Truth and integrity or ignorance and prejudice? These things know no boundaries or borders. Are “They” ignorant and prejudice while “We” are innocent of those things? Nope. No one group anywhere has a monopoly on any of these, regardless of what you hear almost everywhere nowadays.
I’ve had some fascinating experiences recently on Facebook. I “boost” (as Facebook calls it) my blog posts and videos via Facebook to many countries and I receive some pretty interesting responses. I’ve lived in Islamic countries off and on for years and I guess I have a special interest in people in that part of the world. So when I’ve been able to boost the videos to Islamic countries, in languages spoken in those places, I’ve been interested to know what the response will be.
Recently one situation in particular has been special for me. A local language video I’ve done was going out to an Islamic country and I was getting feedback through Facebook. Yes, some of it could be called negative but I could tell that most of those responding had just never heard of the prophet Daniel. Some commented that this was just a Jewish myth. Others were taking an accepted Islamic response that there were only 25 prophets recognized in Islam and that Daniel was not listed as one of them.
But then Facebook responses started coming from a man from that country, trying to edify and correct what he could see were uneducated and often prejudiced comments that were being made. He is Islamic, not a Christian. But he was reproving his countrymen to not so quickly dismiss things they knew very little about.
He told them that the prophet Daniel is not mentioned in the Koran but that he’s definitely mentioned in Islamic writings as being an ancient, genuine prophet of the Jews. He went on to tell them that the tomb of Daniel is said to be in Tarsus, Turkey. He also found and shared in the chat discussion an Islamic website that has extensive information on Daniel chapter 2 from the Bible, the subject of the video I’d posted on line in their language.
And I was like, “Wow, God bless that guy. He’s not Christian but he’s standing up to the ignorance and some prejudice he’s seeing and is trying to rectify it, going against the wind and the trend in order to try to help his countrymen have a more educated, nuanced view of these things, even if he doesn’t actually fully agree with what I’ve shared in the video.”
I don’t know about you but I’m pained and grieved every single day by the prejudice and ignorance I see… everywhere. It seems to be one of the greatest banes of our times and it increases by the day. They say, “It’s not who’s right but what’s right.” So it should be, doubtless. But is that working where you are? Or does it seem that society is in some kind of centrifugal spin, separating into tribes, factions, movements and divisions with nothing but yawning gaps of hatred, ignorance and prejudice between them?
As they say, “Truth is the first causality of any war.” And finding those who’ll stand up for truth, particularly if it goes against their clan or interest group, is very rare indeed, at least as far as I know. So it was fascinating to see this Islamic man going against the wind where he lives, setting straight the uninformed and even prejudiced majority of commentators on my video postings. And actually this has happened with posts of mine to other Islamic countries in other parts of the world and in other languages, where local Islamic ones there also spoke up to set the record straight and inform those commenting that Daniel was in fact recognized in Islamic writings.
How about that? As far as I’m concerned, anyone in these times who stands up for truth and integrity, against prejudice and ignorance, deserves recognition and acclaim. Jesus said, “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” (John 18:37) So you may be part of my clan, living in my state here in America, look like me, talk like me and seemingly we’re really on the same page and in the same category. But if you’re prejudiced and ignorant, if you’re pulsing with hate and spewing out animosity, falsehood and slander against those you oppose, then I’m obliged as a Christian to stand up to your ignorance and prejudice, even if we’re the same in so many other ways.
And if I find “foreigners”, folks of a different religion, race and background from me who are opposing falsehood, ignorance and prejudice, then I strangely will end up feeling affinity with those folks, whoever they may be, who are fighting the same fight I am, for truth, love and righteousness. Jesus said “I am… the truth.” (John 14:6) And some people, even though they may not have all the truth that others of us have, if they’re doing the best they can to live and stand up for the truth they do have, I feel they deserve acclamation and encouragement.
Actually of course, all Christians should abhor and resist ignorance and prejudice. All of us should stand and fight for integrity and the holiness of truth. But, as most of you know, that’s really not what’s going on in our times, or certainly not nearly as much as there should be.
God help us all to oppose ignorance, prejudge and hatred and to do what we can to bring truth and genuine veracity to our friends and neighbors, even as this dear Islamic man recently did in response to the comments he saw about the videos I’ve done.