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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dog collars, to wear or not to wear?


Few days ago in the news, there was a news item giving advice to vicars not to wear dog collars in public as it makes them a target for muggers. A new report by National Churchwatch, warns that priests are often targeted more than other professions as they are considered unlikely to fight back.

That made me think about our ideas regarding Christians in general, that if you think of someone who will not fight back when attacked, a Christian person will be probably on the top of your list. Christians talk about peace and forgiveness, about accepting people and being kind and compassionate. So the idea of a Christian fighting back because they are being attached is not something we can accept.

But let us go back to the bible, what did Jesus teach? He always spook the truth, never worried about who he will upset, healing sick people in the Sabbath (Luke 13: 10-17) and driving out all those who were buying and selling in the temple (Luke 19: 45). Were we called to be passive, mellow, and going along with every idea and concept in the name of acceptance? Were we called to submit to all and put up with whatever is happening around us in the name of being obedient to God? My answer is no. We were called to love our enemies (Mathew 5: 42), we were also called to speak the truth and love justice. We are called to submit to God first, to love mercy and seek justice and honor our Lord. We are sent out to the world and asked to be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves (Mathew 10: 16). We are called to show the love that Jesus showed, the kindness of going to talk to a Samaritan women (John 4:7-26) knowing her past, not condemning her but not indorsing her behavior either. The wisdom He showed in eating and staying at the tax collectors house loving and forgiving what he has done in the past (Luke 19:1-10).

So, am I indorsing violence? Of course not. However, standing up and speaking the truth in kindness is not against what God called us to do. Otherwise, how can we be the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Mathew 5: 13-16)?
My prayer to God today is to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

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