01 December 2014

Identity confusion (Michael Brown, Baruch Goldstein, and you)

Michael Brown was the black man shot in Ferguson, Missouri. Some sorted out who he was just by the color of his skin. Racism works to no one's advantage or credit. He is not to be confused with Dr Michael L. Brown, the Jewish believer in Jesus whose website is here . I wonder if people have confused one Michael Brown with the other?

I remember back in 1994, when an American-born Israeli physician and religious extremist, Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Arab Muslim worshipers and wounding another 125. This was called the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in the city of Hebron. At that time I had a former colleague whose English name was Bruce, but for 15 years he had gone by his Hebrew name, Baruch Goldstein. Was that the same? Nope...identity disparity. I'm sure my friend, who passed away a couple years ago, used to hear bad things about the other Goldstein who was killed by the rampaging crowd into which he was shooting.

Identity theft...it's a big deal in the world and a major cause of frustration and expense at checkout counters and on the phone with marketers. Whom should I trust when I give out my PIN or my credit card information? With whom should I be secret or from whom should I hide my punching data? It's a worry, and so many are frustrated by the lack of trust in the world today and those who caused us to be so distrustful.

My Welsh friend Bennett earns a bit of a living helping people whose lives were lost by identity theft. At least I hope he does. This info from the Australian government:

Definition of identity confusions
A set of standard definitions were developed by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre's Proof of Identity Steering Committee for use by law enforcement throughout Australia (ACPR 2006:15):
  • The term identity encompasses the identity of natural persons (living or deceased) and the identity of bodies corporate
  • Identity fabrication to be used to describe the creation of a fictitious identity
  • Identity manipulation to be used to describe the alteration of one's own identity
  • Identity theft to be used to describe the theft or assumption of a pre-existing identity (or significant part thereof), with or without consent and whether, in the case of an individual, the person is living or deceased
  • Identity crime to be used as a generic term to describe activities/offences in which a perpetrator uses a fabricated identity; a manipulated identity; or a stolen/assumed identity to facilitate the commission of a crime(s).
What does identity crime cost in Australia?
Recent estimates by the Attorney-General’s Department indicate that identity crime costs Australia upwards of $1.6 billion each year, with the majority (around $900m) lost by individuals through credit card fraud, identity theft and scams.
More alarmingly, identity crime continues to be a key enabler of serious and organised crime, which in turn costs Australia around $15 billion annually.

So when I hear another Baruch Goldstein or Michael Brown is doing something, it means one thing, but identity theft is quite another for the federal police.

And what does it mean to you? Or to the Almighty?
I think about the identity of God, you know, the Creator of heaven and earth. And how some people get that right, and others, well, less right, or downright wrong. When someone says, "The death of that cricket star just wasn't fair" they are saying that the fairness or justice by the which the Lord of all evaluates things is wrong. And what does that say about themselves? That they are taking the identity of the Almighty for themselves. When someone says, "That person should live" or "That person should not live" and the reality is otherwise, they are assuming command of the issue of justice and determining that God doesn't have it quite right, thus making themselves God. Identity Theft!

Often we use the term 'fair' or "justice' to mean, "I want this to happen", therefore anything less than that is unacceptable. That's assuming the character of Justice for ourselves and thus making ourselves to be God. See how that works? I do not mean to demean the aching for justice which is both inherent in humanity and certainly should be a fruit of the Spirit of God working in those who love Him. But I mean the telling of God that He is wrong.

Let's get this right. Yeshua is God's Son, born in a manger in Bethlehem. No other person comes close to being His Messiah. No other person comes close to fulfilling all the prophecies listed in the record of the Tenach.  And once we get His identity correct, everything else falls into place. Or at least it begins to do so.  Have you sorted out that question.... "Who is Yeshua?" Keep looking and you will find Him. I believe that.

Happy December.



 

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