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11.30.2004    |    MOPE
Standing for "most oppressed people ever." The Irish, naturally, have the MOPE franchise, thanks in part to seven hundred years of English and Scots invasions and occupation that continues to this very day. Ah, I can hear the strains of "six counties are under John Bull's tyranny..." strummin' soft-like in the background. [For some important notes on this, and on the Dublin pub scene which is totally unrelated to the theme of this post but most definitely has MOPE and is lots of fun, check out Beer and Loathing]

The Jews, also, have at least some portion of the MOPE franchise, and, while this may seem obvious, it isn't for reasons that most would think. The Jews have been singled out for MOPE-dom for the simple reason that they were chosen by God to be His witness, and to capture in the Hebrew Scriptures the story of His creation of us. Nobody likes to be reminded of his failures, and those whose identity was forged in Torah, i.e. the Five Books of Moses, are living reminders of how we fail to measure up to what is expected of us.

The world has never forgiven this witness, even those millions who claim to believe in God whilst at the same time killing and oppressing Jews throughout history, throughout the world. This, of course, includes many, many, who have claimed to have been Christians. They weren't.

True Christians now stand side-by-side with observant Jews; living witness to God's awesome majesty. And, a living rebuke to the world. Those who are true servants of the Lord, whether Christian, or Jew, are the MOPEs of history. The torch was passed to us Christians, who by the saving death of Christ Jesus inherited both the mantle of witnessing God's works in history, and carrying what I call the "God gene" for the crooked timber of humanity.

By which I mean that the true MOPEs are those who know that God is, as we sing, "Lord of All." Nations exist only at His sufferance, as do we all. This is hard, frankly intolerable, for those who do not so believe. And they've made no bones about it, and taken their ire out, with often fatal results, on believers. Us MOPEs share in the victimhood of the Irish and the Jews, but know that it's nothing to do with a mere fiction like ethnicity or nationality.

It has to do with our certain knoweldge that all that is in the world of the living is only temporary and not truly important in the eternal scheme of things. This does not mean that we ignore the world; as the tired phrase goes, Christians, and Jews, must be in the world, but not of it. This is not an invitation to nihilism. It means to do God's will in the here and now, as best we grasp what that will might be.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.