Friday, September 24, 2010

Ground Zero

For the last month I have sat out the debate regarding the building of a mosque near 911 Ground Zero in New York. But I’ve been listening to the various arguments that have been espoused by various people. These arguments seem to boil down to two sides (with kind of a middle ground): the first is the Constitutional argument. That the Bill of Rights allow for freedom of religion. The argument goes something like this. All Americans have a constitutional right to not have the government impede the free practice of our religion. Therefore the Islamic group in New York has the right to build overlooking Ground Zero.

The second argument is more emotional and goes something like this: The wounds are still too fresh in our nation’s psyche to allow the mosque to be built so close to what has become hallowed ground to the majority of Americans.

The middle ground is a blending of both of these positions and states that while it is true that the group has the constitutional right to build on this site, it doesn’t mean that they should do so. It doesn’t mean that it is appropriate to build so close to hallowed ground.

Now I have to admit that I understand both sides and actually agree with both side of the argument. In fact I originally came to the blended position a number of weeks ago.

But I’ve been thinking about the situation and got to wondering what would happen if I took a look at this situation from a Biblical perspective instead of a legal or emotional perspective. What if anything in my thinking would change?

The great commandment and it’s second would seem a great place to start. We are commanded to Love God and as a result of that love others. Does that include our neighbors? What about our enemies? Luke 6:27, 35.

Does this mean that we must be willing to love even when we don’t feel like it? YES! Aren’t you glad that Jesus gave up His rights and came to earth to create a way for us to reconnect with God? Can you imagine if He hadn’t given up his rights what the outcome would have been? Philippians 2:5-8.

Are we supposed to emulate Christ? Called to be like him” Commanded to be transformed? Does this mean that we must be willing to give up some of our God given or Constitutional rights? Well I think we know the answer to these questions. Don’t we?

Sometimes God really messes with us, doesn’t He?

Pastor Val

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