Saturday, June 25, 2005

For the Cause

Earlier this afternoon I was talking to Charlotte on MSN about a couple of films. She was asking if I'd seen "The Passion of the Christ". I said no, and I explained why.

You see, when I watched Schindler's List at a friends house, I felt so much rage stirring within me that if I had seen Ralph Fiennes immediately after that film, I probably would have killed him.
It would have been worse with Passion. As a Christian, I do not believe in loving Jesus primarily for what he did. Does that sound odd? Good, I hope it get's you thinking. I love Jesus primarily for WHO HE IS. He is the Son of God and the most wonderful human being who ever walked this Earth. Of course I still love Jesus for his sacrifice, but that is not enough. That is merely the start of the journey, it is important to further your relationship with God beyond that... if it is to mean anything to you at all in the times to come. The point is, he's my friend... and you stick up for your friends. You do it not because they need defending, but because they matter to you. I'd do it for my family and I'd do it for my close friends... so how could I do any less for Jesus?
My mate once went to a passion play. Essentially it's Jesus life acted out on a summers day. When it came to the crucifixion, my friend nearly decked the roman centurions, his wife had to hold him back. He was lost in the moment. I think had he been born in the time of Jesus, he may well have done it for real... he's that kind of bloke... and so am I.
On Maunday Thursday, I sometimes go to pray at night in an empty church... because it's the time we commemorate Jesus being on his own, friendless... awaiting the hour of his betrayal. I hate to think of one I am so close to, being in that situation... so that is why I go. I know it's easy to do it 2,000 years after the event when the only enemy is not a garrison of thugs but fatigue... but that is all I can offer, so I offer it. I'd do it for my friends and family, so I'd do it for Jesus. That's why I complained about Jerry Springer: The Opera. Not because they were "attacking Christianity", (because they weren't directly) but because they were abusing the character of someone I love to attack their genuine targets.

And maybe you are thinking I was stupid to do that, maybe you are mocking me... but I'll tell you it doesn't matter a jot. You may think me a fool for fighting a battle that could not be won. That does not matter either. For:

"The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says.' And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you." Ezekiel 2:4-8
If you don't read the Bible, that might not be something you understand... well, think Theoden in Lord of the Rings:
Gamling: Too few have come. We cannot defeat the armies of Mordor.
Theoden: No we cannot. But we will meet them in battle nonetheless.
It doesn't matter whether or not you can win. You fight battles of principle because they are right, not because they are convenient. You may get mocked, you may get scorned, you may be persecuted... but that is not the point. If you know something is wrong, you have a moral obligation to point it out. If people don't listen, that's their choice. All you have to do is play your part. All that matters is that the cause is noble, just or righteous.

It was the English philosopher Edmund Burke who said the wise words "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." If you see evil going on, and you recognise it for what it is... that is the time to act.
There are two scriptures that spring to mind with regard to being pro-active for God:
"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." Luke 9:24
and:
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21
To me those two scriptures are not just about life and death, but about any personal consequence suffered for the sake of Christ. If you are prepared to make any sacrifice for Jesus... it does not go unnoticed by him.
May God bless you and help you to make your choices.
N

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