Well, hello again. I’ve noticed that it has been a looong time since I last made an entry, but I hope that, by now, the reasons will be obvious: Work.
Actually, the past days have been quite remarkable, from various points of view. I mean, look at what’s happening in the world: A vastly misguided cartoon in a Danish newspaper is still killing people and burning buildings in the Middle East, while the rest of us are getting thrusted into debates about freedom of expression vs. respect of religions. Bad move, my friends, bad move.
Personally, I just think the whole thing was stupid and malicious to begin with. It doesn’t matter whether some badly drawn racist comic strips offend people or not (I mean, Christians have to deal with Jesus being insulted and ridiculed at every turn), but whether or not those behind the whole thing knew this was going to happen. Well, they’re a newspaper, so I can’t believe that they are out of touch with the world. They provoked, and right or wrong, they should have expected a reaction. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before – anyone remember Salman Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” and the mess it created back in 1989?
No wonder people develop rashes when they hear about anything remotely connected to God. And I’m tempted to say that I can’t blame them; but in the end, seeking or avoiding God is a an inevitable choice left up to the person. And, as my good friend Augustine would say, God responds to those who seek Him not with knowledge, or wisdom, or pride, but to those who seek Him with sincerity and need. You’ll be surprised of how often the person will see clearer than the crowd.
When people ask me if I’m religious, I always risk the answer “no”. Why? Because it seems that today, being religious is synonymous to being brainwashed, irrational, insecure and insensitive. And this current turmoil only helps to encourage such thinking. But there’s another reason, and that’s that Christianity was never meant to be a religion, neither in the broad nor the strict sense. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not a cheesy “become a better person” diet either. It’s about God coming to us and paying the price so that we might be able to come to Him. And that, in my brainwashed, irrational, insecure and insensitive mind, is not a religion – it’s a relationship and a reality.
You can stone me now.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you – James 4:8a
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” – Matthew 11:28-29
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world – James 1:27