Meyer Minute for January 8
“Compliments to the French police for their quick identification and pursuit of the three evil men who gunned down the 12 people in Paris. Amidst many thoughts, I’m also thinking about this as a sincere church-goer…
First, Charlie Hebdo satirizes the Christian religion (understand Roman Catholic) even more than Islam. I googled and found cartoons that were very offensive to me as a follower of Jesus.
Second, last Saturday the Wall Street Journal ran a front page feature on empty churches in Europe. A little over 11% of the French attend services every week. Germany is the same. While there are still true believers in Europe, Christendom is dead.
Secularized society…mockery of religion…it’s not unlike the situation early Christians found themselves in. A minority in a pluralistic society where everything was relative, many early Christians were mocked, shunned, and here-and-there the victims of violence.
That’s Europe; what about America? American Christians aren’t living in a Charlie Hebdo Europe…yet. It could come, we see signs, but it doesn’t have to. One key to the future will be the energy that you and I put into the institutional church, and that comes down to the congregations where we worship. St. Paul said he was a “helper of joy” to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 1:24). The decline of institutional religion in America is a fact. Doing our part to make vibrant, welcoming churches, and lots and lots of them, could be one way God will bless America in the future.”
Driskell – Amen, Amen, and Amen, you want to see a vibrant United States, let’s all get back to meaningful Christian worship. I would disagree in one sense, being the reference to Christendom being dead in Europe. I certainly understand Dr Meyer’s basis for saying that, but I also believe that God always has a remnant of believers. While the organization may be in very bad shape, Christ’s church is always present.
The one point that I did want to elaborate on is Dr Meyer’s reference to the fact that “Charlie Hebdo” satirizes Christianity more than Islam. I don’t doubt Dr Meyer’s assertion for an instant. Now with the exception of some nut jobs, Christianity is a peaceful religion. Yes, I know, blah, blah, blah, there have been periods where it has not lived up to that and abused its position as the church. Sorry, but that’s bad judgment on the part of individuals, the church should not get a beat down because of some dumbness in the hierarchy. I’d sure like to see many other institutions held to that standard.
My biggest beef is this, the fringe, lunatic atheist element like Richard Dawkins who continually tries to lump all religions together with the violence of Islam. To the effect that, and frankly I can never follow the logic, but that doesn’t seem to stop them, that religion somehow makes people crazy and they do stupid things. I refer you to my previous blog, which readily points out all the good that Christianity has done through history and right up to the present time. Christians have regularly put themselves in harms way to serve others. Christianity is a relationship with God the Son, Jesus who sacrificed Himself for us and we are called to live sacrificially for others. Regardless of whether they are Christians or not. J Warner Wallace suggests that before you buy in to such palpable nonsense of the “new Atheism” who makes such ridiculous claims, a la Richard Dawkins, consider this. What are the claims of the Bible? Oh yes, there is a recognition that there will be violence, that the world is a dark and dangerous place. But we are told as Christians to be the ones to sacrifice, as our Savior did, to stand up for what is the best, as our Savior is. Does that mean that we can never resort to violence. No! Sometimes, there is a need to protect innocent life, especially against belief systems, like secular humanism (Fascism, Communism and any other system that condones taking life in order to build up or prop up governments (in particular) that are illegitimate.
Take away, cut to the chase is this: I can’t speak for Islam, won’t do it, just won’t go there, just no point. There is no doubt in my mind that Christians put their lives on the line in any of the incidents that are going down in France right now. I do have to observe that if Europeans weren’t so ready to jettison the church in favor of humanist philosophies that are so violent and so readily reject the sanctify of human life, that they probably wouldn’t be subject to so much violence. I have no need to satirize other religions because I have full confidence in the truth of Christianity, someone wants to satirize it, hey rock and roll. Their satire doesn’t change the facts, and frankly if you held the lives up of those who engage in such nonsense, I’d be willing to bet there would be plenty to satirize in them. But don’t, just DON’T lump Christianity in with any kind of religiously incited violence or any other religion, the differences are profound. It’s a stupid, untenable position. The Richard Dawkins’s of the world can make silly claims and a small percentage of the population might believe them, but when the chips are down, my faith will be in a Christian; if my life is at risk, if I need education, medical attention, or a helping hand. There is no other belief system in the world, in mankind, that can make such a claim. So go satirize that Richard Dawkins and Charlie Hebdo and anybody who wants to respond with violence to satirism.