I just got done watching one of the many films related to this 'war on terror' and suicide bombers. I don't care to take this blog in the direction of saying who is right and who is wrong or whether or not we should be fighting at all, regardless we are in the middle of something horrific and even the horrific things in life we can learn the truth from.
So obviously I am very aware that this film is just a movie, but it certainly is inspired by real life events and people that truly do sacrifice their life, for their god, to bomb/kill others. I know Christians get a bad rep for taking things to seriously or being too extreme. I think this is inaccurate, imagine if we really did take things too seriously or were too extreme? Maybe the issue is on what we take too seriously?*
Imagine if Christians were as 'radical' as the 'radicals'. Imagine if instead of sacrificing our lives to bomb a populated area, but if we sacrificed our lives to serving anyone that came in contact with us? I mean isn't this what Jesus asked us to do in the first place? Take up our cross and follow Him [Matthew 16:24]. Whoever will lose his life for me [Jesus] will save it [Luke 9:24]. In comparison to the god of the radicals, Jesus also wants us to give up our life, although Jesus wants us to give up our lives in a whole new way.
If the radicals can put a bomb in their shoe for their god, then how much can we visit and take care of the widows, orphans and prisoners [Matthew 25:40]? The amount of faith those suicide bombers makes me somewhat ashamed of my lack of faith. But as I wrote in my last blog, "Bullet and the Box-truck", I would rather die for someone than live for them. From the surface I think, "I am glad Jesus doesn't ask us to put bombs in our jackets" but I say that because I forget what he is really asking of me, serve, give, live for others. Then the bomb in my jacket seems to have less steps than trying to understand and learn the needs of a neighbor and then doing all I can to meet those needs.
As some of you may know I am a filmmaker and a lot of people assume I am also a film buff, though I don't consider myself one. I just really enjoy making films, at this point I really could care less about watching them. One time in my life I lived for my DVD collection, I had all the greats and inspirational films in my DVD collection. So I really started reading and learning about how we shouldn't be materialistic and we should give to the poor. So I decided I don't need everything I own, I sold all my DVD's except for my top 5 favorites. I felt pretty free and relieved. But I am pretty sure I spent that money on myself.
Basically I got rid of materialism from my life because I truly believe that is a very freeing mindset to get into. But regretfully, I stopped there, I didn't do anything for those in need of that money.
I recently heard a story of a atheist asking his theologian friend to explain God, he wrote, "I want to believe in your God but I just can't, talk me through it, I want to see God the way you do", his friend wrote back two words, "Give Ohms" [Give to the poor].
I have always believed that God is Love in the realest way I can imagine and that if we love someone we are showing them God. But this was something that I never verbalized but always agreed with, when we show someone love we are also seeing God, getting to know His personality and character.
I robbed myself a chance to really see love, self-sacrifice and a whole new character of God but I only did one of the two steps of "sell all you have and give to the poor" [Matthew 19:16-30 read this].** Though I take this verse very seriously, I don't live it, but maybe Jesus is saying something like "you want the truth, you can't handle the truth" type of thing. Jesus is saying, you want to see God, you want to learn about God and His character? Well then sacrifice the life you know for someone else. I mean, isn't that what Jesus did for us?
I appreciate my mechanic a whole lot more now that I have tried fixing my own car. I think that if we truly want to appreciate the Jesus that saved us, we should follow His lead. I think one of the many reasons we should follow Jesus is to appreciate Him and understand the difficulty of what He has done. Not to be better people so we eventually won't need Him anymore.
*Maybe we get too tied up in people smoking cigarettes and not in loving? If we took loving people as serious as we took "don't do drugs", then our reputation would change.
**I certainly do no want to risk misinterpreting the Bible or cheapening what Jesus really meant, especially on a verse that I believe we need to always be asking "did Jesus really mean this?".