"Unafraid of Jesus"
August 8, 2017
Revelation 1:5b-7 - To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so. Amen.
Recently, atheist and regular critic of Christianity, Richard Dawkins, has been making the rounds on radio and television talk shows. This he has done this to promote sales of his autobiography, A Brief Candle in the Dark.
This month Dawkins was amazed and astounded to be told an event being hosted by KPFA Radio in Berkley, California, had been cancelled. The reason for the cancellation: the station said he was guilty of "abusive speech." This, of course, was no surprise to the Christian community. What was a surprise is that Dawkins wasn't cancelled for the many judgments he had leveled against the Savior and His followers. No, Dawkins was sidelined because of his disapproval of Islam.
In response, Dawkins wrote, "I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that ... why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticize Christianity but not Islam?"
Now we're not going to get involved in a defense of Dawkins or the decision of the radio station.
That being said, Dawkins does raise a good question: Why is it allowable to criticize Christ but not Muhammad? Why is it permissible for comedians, cartoonists, magazines, newspapers, and college professors to take pot shots at the Trinity, but not Allah?
I think the answer is simple: it is because all of these groups and individuals are not afraid, or respectful, of the risen Christ who sacrificed Himself to buy back the souls of sinful humanity. You can understand why that might be. Listen to how Jesus described Himself in John's Gospel. He says,
• "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever" (John 6:51a).
• Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).
• "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep" (John 10:11).
• Jesus said to her, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live" (John 11:25).
I could go on quoting the Savior. Instead, I will say that in the Person of Jesus, the world has been given the greatest example of sacrifice, love, compassion, and care it will ever see. Jesus is our Savior and, right now, He can and should be respected, loved, and honored.
Of course, right now won't last forever. The day is coming when Jesus will return, and He will not be coming back as the world's forgiving Savior. He will be returning as Judge, and the unbelieving world will find it was a mistake to dismiss and disregard their only hope of forgiveness and salvation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may we be numbered among those who say, "To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever." In Jesus' Name I pray it. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Leah Marieann Klett for the Gospel Herald on July 25, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries