My wife recently talked with a friend who visited Israel and was shocked to hear this friend recall the details of her trip. First she talked about how lovely the country was and how much she enjoyed the food and the people (this is not the shocking part yet). Then something in this friend's countenance changed as she began talking about the "Arabs" and how dirty, mean, and dangerous they are.
The friend actually had a look of anger in her face as she recalled how much better the trip would be if it weren't for the "Arabs".
Then her countenance returned to normal as she concluded her thoughts and mentioned how great it is for the Jewish people and Christians to stick together.
Unfortunately this mindset among many evangelical Christians is common. Many have somehow twisted their theology enough to think that God approves of this level of racism in their faith. They somehow believe that since many Arabs are Muslim that they are all enemies of Christianity.
I wonder if these same people realize that in Israel alone, 80% of the Christians are Arab and less than one percent of the Christians are Israeli Jews? I also wonder if they believe the Bible in 1 John 3:15 that says, "anyone who hates his brother (fellow Christians... including Arabs) he is a murderer... vs 16 we should lay down our lives for our brothers... vs 18 we should not love with words and tongue but with actions and in truth".
As my wife and I talked we realized that we must be naive to think that followers of Jesus should be beyond this basic form of racism. We assumed that we were not alone in noticing that whatever the race, God wants to shower people with His love. If we are really followers of Jesus we must first of all realize how our theology affects fellow brothers and sisters in the faith (and seriously question any theology that causes hatred of these people). We must also realize that the world does change and will continue to change as people are touched with the love of God, not the hatred of man.
For all of our friends who are Arab-Christians, please accept our apologies... we are with you.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
"If you idolize your denomination you must demonize the others. If you idolize cessationism you have to demonize charismatic theology. If you idolize reformed theology you have to demonize Arminian theology... Turning a good thing into a God thing is a bad thing." - Mark Discoll