Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How do we respond to blasphemy?

Blogger is having some problems at the moment, hence the lack of posting, but here is one I had to get on in the light of all the recent unrest over the Danish Cartoons

This crude graffiti cartoon from the early second century, may be the oldest depiction of Christ.

In the drawing we see Alexamenos bowing down before a crucified man with the head of a donkey.

The Greek caption reads “Alexamenos sebete theon” — Alexamenos worships his god.This early graffito (wall-scratching; singular of graffiti) was discovered in 1857 in a guardroom on Palatine Hill near the Circus Maximus in Rome, and is now in the Palatine Antiquarian Museum.

The image represents how contemptible and absurd the idea of a crucified god was to pagan thinking. A century earlier, Paul wrote that the crucifixion was “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” (1 Cor 1:23)

How should we respond when the One we worship is mocked by an unbelieving world? Same way he did.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Christianity has always been at it weakest when it’s used coercion, state power, money, force, prestige to impose its will — Jesus turned his back on all these means and chose the Cross to reconcile a lost world to God.

The Cross separates Christ from every other religious founder and Christianity from every other faith.

Today the Christian movement is advancing as never before mostly in the global “South” of the developing world. David Barrett has estimated that more Christians died for their faith in the 20th Century than in all previous centuries combined. Most of them in the developing world.

How do we respond to a unbelieving world? We follow Christ. We lay down our lives. We forgive. We proclaim the gospel. We make disciples. We plant churches. Everywhere.

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” (Tertullian)

Article source here


Rhonda said...

I find it amazing how the Muslim culture feels that the Danish government should force censorship onto the writers of the cartoons. Whereas in America, where I am from, it is considered free speech to write derogatory cartoons. The people of America may not agree with the cartoons, but for the most part we think that the writers are protected in their speech to publish them.
I wonder, is it just part of the Muslim religion that they are supposed to react with violence against an insult of Mohammed? If so, how different from Christianity, indeed!

Dave said...

I fear that there may be an agenda behind all this, some pictures were shown in Iran that were utterley repugnant, they were not the original ones, but were possibly used to incite the reaction we now have.

I am all for freedom of speech, yet I think what we have now is a war that has been fought in times past, this is fudamental Islam vs fundamental Christianity - last time it was fought in the 'holy lands', this time it is fought within our own backyards.

Shieldsy said...

Don't think it's fundamental Christinity v fundamentalist Muslim. The most vehement oppostition has come from secularists.

Whilst the muslim reaction has been completely disproptionate, it has made me realise just how far orthodox Christianity has slipped from adhereing to the 2nd commandment.

Dave said...

I just meant that when people like Bush called the foray into Iraq as a crusade, it comes from an ideology that is not the worldview inherent within the Kingdom of God.
Mind you I recall Bush calling Islam a noble and great faith, so ole Geogie and his advisors seem to be pretty confused.

As for the secular world, i love it, it acts in a way i expect, no surprises, often certain strains of 'christianity' do not act the way we expect.


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