Winston Churchill once said, “A fanatic is a person who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” I’m not sure Sharif is a fanatic but he’s definitely passionate about his interests. On a United flight from Portland to Denver, I listened as he shared about his organization--Commonway. The logo on his business card proclaims “Creating a World Which Works for All.”
Sharif was on his way to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of many places he visits to bring peace between fighting factions. He explained that when he is meeting with Muslims he becomes a Muslim. If his mission involves Catholics, he becomes a Catholic. If relating to Buddhists he becomes a Buddhist. In essence Sharif is all things to all people because he believes all religions are basically the same.
Imagine Sharif sitting next to television reporter Barbara Walters, expounding his inclusivist message—it is in your interest to honor the interests of others. A world sick of conflict, tired of factionalism, reaches hungrily to embrace the words of an eloquent speaker who says anything you want, you can have so long as you are honest.
Colossians 2:8--Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.
We who follow Christ and believe His message, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6), had better pay attention to what is happening around us. Soon the day will arrive when to preach Jesus and Jesus only will draw more than a condescending look that says, “how could you be so narrow and stupid!” Our society will move beyond impatience to strip us of our right to promote Christ as the only legitimate Messiah. Will we have the courage to shamelessly hold on to Jesus? Will we assuredly dare to attest that He alone is capable of ending conflict through His saving grace, this Lord who calls us to die to self?
On the same row with Sharif and I, sat Andrea who was reading The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel. I was amazed to learn that she has a brother Eric, who is a ‘98 West Point graduate. While a cadet, Eric fellowshipped with my close friend Dave Mead, who co-leads the Navigator ministry at West Point. I was on my way to a week-long course Dave and I would take together! Cruising at 28,000 feet, Andrea and I marveled at how God changes our lives. In Christ we have eternal hope and fulfilling love. It is love gained at the cost of dying to our human philosophies and man-made attempts to create lasting peace. It is love I pray Sharif one day finds. For without Christ, the best made philosophies all end in a dead-end canyon called Gehenna.
Every member of the human race has one common point of interest with every other member, and that is self-interest. And the common objective that results from this common element in human nature is a desire to obliterate God.—Oswald Chambers in Not Knowing Where
©2001 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)