Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Humbleness -- Must Read -- Tony Campolo Sermon on 911

Tony Campolo Sermon on 911

That day is here and that day is now. We have to overcome the racism that is inherent in this present crisis. We must go beyond the resentment and the hatred that can easily be generated in such a setting. And we must learn from history. I don't know how many of you have friends and relatives who have gone out to the mission field to Muslim countries, but its almost impossible to win converts away from the Muslim faith to the Christian faith, because the minute that we confront them with Christianity, immediately to the minds of Muslim people comes the Crusades. You say, but that was a thousand years ago, I hardly know much about the Crusades—how many of them, where, who led them where. We don't know much about the Crusades, but there isn't a Muslim in the world that doesn't know about the Crusades. Where, in the name of Jesus, we slaughtered how many hundreds and thousands of innocent people, a lot of them women and children. And because we did not behave well at a particular juncture of human history, the cause of the gospel was set back immeasurably for a thousand years. We cannot let that happen again.

Osama bin Laden would love to turn this into a Holy War of Christians against Muslims. We must not let that happen. We must do everything we can in these days to reach across the lines, to learn who Muslim people are, what they believe, what their convictions are. There must be a time of rapprochement.

I am an evangelical. I want to win every Muslim to Jesus Christ, but until they become my neighbors, until they know that I love them, I am not going to have a chance to do that. We cannot live out the Great Commission until we first live out the Great Commandment. We're all want to go out and preach the gospel to all nations, but we don't want them to be our neighbors. They've got to be our neighbors before we can convince them about the Christ who dies for them.

Just remember what Martin E. Molar (sp) said at a time of conflict like this. He said, "What I must recognize is that my nation's enemies are not God's enemies and even those that declare themselves as God's enemies are not God's enemies."

I've got the feeling that we in the Midwest... ok at least me... are glossing over this 911 event as "just awful" and aren't letting it settle into our hearts and change us.

"It is just awful what those people have done." But how small of a change would we have to make in most of our lives to really change the world?

Humbleness forces us to ask "How awful am I?" James 1:21 says "Therefore get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." But we are like a man who looks in the mirror and then forgets what we look like (James 1:23-24), but we remember how awful everybody else looks.

The key to changing the world is to change yourself. Maybe this is the definition of humblenss.

No comments: