By Cathy York
A few months ago, I got into a multi-day Twitter conversation-cum-argument with someone who represented himself as an American-born Muslim whose parents were atheists, though both of his grandfathers were ministers of some sort. It started out with me taking issue with a fellow conservative’s assertion that most—if not all—Muslims want to slit our throats, and this Muslim gentleman thanked me for sticking up for his co-religionists who genuinely love our country. I stated to him that, even though I am an evangelical Christian, I am committed to trumpeting the work of patriotic Muslims like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Dr. Qanta Ahmad, and others. He asked me where I differ with Muslim theology, saying,
“We might not be as far apart as you think.”
Well, yes, we are pretty far apart when it comes to who we each believe Jesus is. When I stated several times that I believe Jesus is indeed God, he became nearly apoplectic, having the biggest problem with the concept of God urinating and defecating. That thought was heretical to him.
In a way, he was correct: God becoming man is scandalous:
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. (Philippians 2:5-8, The Message)
My God is big enough to make Himself subject to humiliation and death without His Divine nature being diminished. And He did it willingly, for the sole purpose of making a way of reconciliation with each and every one of us. He delights in you and me, and wants nothing more than to party with us! It is something of an overwhelming thought that the God of the Universe desires intimate relationship with me, but He does.
On a purely intellectual level, I know it’s silly when I try to hide from Him, to keep Him at arms’ length. My feeble attempts are about as effective as my three-year-old son “hiding” from me by sitting bolt upright in the middle of my bed with the covers over his head. I keep doing it, though, and likely will to one degree or another until I see Him face to face; I have a sneaking suspicion I won’t feel the need for it then.