Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fear


Has anyone else noticed the global outrage from Muslims over the comments by Pope Benedict XVI in a speech this past Tuesday? What I find most interesting is not that Muslims around the world are outraged, nor that Pope Benedict XVI seems reluctant to apologize for implying that Muhammed only brought things that are "evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached. "What I find compelling is the worldwide pressure being placed on the Pope to concede that his comments were inappropriate and demonstrated signs of intolerance towards Islam (even though the Pope has publicly stated that his quotation of an ancient Medievial dialogue is not representative of his personal views), as if an apology will end the enmity between Christians and Muslims.

But why the pressure from the media to apologize? Surely images like the emotionally charged one above offers some hint. The reality is that people, Westerners in particular, fear, not only radical Muslims, but all Muslims because of the extremists actions of a few within Islamic belief. Sadly, the concern from mainstream media isn't for the protection of Christians in places like the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, who will likely innocently be subject to many days of violence and life-threatening attacks as a result of the outrage over the Pope's comments. The concern arises out of a fear within the gut of Western society that one day, one day we may so enrage Muslims around the world that the violence that is so common in the Middle East will one day spill over into our streets with increasing frequency.

This fear is only a trap set within the heart of man (Prov 29:25) that will drive many further and further away from the kingdom as they put their hopes in man to save and deliver us. What folly to think that appeasing the enemies of God will be our salvation in this transistory world! The day will come when western civilization as we know it begins to crumble. There are already cracks in the foundation. It will be over-run with man's fears - whether they are fears of terrorism, nuclear war, economic devastation or moral perversity that rules the day.

I don't know if the Pope should or should not apologize. I don't even know if the Pope has saving faith. What I do know is that there is a pervasive fear in the heart of man that can only be soothed by Jesus who offers eternal righteousness and salvation to all who believe that He is God in the flesh who took upon Himself the sins of man on the cross, died, was raised on the third day in power, and is seated at the right hand of His Father exercising authority over this terrified world. This is the hope for the end of hostility between Christian and Muslim. Only when man unites by faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation is there freedom from fear of all kinds.

2 Comments:

At 10:51 AM , Blogger Bluesman said...

This reminds me of a sermon I recently heard. Maybe you heard it as well?

 
At 12:14 PM , Blogger Aaron said...

I don't recall...I think I was asleep

 

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