Monday, December 03, 2007

UnBEARable

I've been following the news with regard to the plight of Gillian Gibbons, with some interest this week.

It is utter madness.

I understand that in Islamic law, it is wrong to portray anything as Mohamed; we've been through that episode in Europe last year with the furore concerning the Mohamed cartoons. I recall commenting at the time that the principle difference between Jesus and Mohamed over personal slander, was that Jesus endured it... whilst Mohamed legislated against it (in my view, to preserve his public image).

We could talk theology here... but what is the point? The root of this argument is less about theology and more about the nature of children. Reports suggest that Ms Gibbons merely facilitated the discussion about what to name the "offending" teddy bear; the children drew their own conclusions.

The children no doubt chose to name the teddy after character they were familiar with... and why not? After all, we live in a culture where the name Mohamed is charting in the top flight of name choices; for a child, theology doesn't even enter their minds over such things.

Furthermore, Sudan is possibly one of the last places on Earth that could claim to be in a position to make moral life and death judgements. They need to get their own house in order and make sure the Darfur conflict is fully resolved before making such assumptions collectively as a people.

This kind of news story gets me riled because it plays directly into the radical secularists hands. I'm talking about the kind of people who practically come out in hives when you mention the words "religion","faith", "God" or even "spirituality". Yes... a lot of bad has been done in the name of God... but that is not a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Godly people have been a force for positive change throughout history.

People might be reading this and saying "but if they said it about Jesus, you'd be the same".

No I wouldn't.

As I have stated before... Jesus did not legislate to protect himself, he came to endure the scorn of men... and redeem them despite it:

"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."
Isaiah 53:3-5

Jesus wasn't concerned with how men perceived him because he knew who he was and his Father - God, affirmed it publicly.

I am utterly convinced that Jesus reaction would be completely different, because he understands the hearts, minds and souls of little children:

"Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there."
Matthew 19:13-15

"He called a little child, whom he placed among them. And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes a humble place—becoming like this child—is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."
Matthew 18:2-5

Jesus would never call for the death of someone over such a thing... he even said blasphemy against him (the Son), would be forgiven (not that it's an excuse for us to partake in it). T conclude on a lighter note, I'll say that the harshest thing he'd do would probably be something along the lines of what Captain Sheridan did when confronted with a similar situation in Babylon 5:

Space the offending teddy... and not a human being for pities sake!

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