Sunday, June 29, 2008

naaman's question

We Christians often talk about the Naaman healing story and our basic sermons tend to focus on Naaman having to lower himself to wash in the Jordan seven times. But there is something else.

2 KIngs 5:16,17

16 The prophet answered, "As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing." And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

17 "If you will not," said Naaman, "please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the LORD. 18 But may the LORD forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD forgive your servant for this."

Interesting uh? The Jewish history and commentaries allow people who serve Yahweh to kow-tow to other religions if their lives might be endangered. Think of all the believers in the Lord in countries where they are persecuted. They have to do what they need to do to survive. In addition, Jesus didn't tell his disciples to convert anyone to Christianity; he told them to turn them into followers and disciples of Jesus. Quite a different. So I suspect a person who comes to belief in the Lord but who happens to be in a country where people are persecuted for believing in Christ can stay in his own religion in some places as long as they have a real true trustful faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. -C
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