Last night, I caught a little bit of Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor. In one segment, Bill O’Reilly showed the video footage of two homosexual men dressed up as nuns with clown wigs entering a Catholic church to receive Communion from the visiting archbishop. This event was clearly designed to be a desecration of the sacrament, as well as a slap in the face of all Christians.
O’Reilly opined for a while with former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed about the failure of Christians to stand up and demand their rights. He mentioned how Muslims would have reacted had this been a mosque, and he urged Christians to fight back against those who would denigrate their religion.
O’Reilly is right to point out the unfairness of the media coverage regarding this issue. The only acceptable form of bigotry left in the United States is that which is directed to Christians. However, I take issue with O’Reilly’s insistence that Christians strike out against the desecrators. I wrote a letter to Bill, which I am publishing here. (I will check tonight to see if it is included in the mail comments at the end of the program.)
As a Baptist minister, I deplore the mockery made of the sacrament at the Catholic mass in San Francisco. However, your concern and anxiety over the fact that few Christians were fighting back is perplexing.
Do you actually expect us Christians to react similarly to Muslims when our religion is desecrated? History shows that early Christianity spread throughout the world under persecution from the Roman Empire and the Caesars. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church…” claimed Tertullian in the third century. History shows that early Islam spread quite differently, by wielding the sword and forcing conversions.
Perhaps the reticence of Christians to respond angrily and violently to the mockery in San Francisco is not so much apathy, as it is the right response demanded by the Christian faith.
The Christ we worship was mocked, spit upon, and beaten, but he did not fight back. Instead, he uttered the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
The truly Christian response to the mayhem in San Francisco is not angry words and fighting for our rights. It is taking up our crosses, offering forgiveness, and shedding tears for those who persecute the very One who died for our sins.
written by Trevin Wax © 2007 Kingdom People blog