amerIca, amerIca

During one of our class breaks, one of my colleagues asked my professor
what he thought of bible codes.  Of course, my professor scoffed
at them.  And I say “scoffed” in the most positive way possible
because bible code stuff deserved to be scoffed at.  Anyways,
during our conversation, one of my other colleagues brought up how
someone had somehow deciphered a bible code that revealed the precise
events of Sept 11.  And then it struck me–how self-centered are

Are we so self-absorbed that, as terrible as 9/11 was, that somehow it
ranks up there with history’s worst disasters?  Even around the
world right now,
worse things are happening than what happened to
us on that gruesome day.  How many infant girls are being aborted
or forsaken to orphanages in the one child only state of China right
now?  How many young girls in South East Asia, Mexico, or Russia
are being kidnapped–or sold by family members–into sexual slavery
right now?  How many Christians are being subjected to social,
economic, or physical repression by governments of “closed” countries,
like North Korea, China, Indonesia, or Sudan right now?  Do bible
codes offer any clues for the dates, times, or other vital statistics
for such casualties?

I recently read an article by Brian McLaren “The Passion of Hotel Rwanda“. 
I was reminded by how much bigger God is than America; how much bigger
he is than my own experience of faith.  Moreso, how much bigger he
is than even the severest of sufferings.

I criticize our self-centeredness not because I hate America.  In
comparison to most countries in the world, we are not only better off,
but we do better.  But nationalism is common to all, not just
Americans.  Short-sightedness is a human condition, not a
particularly American one.  God loves America (remember Jn 3:16?), although I am convinced we weave
in and out of his judgment.  But he does not hold any special love
for America.  He has a special love for the oppressed, the
impoverished, the forsaken, and those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness–and these qualities render national identity meaningless.

Maybe I’m off base here.  Maybe I should not say, “God doesn’t
think we’re all that special.”  Maybe it’s more accurate to say,
“Yeah, God really is that concerned about us.  Just imagine how
much more concerned he is about those guys over there who have gone
through worse.”

If anyone is interested in watching Hotel Rwanda, here is a listing of showtimes
in the Fremont area.  I wouldn’t mind if we got a group of people
together to go watch and reflect together afterwards either.

4 thoughts on “”

  1. Great post and great movie. Actually I like your post more than Mclaren’s article. I am waking up more and more to suffering in the world. I read an article a couple weeks back that said in the past 5 years 20 million people have died in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That isn’t something we talk about in America. Without diminishing 9/11, when the towers went down, Americans talked about how this changed the world. If a few thousand deaths change the world, what does 20 million deaths do? What does Sudanese genocide do? The answer is, not much as far as my world goes here in America. Newspapers barely cover it, and life goes on. Hotel Rwanda was good on many levels. It does make you feel less self centered, and humble when you consider that Rwanda was a Christianized nation (these were Christians killing Christians). But there are other lessons as well. The main charcter does Business with a major instigator of the violence, and thus helps fund the influx of weapons into the country. He justifys it by saying, “It is just business.” But the events unfold to show that there is no such thing as business. It is pretty powerful statement about how our actions can be contributing to systemic evil while we try and pass it off as business as usual. I think everyone should see the movie.

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