First of all, with a post title like "Jihad and Missionaries" I am probably going to have a lot of guests reading this post. I suspect I will have such eminent visitors as people from the NSA, Muslim fundamentalists, and maybe even a few Mormons. Welcome one and all. I assure you I mean no harm or ill respect to any of you or your organizations.
Today's post is a relation of some of the thoughts I had today. We'll start with Jihad. Webster gives two definitions of the word: "a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty" and "a crusade for a principle or belief." I think all of us should wage Jihad. BUT, I don't think either of these definitions captures what I mean. I don't think Jihad is the U.S. versus Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the world. I certainly don't think Jihad means blowing things up. I think Jihad is a holy war, but not one of Christians versus Muslims. Jihad is a war of good versus evil, and not even good people versus evil people. Jihad is our own good nature waging war against our evil nature. I think we all should wage a war of ourselves against ourselves. Our ultimate goal in life is to become perfect and do to everything we can to eliminate the things that are keeping us from perfection. Does this mean killing? Heavens NO! It means loving. Loving one another. Loving ourselves. It means whole-heartedly doing everything we can to avoid, and not seek out the things that drag us down. Jihad is a triumph of the inner self and not of the outer dynamite.
Jihad has two parts. It is a war against self, AND it is a war of spreading what you know to be true. This is where the missionary aspect comes into play. I think one of the major faults of Jehova's Witnesses, Latter Day Saints, and other missionaries is that all too often the mindset is one of I will replace what you have believed all your life with what I have believed all of my life. This leads to resentment, to loss, it is unconstructive and can be hurtful. I think what Jihad, what being a missionary should be about is an open and healthy dialogue with BOTH of us growing from inherent good of the other. Both religions should grow and learn from that which is good and true in what each of the others believe. Ultimately being a missionary, being a jihadist, is about bringing others to God. It doesn't necessarily mean I will drag you kicking and screaming unto my God. It means opening the way to allow you to find your own personal relationship with the divine nature of the universe, whatever you believe that nature to be. Its not about coming to my God and to my church. Its about coming to God and being closer to where you believe God is, whether that is in a mosque, a church, or out in nature that is up to you. Its about being welcoming and affirming. If your church is not satisfying your spiritual needs then come to mine. If your beliefs are not enough try mine. It is not about forcing mine onto you, but being open waiting for you to come to Universal Truth. Jihad is about taking what is good and adding unto it. It is about growth, understanding and coming closer to the Divine. It shouldn't be about ANYTHING else.