St. Andrew's UMC
Sunday, March 29, 2015
A Friendly, Caring Church
The Excuse of Religion
The news reports of late have been utterly spellbinding, the images often graphic and always heart-wrenching. I have tried to wrap my mind around the evil gaining ground in the form of the “religious” movement called ISIS. I cannot.
I will never understand how anyone can hate and harm and claim it is holy. Some point to ISIS to justify their disdain of all religion, arguing that more harm has been done in the name of God than for any other reason. I maintain, however, that religion does not cause evil; it just gives evil a place to hide.
Jesus experienced the misuse of God’s name. He was put to death because he dared to live and preach the redeeming message of love, tolerance, and forgiveness.
The temptation for me is to ignore the discontent and anxiety that provide fertile ground for hate groups to gain followers and make converts. I want to bury my head in the sand, thinking it applies only to “them, over there.” But evil will always have opportunities to prevail when love has not been shared.
Make no mistake; to love in the name of God is a dangerous proposition. Jesus is proof. Yet, the only antidote to the darkness of evil is the light of God’s love—every day, everywhere, in everyone.
Our devotion to Jesus Christ, and our willingness to love as He loved is an obstacle to the progression of evil. It is not our belief in Him, but our love for Him and our willingness to love as He loves that will transform the world.
See you in church~