Maybe hate is too strong of a word...
You know how the saying goes: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... It's probably a flag waving, fundamentalist, Muslim-hating Christian.
Don't get me wrong, I understand why Americans are angry. I understand why Christians are angry.
It was a group of Muslim terrorists that carried out the horrific, cowardly attacks of 9/11.
It is a conglomerate of Muslim terrorist groups who are marching across the Middle East under the black flag of ISIS (ISIL); raping, murdering, pillaging, kidnapping, and torturing countless people of any faith who do not completely bow to their will.
I get it. We're angry.
We have every right to be angry.
But I'm afraid we are allowing our anger to turn to hate.
I'm seeing a lot of angry, even hateful rhetoric from a lot of my friends regarding people of Middle Eastern descent and especially those of the Muslim faith.
Every time something else happens, whether a bombing in Manchester, a knife attack in London, a shooting in Orlando or Paris, or a driver running people down with a truck in Barcelona , we look for someone to blame.
Liberals are are blaming cops, guns, and conservatives. Conservatives are blaming Muslims, Mexicans, and liberals.
Either way it's us vs. them. Someone different than us is the problem and we don't hesitate to point a self-righteous finger. We freely spew our hateful rhetoric.
Yes, even the Christians.
Whatever happened to, "Love your enemy..."?
Whatever happened to, "Be angry and sin not..."?
This doesn't look like love to me...
I see the Facebook posts every day. My "Christian" friends sharing articles about the evils of Islam or congratulating a group of bikers for threatening or beating a Muslim protester.
The content of these posts is disturbing enough, but the tone... The tone is pure hate.
"Love it or leave it!" (In reference to America)
"Muhammed was a pedophile!"
"Islam isn't a religion of peace!"
"Send the Muslim dogs back where they came from!"
"Infidel and proud of it!"
"I'll see your jihad and raise you a crusade!"
"The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim!"
I'm not a Muslim apologist, so I won't spend much time defending against these claims. (Many of these statements may be based on truth.) As a Christian, though, I will defend against this type of rhetoric and the anti-Christ spirit behind it!
This type of inflammatory speech is counterproductive to the cause of Christianity. It undermines the mission of the church.
As an American, you have every right to speak your mind. As a Christian, however, we hold ourselves to a standard that is higher than, "Is it legal?"
Once again, I won't get into arguments over the truthfulness or validity of such posts. I just don't understand how we can justify our actions and attitudes while still claiming to be Christians.
It's easy to see why SOME Muslims hate Christians. Islam is a religion with absolute, unquestioning obedience to God as its central theme. Radical forms of Islam have promoted and advocated violence against infidels (those who are not obedient to Islam). These radical Muslims hate disobedience to Allah and by the principle of transference, hate Christians, westerners, gays, etc.
Even at that, there are over a billion Muslims in the world. Don't you think if they were ALL terrorists, we'd ALL be dead by now?!
Yes, there have been well over 3,000 deaths (including one uncharacteristically "successful" attack on 9/11) in the US during the past 40 years that were the direct result of Islamic terrorism.
I will absolutely condemn this and any other violent attack by Islamic extremists or anyone else!
Still, that amounts to about one half of one percent of all homicides. Where is the daily outrage at the other criminals who are responsible for a combined 99.5% of lives claimed by violence in this country?
Is it possible that our extreme bias against Muslims is due to the fact that they look, talk, dress, and worship differently than us?
How can we fix our broken Christianity?
What should we do to counteract this trend?
First of all, we must admit that we have a problem. Isn't that the first step to recovery, after all?
How should we, as Christians, really respond to radical Islam? This is not even the friendly guy at the neighborhood falafel joint who serves your lunch... We're talking about actual terrorists... Here are 5 responses that might actually do some good:
- "Love your neighbor (and your enemy)..."
- "Pray for those who persecute you..."
- Condemn acts by individuals or terrorist groups, not entire races, ethnicities, or religions.
- Think critically (or at all) before posting on social media.
- Forgive like Jesus did on the cross (completely and without reservation).
When we put these things into practice, we will see our empathy muscles begin to grow and our anger subside. We will be more effective in our conversation. We will look more like the Church that Christ envisioned. We will stop tarnishing His good name. Remember, we are "ambassadors for Christ" after all (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Pro tip: You can use the same principles to temper your words and actions when addressing a wide array of social issues. Football? The flag? The anthem? Black Lives Matter? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?