One did not need to see today’s installment of horror from the Middle East to be repulsed at the repugnant savage barbaric nature of men. Our imaginations can vividly supply the smell of gasoline and fire and the screams coming from the cage. I am on the verge of being ashamed for being a human being. Is not God disgusted? Surely these animals are doomed for no regime so evil can long endure. Are not their fellows ashamed and when will they rise up and say, “No more”?
I wanted to say at this point that I have never been ashamed for being a Christian. But that is not so. So called Christians have appeared at the graveside services of our fallen soldiers with terrible signs spewing hatred. So I am going to say with Paul, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1) I could never be ashamed of a message that denounces hatred and the promotion of pain upon others. How sad that sometimes we have to make a distinction between “the Gospel” and “Christianity.” But we do not have to do that if we are talking about “Real Christianity.” Anything that varies from Jesus’ message of our heavenly Father’s love is a blatant counterfeit and easy to identify as such.
Jesus is so different from every other religion in the world. Edwin Markham’s famous words put it so well.
“He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In !
Of that I could never be ashamed.
Written by Roger Bothwell on February 24, 2015
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574