Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Would I Rejoice?

There was a Christian doctor that was returning home from his second medical missions trip to Bangladesh. He was bringing home a few things that he bought in a market, mainly things kids make out of what they find in a dump. When he was coming back into the U.S. he was detained, arrested, shackled, put in solitary, questioned aggresively and not allowed a phone call. His wife, waiting for him at another airport was confused and wondering where on earth he was. When she got home, she received a phone call from a detective rudely asking her all sorts of questions. She asked to speak to her husband which they would not allow.

His bail was set at $500,000. So she began trying to come up with some money to get him out. He was treated terribly. It seems a little pot he bought at the market had dirt and clay that they thought might be drug related. That coupled with the prescription medications he had with him made them think he was a drug dealer. Apparently they disregarded the M.D. behind his name! Finally, after they tested the materials and found them to be harmless he was released. He's had a hard time dealing with the aftermath of his ordeal and has sought the help of a therapist to try to deal with the experience.

My friend told me this story about her uncle on Sunday. Do you know what my immediate response was? How dare they? That should NEVER happen in America! Is he going to press charges?

And to some extent it's true. That shouldn't happen in America. And his rights certainly were violated, at least I think so from what I've learned watching Law & Order!

But this week I was reading in the book of Acts and I realized how radically different Christianity is from our culture. I usually don't even realize that my reactions are totally opposite of a biblical response.

Acts 6 tells the story of the Pharisees questioning Peter and the other apostles. They were jealous of their powerful teaching and miracles. Acts 6:40-42 says,
"They called the aposltes in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ." (NIV)

I think it might be time to un-americanize my faith.

1 comment:

Shan in Japan said...

Thanks for the reminder, Michelle. This is something I struggle with a lot here in Japan, is what I am teaching Biblical or just American thinking? A-ha moments abound once we start looking at our faith through the Bible's lens rather than our American lens!