Meditation: Cultures and Yeast
Make me an Instrument of Peace
Meditations for God’s peaceful people
Who Do you say I am ? Matthew 16: 13-18
Who do you say that I am? Each of us must answer this question. In the verses before this Jesus warned the disciples to “beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. “ Their words sound good and are socially acceptable. Then he asked, “who do men say that I am?“ There were various ideas but Peter boldly proclaimed, "you are the Christ the son of the living God.”
Jesus was teaching us to look in our hearts rather than to others for the truth. He blessed Peter for having the courage to take the risk and proclaim what he knew, in his heart, to be true. Jesus continues to ask us “who do you say that I am”. Am I the Prince Peace or the God of War? Did I come to bring judgment and punishment, or did I come to teach love?
Many today who confess to be followers of Christ see themselves as soldiers in God’s holy army literally fighting a holy war. Left Behind: Eternal Forces is a violent video game to be released this October. The player chooses either the identity of a “Christian” or that of the antichrist. Those left behind must make a choice or be blown away by the Christian soldier who is racking up points. This game is set to be marketed through the mega church network.
It would be easy to dismiss this as just a sensational one time event but given the popularity of the Left Behind book series and the growing militarism within America’s churches it should be seen as a warning to the followers of the Prince of Peace.
It is often hard to take a stand. The churches which teach the dominionist end times messages appear to be doing many good works. Some raise money for AIDS, or famine relief. Some operate food banks and shelter homes. All of them are involved in foreign missions. But, the goal is “Christian nations” and an accepted method is “holy wars”.
Again Jesus asks simply, who do you say that I am? Don’t look around you, don’t grab a religious book, don’t try to remember a phrase from Sunday School. Look inside and decide. His sheep know his voice.
Prayer: Help me listen to my heart and not be influenced by my culture. May I never be lukewarm where the leaven of today’s Pharisees can grow.
Action: Learn more about Left behind: Eternal Forces. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11567350/site/newsweek/
Continue the studies on non-violence http://www.salsa.net/peace/conv/index.html
Boldly proclaim Christ’s love for humanity to a Christian who supports war.