Coexist?

Many may have seen this bumper sticker – it’s pretty popular here in Colorado…

It’s a clever compilation of symbols (some religious, some not), used to spell the word “coexist.”  The clear meaning is that these belief systems or philosphies should learn to “just get along.”  Doesn’t that sound good?  Maybe we should all join hands, close our eyes, and together sing John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

But as is typical on this blog, I think this idea deserves a little more thought.

First, how can those who are thoroughly (or radically) committed to Islam (the first symbol) simply “coexist” with those thoroughly (or radically) committed to Christianity (the last symbol)?  Radical Islam says that Christians should be killed as infidels!  Or as another example: Even some non-radical Muslims don’t believe that Israel (the 4th symbol from the left) should even have a right to exist!

I don’t intend for this to come across an an anti-Muslim rant – those are just some of the more obvious examples of the naive thinking behind this bumper sticker.  People simply DON’T just get along… and won’t until the end of time when Jesus Himself returns to set up His kingdom of righteousness.

But perhaps a more important observation… and this one comes from my wife…

She and I were talking about these bumper stickers the other day and she observed that the mentality that creates a bumper sticker like this, the mentality that actually BELIEVES in a bumper sticker like this, is the same mentality that will readily accept the “mark of the beast” foretold in the book of Revelation.

Huh??????

Think about it.

The mentality behind this is a desire to all “be one,” to “get along,” to do whatever is needed to survive in a harmonious way.  It doesn’t matter what your individual convictions are, what your faith is, what your life philosophy is, you need to compromise that in whatever way is necessary in order to have harmony with other people.  Now I’m all for harmony between people, but I’m also sharp enough to know that it’s not as simple as this bumper sticker implies.  People hold to spiritual beliefs out of conviction that what they believe is the TRUTH.  That sort of conviction SHOULDN’T be abandoned simply to generate some sense of “kumbaya” here and now.  A whole-sale adoption of that kind of mindset can and will end up in disaster. 

Here enters my wife’s thought… Scripture says that in the end times, in order to buy or sell (to survive) everyone will be required to take some sort of mark on their person that shows that they have bought into the one-world, “harmonious” system of the anti-Christ.  Everyone will be expected to compromise their own perspective for the “one” perspective that’s being handed to them as the one that is acceptable.  Sadly, many will do so in order to survive.  But some things are worth more than survival – and believing and holding to the truth of God and His Son Jesus is one of them.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that “coexist” is the mark of the beast… but the mindset behind accepting both is the same in many ways…

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17 thoughts on “Coexist?

  1. I have to say that I completely disagree with your interpretation of what coexist actually means. I live in an area that is multiracial and where many people share different spirtual beliefs. I find this refreshing and yes, I am a christian who does go to church with my family weekly. I feel bad for people who choose not to open their minds to other points of view. I am not suggesting that everyone will get along, but what I am suggesting is that empathy, understanding and forgiveness would lead us all to a much better place. Have you ever met a Muslim or had a Buddist over for dinner? Do your kids play soccer with Jewish kids, or perhaps someone who does not believe in god? Have you ever simply wondered what happens to people who are nice? Perhaps they to will meet their god. My challenge to you would be to meet someone who is very different than you spirtually and see if you can learn something. May god bless you and provide you with greater understanding.

    • I agree with k shear, the small minded and ignorance of religious faith is what stands in the way of peace and understanding and a better world for our children. People should be free to there own beliefs but should repect those of other people. And if you are a christian remember what jesus said ‘love thy neigbour.’ I find this symbol and movement a refreshing idea that i am sure jesus himself would have appreciated. Ignorance aint bliss.

      • Obviously we will disagree on this issue. I believe it is NOT small mindedness or ignorance of any sort that stands in the way of peace and understanding and a better world – it is the FACT that people are sinful. Every human-based attempt at making a better society (socialism, communism, even democracy) has NOT brought about peace and understanding, but new forms of oppression. That’s because sinful people cannot create a sinless world where there is peace and harmony. As long as we continue in our sin instead of receiving the forgiveness and new life Jesus gives, our world will continue to be an example or repeated and failed human attempts at a “peaceful world.”

    • With love I urge you to read your bible and concentrate on the teachings of Jesus……COEXIST isn’t something that GOD ALMIGHTY tolerates.

    • First of all you cannot be a Christian if you believe there are different God’s, as you said “Have you ever wondered what happens to people who are nice? Perhaps they will meet their God.” You don’t go to heaven for being good, not by works but by grace, and their is only one path to heaven and that is through JESUS who died on the cross for You and was badly beaten and bruised for our transgressions and now your gona spit in his face by suggesting their are other God’s REALLY? Your waisting your time going to church because your not getting it!

      • Thanks for your comment…

        First, I wonder what article you read… because the quote you attributed to me DID NOT COME FROM ME! Read the article again. I didn’t say that anywhere. I firmly hold to Jesus as THE way ,THE truth and THE life and nobody coming to the Father but through Him. That is the POINT of my article…

  2. Hi K Shear, and thanks for the comment…

    To answer your questions, yes – I’ve had a great deal of exposure to many people of different faiths and I do work to understand their beliefs / culture / or whatever is different. We’ve even had them over for dinner 🙂 And I do believe it is important to have empathy, understanding, etc. as you mentioned. But those kinds of issues are not really where you and I differ…

    Where we really differ is in our understanding of OR our belief in what the Bible really says. Your statement “perhaps they too will meet their god” shows me that you don’t understand or perhaps don’t believe the Christian teachings on God OR salvation.

    According to the Bible, there is ONE God, not many – and the ONLY way to meet Him is through Jesus Christ. That’s not the Buddist way, or the Muslim way, or the Jewish way – so according to the Bible those and other ways of “meeting God” are false. That is the “Christian” belief, as taught by Jesus. If that’s not what you believe, then you might want to rethink whether you want to continue calling yourself a “Christian,” because your beliefs are NOT Christian beliefs.

    I believe that God, the one true God, has revealed how we are to meet Him – and that way is through His Son Jesus. I can’t compromise that…

  3. I would just like to add that the coexist movement is not as naive as you say…we understand that not everyone will get along and it is not about compromising your beliefs, all it is about is stating the fact that; I as an individual am tolerant and open to “coexist” with people of faiths that differ from myself. To me that’s all it is, a statement of tolerance. And I pity close-minded individuals that don’t understand that Christ tought tolerance and christians are supposed to practice what he taught.

  4. Hi GiGi, and thanks for your input…

    I appreciate your perspective. Really, I do. I agree that as a Christian, I can “coexist” with others of different faiths from myself – and I should. However, I don’t thank that means that I should accept those other faiths as being “equally valid” with mine. Jesus taught that HE is the way, the truth, and the life – and that no one could come to the Father EXCEPT through Him. I believe Christianity is TRUE and therfore exclusive, not simply the best for me out of a variety of valid options.

    Thanks again for your input.

  5. Carey i think I get what your saying and I agree. I may coexsit but I will not co agree, and if the islamic thought process comes through my home, I have a berretta 40 waiting to protect my family. If they want to talk, try to work it out ok. Come to an understanding to agree to dis agree ok . But after that if they want to follow through with thier distructive beliefs I have a different answer.

    Carl

  6. Carey,
    Coexist is just another method to promote respect. Whether you support it or not, your page came up under a Google search so you are promoting it, and like it or not, the above conversations back and forth prove that you are “coexisting”. You are doing good by your faith, yet respecting the fact that there are other people out there who think differently! And for that, I say thank you… for coexisting : )

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