I think it is always dangerous ground to attempt to speak for God.
Those of us who are Christians have the Bible as a sufficient guide to our salvation, but even here there are many paths. Jesus, the most perfect man to ever walk the earth, encountered devout people in his own town that he couldn’t heal of their bigotry and hardheartedness.
There are those in our community today who seem to have succumbed to the same temptation to turn Jesus message of love, humility, and tolerance into narrow-minded self-righteousness. The paper that sponsors this blog published a letter from one on April 26th.
The author, Mr. Abraham, felt that Reverend Timothy McDonald, founder of the First Iconium Baptist Church in east Atlanta, was in error when he claimed that Jesus was crucified for political reasons. Mr. Abraham went on to quote scripture extensively to prove his point that Jesus death had a much more profound spiritual purpose. On that point, it is likely that he and Rev McDonald would agree. But in Rev. McDonald’s defense, those who killed Jesus did so because they viewed him as a political threat, not a spiritual one. In fact, it took Jesus resurrection and the Holy Spirit to open his own disciples eyes to him as more than a political Messiah.
This minor theological spat, however, was just the thin veneer that Mr. Abraham chose to dress up an ugly screed directed at African Americans, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witness, and any minister in Monroe who disagreed with him.
The author appears to have forgotten the example of another Abraham who became the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, “And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.” Gen 13:8
Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection was for all mankind through all time. It was for African Americans, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christians, Mr. Abraham and me. We are all brothers.
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matt 5:21-24