Recently, there has been a great stir caused by one man threatening to burn a copy of the Koran (Qur’an). It is interesting how one person who represents almost no one can hold the world hostage. One could almost compare the hysteria to a 1950's nuclear threat. Although the fear of physical reprisal is real, I believe that the real war is being fought elsewhere. Maybe the new battlefield has become people’s feelings and beliefs. Could it be that in this “politically correct world” we live in, the greatest offense possible is to step on someone else’s ideology?
Is it possible that we are responsible for the hyper-sensitive environment we live in today? Maybe if America had its own religion, the priests would be the media, the new sacrament of this religion would be Freedom of Speech, and the statement of faith would be “Let’s see how far we can go today”. Daily, we it’s worshipers would give homage to the new creed by defending our right (no matter how perverse) to do as we please.
Although as a Pastor I appreciate the fact that we have freedom of speech in our country, Christ's view of freedom places emphasis on responsibility. Jesus said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. Somehow I have the notion that freedom here did not mean “doing as you please” but doing what you ought to do. Just because I can jump off a building does not mean that I should.
Without responsibility, freedom is an illusion, an enticing piece of fruit with a hidden price tag hanging on a forbidden tree.
I pray for the misguided pastor who has distorted his freedom, and miscarried the mandate of Christ “love your neighbor as yourself”, and “Love your enemies”.