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Should Christians be offended by new advertising campaign?

A new advertising campaign hit Sydney in the past week, with a bit of a twist. We have definitely seen religious related campaigns before (Jesus All About Life!) but never before (or at least to my knowledge) has Sydney seen an Islamic campaign on this level.

A direct attack on the identity of Jesus, a very good way to get people talking (and by blogging about it, I’m definitely no exception to it.) I want to ask the question: should Christians’ be offended? My yes/no answer would be no, but I do want to elaborate on it a bit more.

Firstly, it really depends how you define “offended.” I don’t agree with what they are saying. They are wrong. Nothing can change that. Why should I really worry what other people think? It’s not really any different from attacks from atheists, which I’ve learnt to deal with (there’s no reasoning with you guys!) Yes, it’s a direct attack on my fundamental beliefs, so in a way it is offensive. Though, I want to try and define offensive by how you react to it, and how you deal with it.

I don’t think there should be any reaction other than continual love. That’s what (should) seperates Christian’s from everyone else (though, quite often it doesn’t, and sometimes is the reverse.) Constantly loving your enemy is the one thing that people just can’t come to terms with. I know it’s one of the best apologetic tools when it comes to defending Christianity against atheists… after all, they know how much they attack Christians, what does it say if you just keep loving them no matter what? Now, I think the same should come with all interactions with other world views, whether it be atheist world views, or Islamic world views.

Having been involved in dialog between Christians and Muslims before, I have seen a few Muslims get offended very easily about the smallest thing (and, in one of the instances that I was there, was very vocal about it, though I am by no means generalising that about all Muslims, I’m just reporting what I saw,) and I was cautioned by the Christian chaplain when I just suggested that possibly, Muhammad was a false prophet to be tactful with what I say (I hate political correctness, so I’ll just say it: I believe that… Muhammad was a false prophet.) So, what I am suggesting, isn’t to fight fire with fire, but instead turn the other cheek. Don’t get all upset and vocal about other people’s beliefs. Keep loving them, no matter how much they attack you and your beliefs (not to say that I don’t do the same: I have to when making my beliefs clear, hence the last set of parentheses.)

Ultimately, I think the best summary of the whole thing is… the truth doesn’t need defending. Jesus is Lord and Saviour, and no amount of billboard and website promotion is going to change that. So it’s really a non-issue then, don’t you think?

(P.S. Too all my Muslim friends: Whilst I’m not going to water down my beliefs to try and not offend you, so inevitably I will, I love you all! I hope one day you’ll see the truth and I’ll see all of you in Heaven!)

(P.P.S If you’re interested in browsing the website, check out www.mypeace.com.au. In order to try and be fair to all views, you should probably also check out http://www.jesusallaboutlife.com.au/. I’m sure Google can find you some atheist websites, but I don’t actually know too many (actually, scrap too many, I don’t know any) off the top of my head.)

Sentenced to Death: Clear Violation of Human Rights

This week I got an email from a friend about a Christian woman in Pakistan, Asia Bibi, who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam. Whether you are a Christian, atheist, or of any other religious view, you should be outraged by this injustice and clear violation of human rights. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states the following:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Let me put it this way: if you’re an atheist, you would likely be found guilty of the same thing in Pakistan or any other Islamic based countries, if you deny the existence of Allah and stick to it. That is why it should outrage not only Christians, but atheists as well. It is a violation of human rights, and if people start getting the death penalty for exercising their human rights for freedom of thought, conscience and religion, then this world isn’t going to go anywhere but down.

I urge everyone to join in prayer for Asia, as it is one of the few things we have left. I also urge people to lobby governments, and the UN to enforce human rights, because we can’t let clear violations of a basic human right to continue in this world.

If you are interested in reading more, please read the following posts on the Voice of the Martyrs website 13:3: