"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

19 January 2009

"Once they see the beauty of Islam, they will have no choice but to accept it, because they will understand that it is their nature."

This, I heard on a YouTube video of a very militant American Muslim protester, a very unbeautiful scene. It's a great quote, because he nailed the nature of Islam. He really believes that his religion (which had him out there on the street shouting "Israel go to hell" with the mob) is so beautiful and peaceful that its irresistable.

I do not agree with his line of reasoning, but I do agree with what he said. It is in our nature.

As a Christian, I know what's in my nature. My nature is sin, evil, rebellion, self-serving. It's ugly, broken. My nature is angry and harsh, loveless. It is all the things I saw from these protesters. This Islam that they have shown the world, it is in our nature.

Praise be to Jesus that we are saved from our nature. By the mercy of God I have turned my back on this natural state, and I am NOT going back. By God's blessing, we are NOT forced to accept what is in our nature. God's mercy snatches out out of our natural state and gives us a promise of something more glorious, not through our works, our prayers, our charity, our pilgrimages, our struggles, but by his grace, through faith, and that's it. Nothing more. We are called to be obedient to him, but his grace covers our failings. We are called to beauty, but his grace covers and reforms our ugliness. He fills us with his Spirit, to enable us to obey, to be beautiful, but this also does not come by merit but by his mercy.

Never before in my life have I seen the "beauty" of human sin so clearly. That is the nature of sin, to call evil beautiful, to call abuse love. Truth becomes hate speech. Gospel is called oppression. It's not about "grey areas" it's about calling black white and the other way around. That's what it means to turn around, to repent. It means setting your own world upside down, inside out and backwards... or so it feels when the previously upside down, inside out, backwards world is put to rights.

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