When your religion means nothing

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Wednesday she is prepared to “register as Muslim” in solidarity amid reports that President Trump plans to take executive action affecting immigrants to the U.S.

“I was raised Catholic, became Episcopalian & found out later my family was Jewish. I stand ready to register as Muslim in #solidarity,” Albright tweeted.

In a previous article, I wrote against registering Muslims – or any other religious group.  You can read it here.  

Having said that, I do have a problem with what Madeleine Albright tweeted.

There are various times in the Bible when we read something along the lines of these verses:

Jer 29:10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

This is God’s promise to the people who know Him.

And there’s the problem.

If one goes from being Catholic, to Episcopalian, to Jewish, to Muslim – exactly who is the God that you call out to when you need Him?  Most certainly there are differences between Christian, Jewish and Muslim teachings about God.  We need go no further than Jesus to know that.  Christians believe Jesus is the son of God.  Jews do not believe that – obviously.  Muslims, on the other hand, believe that Jesus was a revered prophet – second only to Muhammad – but definitely not the Son of God.

So – this statement from Albright – and likely to come from others – begs the question of whether or not the religion they hold to (to use the word hold extremely loosely – pun intended) – means anything at all to them.  It’s apparently got nothing to do with God, since these three groups don’t even have the same beliefs about God.  It appears to be more a political statement.  

Again, the problem is that it sends a message to others that may lead them astray.  People who don’t understand the differences between these three religions keep hearing political people make statements about religion.  Wrong, or at best very misleading, statements that turn God into a political toy.

God gives us the right to choose our own “god”.  It could be the true God – it could be money – it could be drugs – it could even be politics.

However – I have to believe God’s not too pleased when He is used like this – turned into a political statement.

Remember this?

Paying Taxes to Caesar

Mt 22:15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
Mt 22:18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”
Mt 22:21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
Mt 22:22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

We should give to Caesar – the government – the political things in life.
And we should give to God what is His – our love and worship.
And not mix up the two.
Period.  End of discussion.

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