Monday, September 18, 2006

Judging the Pope

With a Muslim mind...

I heard one Muslim expert speaking from Cairo last night who felt that what the pope said would have repercussions for years. In the midst of his reasoning he said something that I think was interesting. He said Muslims felt that the pope was sending a message to Christians...

Like a secret message. In other words, it wasn't what Pope Benedict actually said but rather in what he was secretly saying. To us, this seems crazy.

But in a world where some guy wrapped in swaddling clothes speaks a message where the CIA, FBI and Homeland Security pour over the message for weeks afterwards searching for some encrypted message that might be being communicated to the secret cells out there--I guess its understandable on some level. And of course this was the Pope's message--that Muslims and Christians are speaking the same language, so why should they be expected to understand what we mean?

We believe that Jesus has revealed what God is like--and we believe that God has revealed that we should turn the other cheek when struck--but we also know that when Jesus spoke this message of peace that he angered the religious figures of his day to the point that they joined forces with the hated Romans to seek his death. So why should we be surprised if a message of "there is no holy war" by a modern disciple of Jesus meets with a violent response?

Isn't that the witness of countless martyrs in the Church's history? People who were not attacking violently but people who were attacked violently for speaking God's truth.