The Orlando killings(June,2016) have brought much outrage causing further division. It seems that there is still confusion as to motivation despite the gunman clearing stating he was acting on behalf of the Islamic State.
WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN TO DO? - It seems where the world zigs the Christian zags. Islam understands homosexuality as a sin. Christianity understands homosexuality as a sin. No difference there. To a Muslim (a follower of Islam), the Quran says, "others of their kind having sex with each other should be punished" (Quran 4:16), but it doesn't say how they are to be punished. It does add that they are to be left alone if they repent. To a Christian, we have a biblical mandate to love and care for all the people of the world. Matthew 22 reads, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Everyone is entitled to respect and dignity, even those who are living in immoral circumstances. There is no place for hatred, hurtful jokes, or other forms of rejection toward those in sexual rebellion.
EXTREMISM: I will note several groups of extremes here...
1) The Islamic Extremist... This extremist wants to carry out the mandate of Sharia Law. Sharia is interpreted in various ways depending on the nation it is exercised within. The law lacks standardization; however, it always includes the death of the homosexual in multiple ways and/or a lashing. That is why someone given to Sharia law would want to kill homosexuals.
2) The Peaceful Muslim in Denial Extremist... Those in Islam hold to the Quran but interpret punishment as shunning or something that Allah does. They are passive to punishment doled out by the extremist and deny that the Quran requires exercised punishment.
3) The Christian Extremist... Those of the Christian faith who feel it is best to discourage sexual sin by exhibiting hate by "gay bashing," an outward rejection that usually involves bodily harm.
4) The Christian in Denial Extremist... Those of the Christian faith who are so appalled at the other extremists that they begin to see it as their duty to compensate and place sexual sin in a category of "permissible sin." In reality, "permissible sin" reflects the state that only affects the individuals involved in their chosen lifestyle. This mindset quickly digresses to the point of "denying" any sexual impurity in so much as the parties involved agree.
IF YOU ARE IN ANY ONE OF THE ABOVE CATEGORIES... YOU ARE AN EXTREMIST.
God does not want us to kill, lash, insult, nor despise any human being. God also does not want us to minimize any rebellion and place it in a category of righteousness and acceptability before God.
So what is a Christian to do? Remember, Jesus was more compassionate toward the adulterous woman caught in the very act of intercourse—a capital offense in those days—than He was to hypocrites in the Temple. He loved the wayward, mercifully addressing her rebellion. That is our model for how to respond to a person living in sin. We should be trying to reach out to those who don't know Jesus Christ, which is impossible in an atmosphere of hostility and fear." [ 1.]
If you are a mature Christian, then condescending memes, blurbs, and tweets should not be apart of your social media influence. Such depictions are in the arsenal of the Evil One but never in the quiver of the peacemaker. Therefore, I plead to you... Turn from the sickness that you have delved in!
Are you having a hard time understanding the actions and remarks of "mature" Christians? Remember, all disciples are Christian, but not all Christians are disciples. (Although "Plagiarism is the greatest form of flattery," I would like not to be flattered... if you share this, please note where you got it from.)
"iChurch" is one of 15 canvases that I created that displayed in North Carolina Galleries in 2007-2008. The canvas hung with a photograph of a Darfuris refugee, a picture granted by legend Mia Farrow. The idiom beside the photo read, "Religion is the opium of the people," a derogatory statement placed aside to evoke the viewer's emotional response. It caused them to read further about the genocide in Darfur that still exists today. Soon after attempting to create "awareness," my wife and I formed the charitable organization Mercy Partners, providing spiritual and physical assistance to the Sudanese.
An offer to show Mercy - I am making this canvas available to any one person who contributes $500 to our new “Project Ananias," as those funds will be used to empower national Christians to reach beyond religious borders and show the Love of Christ to Muslims. Please make note on the donation if you would like to receive this canvas. Donate at the following link: http://www.mercy-partners.org/donate
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