|The religious protest and the love commandments.|
A child carrying a protest sign @jttozer, Twitter in Sydney
The wave of protests in the Middle East has reached Sydney Australia. The picture of a child carrying a protest sign reading "Behead all those who insult the ...." is going viral on twitter and the Internet. They have the freedom of speech based on their religious text.
An innocent child by the people of faith carrying a message of harm is going to undermine the reputation of the religious faith. It takes away goodwill. The child is innocent but the faith implicated.
How could a 14 minute poorly made and comical video which one could barely watch or understand, and produced by an Egyptian conman living in Los Angeles could have caused widespread protest by people of faith against US interest?
The protest was in the context of 9/11 incident in New York, and the aftermath of war and the deaths of many in the Middle East. The protest against the video is just an excuse to take the moral highground when there was already a strong angst against US.
The US went too far in their response to 9/11 in the context of the Love commandments of the bible. It was beyond an eye for an eye for there were many more deaths in the resultant wars than there was in 9/11.
The Onion x-rated picture, Sep 13, 2012
The Onion x-rated picture was a far worst insult than the home made video by showing the four major faith figures (Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist) having a foursome sexual encounter in the clouds in heaven in their Sep 13 on-line issue.
Yet in a poignant reminder that the people of faith should be about love and peace, the Onion headline satire reads "No one was mudered because of this image".
The Onion further comented : - "Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened, sources reported Thursday."
The whole incident speaks of how Jesus changed the ancient religious norms. The religious laws of the Christian Old Testament bible is essentially an eye for an eye. It speaks of a strong response to harm done. (Exodus 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21).
Jesus spoke of not only not responding in kind, but actually be in an exposed position to allow further harm to be caused to the innocent, ie we should not respond or be perturbed or too angered when we are insulted.
When we "loose our face", our reputation, when others insult our integrity, might as well loose the other side of our face as well!. We are not to keep our face, our honour, in Christianity.
Also we are to bless our enemies ie if we were to be violently attacked by militants, we are to respond by sending food aid to their home country and not going to war with them to avenge the deaths for justice sake. How ridiculous!
But, Jesus preached it so in
Mat 5: 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."
Mat 5: 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
What Jesus was preaching was that Love Commandment to "love thy neighbour" in Lev. 19:18 wasn't enough for the other religious laws also included hating our enemies and giving no mercy in the name of God.
So Jesus set a far higher bar than the Shema of Yisrael, because we can cause grave harm in the name of loving and "standing up" for God.
Therefore, following religious laws of good works, and the Love commandments wasn't enough to be "children of your Father in heaven".
We are to show grace and mercy by not responding in Kind. For we live in the same world. If judgement were to come on the unrighteous, it will also come on the righteous. Conversely, the blessings of God of rain and sun falls on the righteous and unrighteous, ie God shows grace and mercy to the unrighteous.
It reminds me of how the people of faith has in general treated Gays with violence, harm, and persecution. Our justice and rights are taken away. They have slapped us on the right cheek, and also on the left!
Are we to love our enemies, and pray for the mega churches in Singapore who has persecuted the gay community! They have stripped us of everything - our face, our dignity, honour and respect.
How do we show love? perhaps donating to their Suntec and One North mega church building funds!!!! If the Pink community donates a hundred dollars each to the CHC building fund, it would put the mega church in a difficult position!
The way of Jesus of Nazareth is surely opposite the ways of the world and the religious faiths within it.
Lord Jesus, help us, to give grace and mercy, and to choose love always, for You have loved us first when we were sinners afar of.