Summary: How should Christians respond to the controversy surrounding the publication of cartoons of Muhammed?
How should we, as Christians, respond to the controversy surrounding the publication of cartoons of Muhammed?
“The cartoons were first published by Jyllands-Posten in late September 2005; approximately two weeks later, nearly 3,500 people demonstrated peacefully in Copenhagen. In November, several European newspapers re-published the images, triggering more protests. Labour strikes began in Pakistan the following month, and several organizations criticized the Danish government. More protests occurred in January 2006, and later that month a boycott of Danish goods began. Several countries withdrew their ambassadors to Denmark, and widespread protests, some of them violent, began. The protests continued in February. In Damascus, Syria, both the Norwegian embassy and a building containing the Danish, Swedish, and Chilean embassies were stormed and set afire by protesters. The Danish General Consulate in Beirut was burned down by more than 10,000 protesters. As of February 10, 2006, at least 11 people have been killed in the protests”
John Piper: “The work of Muhammad is based on being honoured and the work of Christ is based on being insulted”
Jesus has been mocked throughout history. The most recent attempt is Dan Brown’s book ‘The da Vinci Code’ where he shows Jesus to be human – fathering children. He goes further to say that the church made him into a god.
This mockery is blasphemy. The real issue, however, is how did Jesus handle it and how should we handle it.
Is 53:3-7 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
a. Referring back to his birth, they were calling Jesus a bastard
i. Jn 8:41 You are doing the things your own father does.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
b. They called him a drunkard
i. Mt 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”’ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”
c. Called him a blasphemer
i. Mt 26:65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.
d. Called him a devil
i. Mt 10:25 It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!
a. by man
i. FB Meyer: “he must also have suffered keenly by the rejection of those he would have gathered, as a hen gathers her chickens under her wing, but they would not. Was there a contemptuous they did not hurl at him; an insult that did not alight upon his head; an avenue along which man’s hate can reach the heart of his fellow-man, which was not trodden bare by those who repaid his love by a hate which had the venom of hell in it”
b. By God
i. FB Meyer: “What did Jesus suffer on the cross? the physical pain that wracked his body was probably hardly perceptable to him amid the pressure of those stripes by which we are healed. He was wounded, not in his tender flesh only, but in his holy loving heart. He was bruised between the millstones of God’s justice and unswerving fidelity to truth. He was stricken because he received into his soul the penalty of human guilt. He was so identified with sin, it’s shame, suffering and penalty, that he deemed himself forsaken by God.”
3. a man of sorrows
a. his distinguishing characteristic was sorrows
b. hymn by Phillip Bliss:
i. Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, Who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;