Download mp3 audio
"But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.  For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.  And the rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy."
"Birds of a feather," they say, "flock together." It is natural for people who have something in common to want to hang out together and spend time with one another. I suppose there isn't anything sinister or evil about that, but there is a point where this attitude can cross the line of acceptability. Especially when it stops clustering people together and starts dividing them. We live in an age of enlightenment-where we strive for equality and celebrate diversity-something, I might add, is more easily said than done.
In an article for Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria berated Christian preachers for making anti-Muslim statements. He called their statements, "bigoted rantings by preachers." He wrote, "Falwell, Robertson and Graham's hate-filled campaign is lighting fires that could grow into a terrible conflagration." (Newsweek, October 21, 2002, p. 40)
My immediate response to these words is to take offense. Part of my reaction is because of the climate since the terrorists attacks of 9-11, and I'm sure part of my reaction is because I am a conservative Christian preacher myself. I want to ask, Isn't Zakari's article the pot calling the kettle intolerant? Don't his words seem hate-filled? I guess it is wrong to criticize anyone in the Muslim world, but OK to have a field day on Christian preachers.
But when I set aside my offense and think about his statement, another issue really emerges-it is hard, even for the most enlightened among us not to have prejudices of one sort or another. Do you? Be honest. Do you struggle with prejudice from time to time? I know I do. In this article, even while denouncing hate-filled communication, Zakaria communicated with harsh language. It is almost impossible to be prejudice free. Something Peter learned when Paul confronted him with his inappropriate behavior. Peter should have known better.
In Acts 10:11-17 Peter had an awakening of sorts, the scripture says, "and he beheld the sky opened up, and a certain object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground,  and
Thank you for reading the free preview of this
sermon. The full
manuscript is available to Premium
use these resources in their ministry.