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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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7/20/2004

Jesus, Jihad, and the New York Times 

Nicholas Kristof strikes again. (free membership required).
 
For those who don't want to register, or just don't feel like clicking the link, I'll cut and past a bit for you, but I recommend reading the whole thing.  And remember -- this is the guy who not long ago was talking about how the left should be more tolerant of us.
 
These [the Left Behind books] are the best-selling novels for adults in the United States, and they have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. The latest is "Glorious Appearing," which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It's disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety.
I wasn't aware that Christians were an ethnic group, Mr. Kristof.  I'm sure the many Jewish, Arab, Mexican, Asian, African, etc. Christians in the world would like to know WHICH ethnic group Christians are supposed to be.  Also forgotten are the thousands of evangelical Christians who don't agree with the eschatology in the books. 
These scenes also raise an eschatological problem: Could devout fundamentalists really enjoy paradise as their friends, relatives and neighbors were heaved into hell?
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason for evangelism.  Make sure that they DON'T get heaved into Hell.  Thanks for the reminder, though I doubt that many would see it as an eschatological problem.
 
I was listening to the radio last night as a preacher was talking about Revelation.  He said that it's a book about God's wrath on sinners.  He mentioned a bumper sticker that I had seen before -- God's coming back, and He's not happy.  The whole point of Revelation is that God is not happy with humanity in general.  He's laid out the rules, and we patently refuse to play by them.  He gives us His Son as a sacrifice, so that our sins can be forgiven.  Our attitude?  "Thanks, but no thanks.  We'll get along just fine without you."  There has not been a time in history when God has been worshipped even by a majority of the poplulation of Earth -- even now, when so many people profess Christianity. 
 
To sum up the rest of Mr. Kristof's article, it is an impassioned plea for tolerance -- including religious tolerance.  Not the kind he talked about before -- he wants Christians to give up the whole "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No man comes to the Father except by Me" bit, continue to do good things for people everywhere, and play nicely with others.
 
If we do that, we condemn people everywhere to hell.  I'm not willing to let my friends, family members, or neighbors get "heaved into Hell", Mr. Kristof, so I won't be taking your advice.  I'm going to continue to live my life dedicated to making sure that if someone I know does end up going there, it won't be because I allowed it to happen.  If you know a Christian who is willing to do that, just so that people think they're nice or tolerant, then that person has a warped sense of Christianity, and you should run from them.
 
 


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