Recently, when I was in Brazil, I read the novel Showdown by my favorite Christian fiction author Ted Dekker. The novel is about a small town in Colorado called Paradise that turns to hell on earth when an evil monk (much like history's Rasputin) shows up and dupes the town into releasing their inner inhibitions. The result is misery and destruction for everyone. One criticism I had for the novel while I was reading it was that I felt the novel was a bit unrealistic. Ted Dekker turned a peaceful town into hell on earth in one short week. Are human beings really that susceptible to the dark side?
Apparently. Right now over a quarter million Iraqis are fleeing for their lives due to sectarian violence. For a heartbreaking analysis, read Time magazine's article Life in Hell to find out what is really going on in Baghdad.
As medieval author John Milton so aptly described, the human race is a tragic story of Paradise Lost. There is something wrong with human nature that, if left unchecked, will destroy us, just like what is happening in Iraq. Torture. Death squads. Suicide bombings. What is this world coming to?
Thank God, there is victory in Jesus Christ. When Jesus was on the cross, He showed the world that love is more powerful than hate and mercy is more powerful than revenge. The message of the cross is just as relevant now as in any time of history. May God raise up men and women to show the world the power of unconditional love. It's love the world needs now more than anything. Who better to look for a role model than the King of Love, Jesus Christ? Rather than ridiculing and blaspheming the Prophet Muhammed, which is unethical and gets us nowhere (I am not a fan of the Danish cartoons). We, as Christians, should elevate Jesus in the eyes of the Muslim world as the supreme example of love and kindness. We do not have to demote the one while promoting the other, but we do need to promote the other. And that other is none other than the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, who calls us all to faith and repentance while loving us unconditionally. Who in their right mind would want to refuse this kind of love? Without the love of Christ in our hearts, we as human beings are perfectly capable of creating our own hell. Chief object lesson number one- Baghdad.