|A suicide bomber has blown up a car outside the interior ministry in Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding more than 30.|
Today, another 7 people died of suicide bombing in Iraq. During the past weeks, more than 70 Iraqis had been killed through this type of senseless attacks. It is understandable when recently, the extremist Muslims killed Christians in Nigeria. But why are Muslims killing Muslims? The reason is because they are from different denominations - Shi'ite and Sunni. Let's say if all the believers of one faction are eliminated, would the people in the remaining denomination find differences in their belief? Most probably because it is not the differences in what they believe but it is the evil in the hearts of men.
As the Prophet Jeremiah said years ago, "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" (Jeremiah 17:9).
How does Christendom fare in this aspect? Sadly, atrocities happen among the Christians too. Church history is filled with blood sheds and tragedies. You will remember centuries of conflicts between the Catholic and Protestants in many countries. Then we read about certain Protestant denominations persecuting other Protestant denominations. Even translating the bible can be a reason for execution. Believers are tortured horrendously and even burned on the stakes by fellow believers in the name of God. It is definitely not God's doing but the results of deceitful and wicked hearts.
Indeed, we can find many ways to enter into conflict because we are all different. The short people against the tall people; dark against fair, Chinese against Indians, Indians against Malays, fat against slim, Southern dialects against Northern dialects, Hokkien against Cantonese and even the bigger heads against the smaller heads etc.
Instead of celebrating our difference and uniqueness, we choose to see all these as barriers and reasons for hatred. Did God make everybody the same? We must remember that we were once unbelievers and how God, through His love, grace, mercy and full acceptance, brought us salvation. We were never rejected just because we were unbelievers. The enlightened people of God shared their love with us. We then become people who do not only experienced God's love but also shine forth His love to mankind. Therefore, showing the way of love begins with us, the Disciples of Christ.
We begin by first overcoming our prejudices and learn to accept and embrace others who may have different ideologies and religions. After all, we have been called by our Master to evangelize the world. And we cannot fulfill the Great Commission if we treat those whom God loves with our hatreds or prejudices. The message of God's love is only effective when the messengers of His love show it by their actions and lifestyles. Until and unless, we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us, we will forever be stuck in the level of our deceit and wickedness.
"Father, forgive us because we know not what we do!"
Pastor Albert Kang
27 Dec 2011