Michael "Mikey" Weinstein allegesthat while a cadet at the Air Force Academy (AFA) he was psychologically harassed, faced anti-Semitic slurs, death threats, and “two incidents of hazing where he was ambushed, beaten, and in one case hospitalized.” Both of his sons who also attended the AFA, also experienced Christian proselytizing and derogatory statements directed at their Jewish heritage. Weinstein decided that the best approach to eliminating anti-Semitism and Christian proselytizing was to launch the Military Religious Freedom Foundation(MRFF),“formed as a watchdog organization to protect religious freedom in the military in accordance with Department of Defense Directive 1300.17, Accommodation of Religious Practices Within the Military Services.” MRFF was nominated on five occasions for the Nobel Peace Prize.
On the surface it would appear understandable why Mr. Weinstein would be a zealot. Certainly if the treatment he and his sons faced was accurately reported, there is no excuse for such conduct by Christians. Jesus is never quoted in Scripture as admonishing His followers to harass mentally, emotionally or physically anyone opposed to His message. Quite the opposite—Jesus endured the cross, taught His disciples to love their enemies and to pray for any who persecuted them (Mat. 5:44). The gospel message is never about coercion it is about grace. It is not about enforcing rights but rather rightly obeying God. Its power comes through faith lived out in humility.
A smart lawyer has the right to go after those who inflict harm on others. But in Weinstein’s case, he does not depict the behavior of one going after bullies. No, he is the bully. He does all he can to stamp out any Christian activity that exists at any military installation. It is clear that MRFF is not about protecting religious freedom but rather curtailing the religious rights of any who call themselves Christians. If he had his way he would see that any Christian caught sharing his or her faith with nonbelievers could be subject to court martial. A study of this man reveals an uncommon rage and it reminds me of another man in the Bible.
Esther 3:5,6—When Haman saw that Mordecai was not bowing down or paying him homage, he was filled with rage. And when he learned of Mordecai’s ethnic identity, Haman decided not to do away with Mordecai alone. He planned to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout Ahasuerus’s kingdom.
Haman, like Mr. Weinstein, attained a place of power. But Mordecai saw in Haman an evil man and he refused to bow before him. This so enraged Haman that he tricked King Ahasuerus into giving him the authority to authorize the complete destruction of the Jews throughout a vast Middle Eastern empire. What is insightful is how Mordecai dealt with the threat against his life.
Mordecai tore his clothes put on sackcloth and mourned. He and his people prayed, fasted and wept. But he also used the political power available through Queen Esther to work towards exposing Haman. The king ordered Haman hung on the very gallows this manipulative leader constructed to kill Mordecai.
©2015 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)