Tuesday, November 18, 2008

THE CLASH OF THE FEW PERCENT

Maybe twenty years ago I invited a Jewish Rabbi to speak at Memorial on a Sunday evening; and yes, from the pulpit. He had a message I felt our people needed to hear. It was far ahead of 9/11, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His message was one: the Muslim world is comprised of only 1% radicals; but we better believe they are one mean batch. Ironically, 1% of Memorial’s membership got mad and left us because we had a Rabbi speak at our place.

When I saw Mike Huckabee’s recent interview with Bill Maher the “Few Percent” principle leaped out at me once again. He has built his argument and his movie upon the assumption that all religion is what just a few percent reflect. This is not only a big mistake for Mr. Maher, it’s a big mistake for us if we practice judging anything by the fewest percent who happen to be ridiculous or radical.

Do you struggle as I with suspicion toward the Muslims? Do you find yourself not trusting those who say they are peaceful? Do you believe that given enough rope they’ll hang us? I viewed all with great suspicion…until I watched Maher’s interview. I now must reevaluate.

I do to the Muslims what atheists do to Christianity. They (atheists) run to report the abuse, the immoral, the warring, and speak with apparent intelligence that this is what God does for you. Why can they not peruse the larger percent of the upright instead of the renegade? Why is this? Because they are not interested in truth, they build a defense to fit their preconceived ignorance. That trait is found in me….maybe in us.

Why is the Bible rejected? Partly because 1% pounded people over the head with it? Why is the topic of giving the laughing stock of unbelieving coffee shop patrons? Is it because 1% (possibly television evangelists) abuse it?

We keep our faith. We don’t melt any of God’s truth away. We don’t jump to all religions as being right with God. But it is always right to judge others upon truth rather than gage any by those few percent who make a mockery within every brand and tribe. Jesus, for me, will always be the only way, the truth, and the life. His call for loving our neighbors, though, needs to find expansion in places. I find I may have judged all by the antics of the few. We even do it among ourselves.

6 comments:

Monk-in-Training said...

Great post!

Jesus called us to love our neighbors, enemies, and those who persecute us. And He meant it, trouble is a lot of us listen to talk radio and our fears and we easily forget the Master's command.

Tim said...

very well-thought out... and I agree we have built arguments to reinforce stereotypes and confirm our own ignorant prejudices...I also concur that God loves everyone, and we should too...

I will say, however, that I believe there is a difference between radical Muslims and radical Christians...

I have studied the Q'uran (to the best of my ability in its English translation), and it is very clear in its violent intent toward all non-"believers"...and it seems to me that those we consider 'radical Muslims' have simply taken that 'violent intent' to its logical, violent and extreme conclusion.

Such is not the case with radical Christians... these people have perverted the Holy Scripture and twisted it to fit their militant and unGodly slant... taken to ITS logical extreme, the Bible - unlike the Q'uran - leads to a peaceful, Christ-imitative lifestyle, not violence...

Am I wrong here?

Further, I humbly submit that when Jude declares that we are to 'contend earnestly for the Faith', he is NOT talking about 'contending' with our Baptist friends (as we have for decades!)... he is talking about contending with non-believers... in my mind, those who believe in no God or in false gods...

don't Muslims fit this? Allah is not the same as God.

thoughts?

Tim said...

sorry... apologies for my diatribe...

but I need to add: YES, MOST MUSLIMS ARE PEACEFUL!!! no doubt that it is the one percent which gives the rest of them a bad reputation... (much like us Christians)...

but that does not change the fact that the Q'uran calls for violence against 'infidels' (those who don't believe like them) and forceful compliance to their holy writ...

while the Bible calls for love and compassion and encouragement to those who do not believe...

THAT is our call! THAT is the great commission!

westcoastwitness.com said...

Good post - you've made me do some thinking this morning.

Anonymous said...

I'd hate for all believers to be sterotyped as being like Ananias and Saphira. I'd hate for Muslims to judge Christianity on no more understanding of scripture than I have of Allah. I watched the interview of Maher by Huckabee and found myself thanking God for the former Baptist pastor and crying out for Maher's heart to be touched by God.

Monk-in-Training said...

Not to start an argument but the Bible often calls for violence against those who oppose the People of God. One of the least pleasant examples is in Psalm 137

7 Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem's fall, how they said, "Tear it down! Tear it down! Down to its foundations!" 8 O daughter Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall they be who pay you back what you have done to us! 9 Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!

Hardly what Jesus taught us to do, yet it is an example I have heard Athiests point to, saying the Bible is just as violent as the Quran.