The recent events in France have left all of us horrified. The brutal murder of journalists, writers, satirists and the law enforcement professionals coming to their help is something we should be concerned about. Freedom of speech allows writers and bloggers like me to freely express our opinions and views on a whole range of issues. In my case this forum is almost exclusively
Christianity-related writing – something that threatens many extremist “muslims”.
I have friends who are not Christians. I have friends who are Muslim. My current assistant is a young Muslim woman. We engage in discourse about our beliefs and how we see God and relate to Him regularly. This kind of discussion is becoming a sort of “friendship evangelism” as the personal relationship I have through Jesus is unlike anything she can find in her own religion, and id something she seeks quite genuinely.
I have friends who are satirists and comedians. They poke fun at the way life is and the lunacies of existence. They all live and work in the “safety” of a developed country – England in this case – where freedom of speech and expression is relatively protected.
So the murders in France have touched a nerve for me. But I will stop short of the “Je suis Charlie” movement.
I am not Charlie. I may empathise with the families who are grieving, and be outraged that such an action could take place, but I am not Charlie.
What I am is David. I write what I believe to be the Truth as God reveals it to me. I speak the same as well when I have the chance. Like the victims, I will not be swayed by someone disliking my opinions. I am free to believe what I choose to believe. Like all Christians before me I believe Jesus Christ is, was and always will be the same. I believe His presence guides me. I choose to live my life devoted to Him and allow myself to be empowered to do this through the presence of the person of the Holy Spirit living in my heart. I believe Jesus is the only way to God.
I’m an extremist too. A Christian extremist. I hope to be able to be one like Paul or Peter, so caught up in my walk with Christ and living it to the extreme that the World around me cannot help but see a difference in me and be drawn to it.
We’re all called to be Christian Extremists. Christians who show Christ’s Love to the World so that they are drawn to Him by our example.
I spent some time over the last few days thinking about the Crusades 800 years ago. Militant Europeans travelling to reclaim the Holy Land from the barbarians. That kind of physical warfare has no place in evangelism. It’s a dark part of Christian history, the evangelical outreach sponsored by the Genghis Khan School of Ministry in the 13th Century. It was a time where “christians” did unthinkable acts with the same conviction these fanatics have now, just in a different name. If C4 explosives and AK47s had been available then, I’m certain they would have used them.
But I am David.
I am an extremist. I would even say I was “militant”. I’ve been described as “racist” for my beliefs about Islam being a false religion. I’ve been called “closed-minded” for not believing that all religions end in the same place.
So I’m a racist, closed-minded Christian. If I choose to believe what the World says.
Jesus called all Believers His brothers. He reached out to Jew and Gentile, calling us all home. To show His arms would never be closed to us He had them nailed open. (Thanks to Max Lucado for the imagery there).
Don’t be Charlie.
I am David. I am hidden in Christ and I seek to show Christ to the World. Sometimes I use satirical writing or sarcasm to make a point. I’ll happily “blaspheme” to a Muslim by telling the Truth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and no prophet of a false god, Allah.
I won’t be Charlie.
I rather choose to try to be Christ, or at least Christ-like to those around me.
We all should.
But remember the grieving in France. And remember anyone is a target to that kind of militant – especially if you dare to speak the Truth.