Reading through the Book of Acts with my Sunday School class has been providing me with interesting insight into what it must have been like for the “followers of the Way” shortly after the Ascension. There was a lull, or time period where the religious leaders weren’t quite sure what to do about the Apostles– with many suggesting that faith in Jesus would never catch on, and even if it did, it wouldn’t amount to anything. It wasn’t long before they changed their minds and started to persecute and kill believers, which caused the Gospel of Jesus to go to Europe and beyond.
This minority voice threatened the majority belief. In Jerusalem, the majority was Jewish in their faith. They mentally and verbally assented to the coming Messiah while carefully guarding their power amassed by strict regulation and tight partnership with the Roman governing authorities. Jesus of Nazareth threatened all of that– calling out this two-faced behavior while claiming to be the true God and King of a kingdom not of this world. This was a problem.
Every country that allows minority viewpoints to have oversized say will eventually have to grapple with this problem, as by definition that minority viewpoint or group is probably not reflected of the norm of the culture that it is living within. This is definitely the case of the immigrant and refugee populations that are embedded within the Western Democracies that have accepted them in from their war torn land.
Much like the house guest that requires that you change your thermostat temperature to their liking, only watch shows that they like on television, or else, many of these minority populations are having a negative impact on the cultures that have welcomed them into their “homes.” From the overt issues of killings, rapes and attempts to change the laws of the lands to the death threats that Christians have received for having Bibles, eventually the majority peoples of these lands are going to face an important decision: Continue with the dilution of the majority– maybe to the point where these people replace their homeland and culture with the minority one, or remove these minorities from the land.
The Pharisees tried to remove “the Way” from their land, and it spread throughout the world, changing everything that it touched. The Native Americans accepted the white people into their lands, and it changed their land to what is now the United States. Is our culture worth protecting, or is it something that we believe should be changed?
The only thing we know for certain is that the world that we received from our parents will not be the world we give to our children.