Thou Shalt Disturb the Peace

sunset-50494_640A woman walks into a Christian cathedral full of Muslims . . .

It sounds like the set-up for a joke. It isn’t.

And you know, right away, it isn’t a joke because instead of going along with the set-up, your brain is snagged on the question, “why is a Christian house of worship full of Muslims?” Your mind rapidly scans the possibilities of this story but even the most benign scenario doesn’t lead to you think the punchline will invoke laughter.

Turns out, they were peaceful Muslims and the woman, after crying out what she came to say, is simply escorted to the door, ejected from the sanctuary of her God for disturbing the peace by mentioning His name in His own house.

She doesn’t appear mentally balanced. Even other Christians distance themselves from her story, perhaps because they believe her act was futile. She entered a room full of smart, powerful, civilized people, pointed to the cross, and shouted, “Jesus Christ died on that cross. He is the reason we are to worship only Him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.”

When a man reaches for her arm, she pulls away and continues, “We have built enough of your mosques in this country. Why don’t you worship in your mosques and leave our churches alone? …America was founded on Christian principles…Leave our church alone!”

It was over in a moment. A headline, nothing more. Blog fodder. News reports discrediting her. She lives in her car. Her husband divorced her for her extremist views. She drove from Michigan on a mission from God. She disrupted a public event aimed at unity. This was a room full of peaceful Muslims, not that other kind. What was the point? She’s a blip in one news cycle and the whole stunt seems pointless, right?

Or maybe, God loves the Muslims gathered in His house. Maybe He believes in disturbing the peace of gentle, kind Muslims with the truth that there is only one God. Maybe He loves them enough to give them an opportunity to know the truth.

That’s right. Say it with me. I want you to practice. There is only one God. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (ESV)

From the most brutal terrorists to the kindest Muslim, there is only one way to salvation. Jesus Christ.

That’s a weird sentence to write. I’ll bet it was weird to read. But it’s the truth. You and I both know it. I will happily live in peace beside anyone – Buddhist, Jew, Hindu, atheist, Muslim, or Wiccan – and I believe in and support their freedom to worship in any way they desire. I’m not driven to be in their faces with my beliefs. I’m not that kind of girl. And if it was a simple matter of “live and let live,” I suppose God would bless my inaction. But live and let die without opportunity to hear and respond to the truth isn’t a loving option, is it?

There is only one God. Jesus Christ.

If we believe that, and I do, that leaves us with the undeniable knowledge that to worship any other thing or name or being is to worship a lie that leads to destruction. People are free to do that and God doesn’t endorse coercion or force in gathering followers but He does command me to love my neighbor. I’m not a loving neighbor if I fail to mention, at least once, that there is salvation in no one else but Jesus Christ, the ONLY living God.

It sounds beautiful, doesn’t it, to gather people from all religions into one house of worship and experience faith together? Something in us wants to get behind that, go along with the program, turn off a part of ourselves and just keep the peace.

Jesus didn’t come to keep the peace. He came to disturb it. Lies aren’t lovely and the most eloquent prayers offered in any other name but Jesus are only idol chatter. Do we believe this or do we only say it in safe havens, in safe company, in places where it won’t make waves?

One woman walked into a Christian cathedral full of Muslims and dared to announce the truth that salvation is found in only one name, Jesus. Maybe she’s nuts but she’s not the point.

The point is are you and I ready to repeat this truth in rooms full of people coming together under false pretenses? Are you and I willing to disturb a false peace? Or is our plan to sneak into the life boats under cover of dark and keep the truth to ourselves so no one thinks we’re crazy? There’s nothing really beautiful about that plan, is there?

Maybe God wasn’t only delivering a message to a room full of Muslims through this woman. Maybe He also had a message for you and me.


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11 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Sharmel O'Neill says:

    Yep.. you did it AGAIN girl. Fwapp..upside my fat head. No apology for proclaiming the only way to Heaven because we love as Jesus loves.

  2. much, Much, MUCH to ponder here
    Thank you for bringing this news onto my radar screen.

  3. Maxine D says:

    One gutsy woman, and thank you for your perspective on this – and the challenge it leaves me with.
    Blessings
    Maxine

  4. Carla says:

    God told Jeremiah: ‘Go warn the house of Israel. They won’t listen, cuz they’re a stiff-necked and stubborn people. But warn them anyway. If you don’t, they will die in their sins, BUT their blood will be upon your head.’ How sobering! Muslims are stiff-necked and stubborn, but they need Jesus just the same as you and I. We were not called to smile placidly and say ‘God loves you.’ We were called to say Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. NO one comes to the Father except by Him.’ The battle lines have been drawn. We have a choice–whether to follow the world and be liked, or speak Truth in love, and be saved.

  5. Carla says:

    Oh, and Lori, we Gibbs slap each other on a regular basis. It was a hoot to see you do too 🙂

  6. Chris says:

    Preach it sister, preach it.

  7. Shawn says:

    Ms.Lori,
    I love this and does this really matter if we are perceived as crazy~ they thought JESUS was an alcoholic and a glutton who chose low life’s for friends. So considering that, I do know this I’m so glad she obeyed God, even if, not one single Muslim there heard her. It may have been for the janitor or maintenance or maybe the clergyman and all who allowed such atrocities to occur to start with. One thing is for certain many heard and many were given opportunity to do something with the seed of life God offered them through her. Only God knows the outcome of it all!

    I’m hid with Christ!
    Shawn

  8. Lori, praise God for you! You are willing to write the hard truths that most of us try to ignore. Thank you for bringing God’s Word to my mind.

  9. Patsy Arrouet says:

    I’ with you, Shawn. Being foolish in man’s eyes is often what God requires. She spoke the truth, concisely. If just one Muslim had an open heart (God would know) she could have been on a mission from God. Of course, she would be subject to ridicule by a press who thinks her views are fanatical and seeks to disparage her.
    Something about the wise and the foolish, in the eyes of the world. I would be so bold as to say she would draw to Christ those open to hearing, and repel those not. It is true: That was God’s house, and they do not worship our God, so why are they there, but to claim more territory? Meanwhile, the media attention has caught the ear of many more than those Muslims, including some still in the Episcopal church and other Christians who may be pondering the effect/importance/consequences of speaking the truth in a house of truth.
    Would we be so bold as to challenge preaching in our churches which does not line up with the word of God? (Prosperity gospel, pro gay marriage, etc.). Why or why not?
    Scary to consider, being thought of as deranged or a fool for speaking out. But it’s not what people think of us but speaking God’s truth that is important. Perhaps she said more than He would have had her say, or wasn’t doing it in love. Imperfect vessels we all are. God help!