Imagine if Jesus were here today. What would he be doing? Would he be joining protestors in New York City against the building of a mosque? Would he be out crusading against Islam? The life and message of Jesus reflected that he wouldn’t be. In the end, the message of Jesus is not about a competition between religions in society, it is about the values of the Kingdom of God, forgiveness, salvation, and personal transformation.
Jesus lived at a time in History where people were very skeptical and angered at another “foreign” religion of the day – the Roman Religion – which placed Caesar as a God, worshiped many different deities, and denied Jehovah as Lord. However, you rarely see Jesus talking about or “fighting” against the other religion. Rather, he was more concerned about purifying and transforming the current religious tradition of the people in Israel. He knew that in the fight against a “foreign” faith, there is a great danger that your own faith loses its way, purpose, and direction.
In the end, he wanted people to know that it was not their responsibility to make sure that the balance stayed the same between their faith and foreign faiths or that they were winning the “competition” in the nation. He was less concerned about the number of people who “prescribed” to the Christian faith than he was that his true followers were truly committed to him and his Kingdom.
When Christians are out protesting and “fighting” other religions, they are the ones that end up looking bad, disrespectful, and even shameful. The true message and heart of Jesus is marred, and it reflects poorly on the majority of the Christian community. We must not trade the message of the Kingdom for a fight between religions. In doing so, we may win some battles, but we will lose the overall “war”. In this time in our History, let’s look inward and fight for our own transformation as individuals and allow that passion, grace, and hope to spill out and change the world- and that through that the love Jesus will be absorbed and received by all.