
Believers were: killed, brutalised or imprisoned for meeting privately, or even trying to make the scriptures accessible to the common man.
Puritans who left the shores of Europe in search of spiritual freedom in America, became oppressors themselves, with record of genocide against the Indian population, not to mention slavery, and the most inhumane torture Africans suffered. The awful treatment and brutality against women and children also needs mentioning.
Sadly, these were all done based on the world view and legalistic interpretation of scriptures by ‘Christians’ not dissimilar to what we see in ‘radical Islam’ today. Therefore I submit to you dear friends that religion is the problem – hence Christ!
May the just truly live by faith and trust in Jesus’ finished work at Calvary. May we hold back from casting stones at people that do not agree with our view point. May we express love to all, regardless of faith, gender, background, sexual orientation, race, beliefs, or non-beliefs…