By Charles Jo 3/6/15
Publicly identifying one’s religion — and publicly online at that — is not a popular thing to do in the US, especially if you say you are a Christian. Media portrays a minority of misguided, vocal extremists who hate and hate and point fingers, condemning everyone else who is not like them — which I don’t believe Jesus wanted us to do. There are many of us who believe in wisdom built around unconditional love and the exhilarating freedom that comes from knowing that Jesus came to reconnect us with God, give us comfort in an otherwise chaotic, Darwinian world, and treat each other well — it’s a peace I imagine what Buddhists experience or anyone who meditates for years, or what atheists may experience after reading up on popular philosophers.
For Christians like myself, our relationship with the Old Testament can be uncomfortable. Most of it, I don’t dare to pretend to understand. But there is a fascination with the Jewish community as God has chosen to reveal Himself through them. There are a couple of stories that are most interesting to me and neither have to do with the Bible.
One was a special on the History Channel or something similar that showed a theory of how the Jewish community may have been intentionally built by a group of people from different origins who happened to be living and working in a similar geography thousands of years ago. This group said, “What we have now is wrong. We can make it better.” Or something to this effect. So a society was built around how to do things better. Just try to reimagine history with that in mind.
The second story was a about a Jewish community in the US some decades ago. Leaders of the community arose to educate the new immigrants. Writing pamphlets and holding teach-ins to help elevate the knowledge of everyone in the community about their personal rights, how to deal with people and organizations outside the community.
These 2 items inspire me. This means that we are not bound by constraints of our environment. We can choose to actively create a better culture or start small with a better subculture. We can (and should) hold teach-ins. Share the know-how. Decide to improve our community. Build a tribe worth building.