After discussing the Muslim/Christian worshiping the same God debate. I began to think that this topic is similar to the picture of the dress that shook the nation a couple months ago. Even now I see black/blue on the right in the picture at the top, but my sister only sees gold and white in all three dresses. (The dress is actually black and blue).
Around the world, couples who saw the picture would get into serious arguments. Peoples’ appetites were ruined. Everyone was flabbergasted that one could see gold and white, while another swore they saw black and blue. It shocked and angered many.
I am a Christian, but the terms I use might be different from the next Christian. When I say the same God, I mean as in point of reference. I don’t mean identical. Using mathematical terms we would say similar, not necessarily congruent. But I would also say there is absolutely only one true and living God.
I find that people are afraid to acknowledge truth in other religions. They refuse to acquiesce the validity present in others different from themselves. They are afraid it threatens their own beliefs. The motivations are fear and insecurity i.e. everyone will become Muslim now or Christian people will stop proselytizing.
The Analogy that absolutely needs to stop being used
Another argument that those who disagree give me is, “But what if someone is in a burning building, won’t you go and pull them out? Or what if they die tomorrow and you didn’t preach the gospel to them? They’ll be in Hell because of you.”
There’s something wrong with the pulling a person out of a burning building analogy because it makes the Christian out to be the Savior. But the fact of the matter is that we’re all in the burning building together waiting for the Lord to save us. This is a more accurate analogy in my opinion. I cannot save anyone. I can only point them to the one who saves.
Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior who completed the world redemptive work on the cross 2000 years ago (contrary to popular belief, it is not the sinner’s prayer that activates salvation. Salvation is active right now.) Christ’s sacrifice finished that work. We don’t add anything and we cannot possibly add anything. You could picture it as though our eyes were closed and we wait for Jesus to open them to what is true reality; we were sleeping and He has woken us up.
Yes, scripture says that Jesus Christ is the ultimate reflection of God, but that does not mean that those of different religions don’t get a sliver of Him. Truth is universal, generosity, hospitality, love, kindness. You cannot invalidate these things. There is no such thing as a God vacuum. There is no place devoid of God, except Hell. However, every human being carries the Imago Dei. I see God in the face of my Muslim and Hindu friends and I pray that they would be transformed to His image, and that I would also.
Another applicable analogy in this conversation is a cylinder. Depending on the angle one may see a circle, while I see a rectangle. Yes, Christ shows us the cylinder in its entirety, but I would think that having Christ revealed to us only by the mercy of God, we cylinder seers would be more likely to break down walls and acknowledge the complexity of this issue. (Our vision is also limited. We are human. We do not have the monopoly on truth.) Circles and squares and rectangles are partial truths, but they still have an undeniable element of truth.
False Cultural Practices
I recognize false culture practices in Islam. I would prefer not to live under Sharia Law. I personally would not wear a hijab willingly. But I also abhor false cultural practices in North America, supposedly a Christian nation, or at least according to the polls (google it). I hate capitalism in healthcare and education. I hate the practice of shipping one’s parents off into nursing homes, the billion $ pornography business, human trafficking that goes on every night, public websites like Backpage that regularly sell children for sex, fear mongering in Politics/Media, segregation in the Church, homelessness, exploitation of migrant workers, ignorance of Syrian refugees drowning in the Mediterranean (this is an international issue that affects us also), undocumented immigrants being hunted and dying to cross borders, cheap products made in sweatshops and sold in our K-Marts/Walmarts, etc. (we literally wear the skins of those who lose their lives to make our clothes so we can have them cheap.) Don’t forget the fact that segregation existed in this country just 50 years ago (watch Selma). There are so many things about the US that irk me. Theology, politics, economics and culture do not happen in vacuums. Supposedly our theology is “right,” but our society is messed up. What good is that? It makes the church seem quite irrelevant. James 2:17-19.
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”
All this injustice goes on so we Americans can have cheap food and clothes and have more time to watch netflix. Supposedly we earn all our privileges and food and comfort because we obey God and are Christian. I can’t accept that. It’s not a battle of morality. We don’t get to say, we’re better because we’re Christian. Let’s get real people, the enemy is not Islam or the Muslim, but sin. Call it by it’s name. As much as it might shock you sin is also present here in this “Christian” nation.
What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? What does it mean to be a Christian to you? Is the USA a Christian nation? Can a nation be Christian? Is Christianity simply a verbal profession? What if one’s life does not match the life of Christ? What does it mean to worship God? What is proper worship in the eyes of God?