Those People? You know, people like them.
Why do we have a tendency to judge people on the basis of some grouping we can put them in? What is there about the sinful nature of mankind that leads us to speak of some as “those people” as though they are inherently different in their origin from us? Certainly I have essentially answered my own questions with the comment of about “sinfulness”.
Anyone who believes the Biblical account of creation recognizes the common origin of man. Paul spoke of the fact that God has made of one man all people groups. We, however, have a tendency to do all we can to segregate and divide.
Jesus said, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. . .” (Mark 13:8, NIV) It is of great interest to note that the word translated “Nation” is “ethne.” So we must be clear if we are to understand what Jesus meant by this as one of the signs of the times. He said, “Ethnic groups will rise against ethnic group.” In other words, Jesus said that the problem of division among peoples will get worse as we approach the end of time.
That does not excuse the acceptance of prejudice among Christians. Historically it has been a black/white issue in America. That hasn’t gone away, and if anything is actually accelerating in divisiveness. But I am watching a proliferation of division related to Islam.
It is understandable in light of the terrorist activities that are taking place. But I have been in Muslim countries and experienced things similar to the article I have referenced from Kenya. We had a prolonged stay away from Mali due to terrorist activities in the northern part of the country. When we were finally able to return, the villagers where we had worked asked, “Were you afraid to come?” They went on to say, “We would have hidden you and protected you.” I have no doubt that most of them would have. I cannot say there are never exceptions It troubles me when we throw everyone into a group with one label.
Think about it when it comes to being a Christian. Are all Christians the same? Are there not Protestants and Catholics? Among the Protestants are there not Presbyterians and Methodists, and a large number of others? Among the evangelical ranks are there not those who are charismatic and those who are not? When it comes to the US Census, are you a cultural Christian, or is your faith a personal relationship to God through Christ? Are there not shades of orthodoxy and neo-orthodoxy, and liberal and conservative? Are all Christians equally zealous? Are there some who have been willing to kill for their faith and others who are pacifists?
I doubt I will convince anyone one way or another. But I am speaking to those that I believe are the audience I might have, and that is Christian. Would you prayerfully explore this topic in light of the Word of God? When you do, would you reconsider how and what you post on social media? Did not the Lord say we would one day settle accounts in heaven over the words we have uttered (or written)?