Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fundamentalism / Extremism Makes Me Sick.

During a time of year when 'goodwill to men' is the majority state of mind across all religious and ethnic backgrounds here in the States and across much of the globe it boggles my mind why I would receive the following message from an anonymous 'donor' at the local Wal-Mart.

Let me preface the message by explaining that I have a bumper sticker on my car with which some of you may be familiar. It reads 'Coexist' and is written with many of the world's religions' symbols. You can view (and purchase) the sticker here if interested. Anyway, I was actually pleased to come out of the store and see a business card with the same wonderful logo on the window of my car until I read the message on its back...

"Can all world religions really coexist? Does it matter what you believe? Does your belief make it true? Imagine having to jump from an airplane that was about to crash. If you had three possible items to strap to your back, which would you choose: a tire, a briefcase full of money, or a parachute? There is only one right answer that can save your life. This is why all religions cannot coexist. They each give different ideas about God, but only one is true! Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn. 14:6). He made an exclusive claim. Either it is true or it is not. God the father verified this truth by raising Christ from the dead after His crucifixion. This proves that His words are true and that He is God. Have you lied, stolen, lusted, or taken his name in vain? the Bible warns that we are sinners and deserve the wrath of God. If you will repent (turn away from sin) and trust in Christ alone for salvation, He will credit you with His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). Give your life and allegiance to Christ alone. Please visit: www.YouGotOurTract.com"

So, basically, for wanting the practitioners of the world's religions to stop killing one another (a lofty goal, I know) I was targeted and made the victim of proselytizing and hate mongering. I don't know about you, the reader, but this literally made me sick to my stomach.

When I returned home, I put away my groceries and, then, did as the card asked; I visited www.YouGotOurTract.com. However, as you may surmise, I was not there to accept the site's message of fear and hatred for those with beliefs different from its author(s). In fact, I sent the site's author(s) a simple message regarding how horrendous it is to use a message of peace as a target for a message of fear and hatred. Now, I am under no delusion that my message will make a difference but, for now, it worked better than a dose of Pepto Bismol...

I implore anyone who reads this and feels as I do to go to this site and tell its author(s) that this is wrong. Maybe, just maybe, we can teach someone the lesson that Christ once taught... Love...

***UPDATE***

Today, I received the following response from someone presumably affiliated with www.YouGotOurTract.com.

Mr. Keith Higgins wrote:
Mr. Smith,
I am emailing you concerning the tract that was placed on your car. The company that sells these tracts is not responsible for those who purchase them and distribute them, but I will address one thing you said.

You said that Jesus would not spread hate and would believe in coexist. I will answer you with Scripture and you should be ashamed of not knowing this considering you are a reverend.
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Jesus made an exclusive claim which would exclude all other religions.
Keith Higgins
SavedFromWhat? Ministries
(678) 350-5120
www.savedfromwhat.org
Philippians 4:4-7

And, of course, my response:
Mr. Higgins:

Thank you for your response. However, it is unacceptable.
First, you start your response by placing the blame for an organization's publication in the hands of he who distributed it. This is a fallacy as the publisher is just as responsible as the distributor and both are at fault. I'm assuming that you are affiliated with www.YouGotOurTract.com and I have to wonder why you are attempting to push the blame off on another if there is nothing out of line about the publication.
Secondly, you attack me personally by telling me I should be ashamed of myself for not knowing scripture because I am a reverend. However, I do, indeed, know scripture but I am not a revered of your presumable faith, thus your statement is not only out of line but it is wholly incorrect. Also, I never stated that Jesus would believe in 'Coexist', only that he preached love, not hate.
Thirdly, let me quote some scripture of my own that was provided to me by another reverend and close friend:
Matthew 7:1: Judge not lest ye be judged.
Leviticus 19:18: Love thy neighbor as thyself.
Luke 6:31: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
As one can see, when we pick and choose what verses we wish to share, we can prove whatever points we wish.
Thank you for your time, Mr. Higgins. Don't bother responding unless you want to accept responsibility for your actions and admit your wrongdoing.
Yours in love and peace,
Rev. Grant K.Smith, LCW

I won't be bothering with responding to this man any further whether he responds to me or not as I've said all there is to say....
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