Religion plays a significant role in many people’s lives. Nonetheless, we live in a world filled with greed, violence, hatred and destruction. Public conversation reveals much talk about religion and the current revival of religious fundamentalism. In every direction, people search for meaning and core values. Especially is this true in the middle East and Islamic countries with the rise of terrorism.
Thus, religious fundamentalism offers a significant issue for interesting conversation. The following story somewhat illustrates a point I want to make. It seems two war correspondents were abroad, visiting together. One was an American journalist, and the other a Chinese writer.
“I am a Buddhist, and my religion is so much better than yours,” opined the Chinese correspondent to the American. “I have a happy religion, and I worship a happy god. Your religion is full of blood, suffering, crucifixion, and death, and when you come before your God, He is dying in shame on a cross.”
The American had never heard Christianity described that way before and scarcely knew how to respond. Later, when he saw a starving Chinese man alongside the road, he felt compelled to stop and assist the dying man. He called other Chinese people to help the victim. Instead of stopping, they looked on him with contempt and disdain, and hurriedly passed on.
Realizing he already knew the answer, the American Correspondent held the dying man in his arms. “Tell me,” he asked passers-by, “where would you take him, if you held in your arms a dying man, a victim of starvation and exhaustion? Would you take him and carefully place him before the fat, affluent, happy, smiling god called Buddha? Or, would you take him to an Imam that preached death to the infidel and shouted “Allah Akbar?”
Or, would you tenderly and compassionately take him and lovingly place him at the feet of One who knew what it was to be hungry, poor, in need, and in want?“
God has no answer to the needs of our hurting world quite like the friends of Jesus.
From Warner’s World,