one of those who spend hours in front of the television
every night watching the Olympic competitions from Torino.
I love to see the aggressiveness of the athletes which
pushes them to what might be considered superhuman efforts.
I was impressed with the Chinese pairs skaters; when
the woman fell, she forced her mind to ignore the injury,
she got up, skated her program and they ended up winning
the silver medal. Nothing but the passion to win makes
this kind of effort possible.
live fifty miles from Pittsburgh so I am a Steelers
fan by default. The Seahawks are probably very nice
people, but I don't know anything about them compared
to what I have heard in recent weeks about Big Ben and
The Bus. I don't own any stock in the organization,
but I would have been very unhappy if they had lost
the Super Bowl contest. That was a competition that
everyone in my family and my neighborhood wanted to
are areas where competition is appropriate, or at least
understandable, and other areas where it is very destructive.
Religion is the prime example of an arena in which competition
can kill. Saying, "My religion is better than your
religion," is the same as saying, "My God
is better than your God." What a ridiculous claim.
There is only one God, and that very fact should make
competition totally irrelevant. It's like two sisters
taunting each other, "My mother is better than
your mother!" You have to be blind and ignorant
to think in these terms.
through my ministry, we were made aware of the efforts
of Christian missionaries around the world. In fact,
my sister and brother-in-law spent their whole careers
as Baptist missionaries to Africa. But think about the
implications of mission work. It says, "Our religion
is better than your primitive beliefs." This immediately
casts the matter into a relationship of condescension,
and we inevitably import not only our religious style
but also our political and social standards. Then the
issue becomes, "Those who do not agree with our
politics are enemies of our God."
I abhor a religion which would teach its people that
a cartoon in a foreign press is sufficient cause to
loot and kill. This has nothing to do with spirituality,
which should be the sole character of any organization
which purports to represent God. We criticize Islam
for attempting to convert the world to its way of thinking.
But, in truth, has Christianity done any differently?
We have so corrupted our religions with political agendas
that they have lost all semblance of their true purpose
- to teach love, understanding, and the sense of the
oneness of all humankind.
we need a new paradigm for seeking God. And it needs
to leave the competitive element out of it. Ancient
people used to think that each nation had its own God.
We see this now as primitive ignorance. But if there
is only one God, we must mature beyond the stage of
thinking "My God is the only true God."
we can learn to say, "Your God is my God by another
name," we will continue to kill those of other
religions in the name of our distorted view of God.
John W. Sloat 2006