A few years ago, I read a book by Brother Andrew entitled "Light Force: The Only Hope For The Middle East". I have to say that this book, along with another book by the same author, entitled "Secret Believers", gave me much to think about.
Over the years, there has been a growing movement amongst Christians to focus on Israel and the Jewish people as a whole. I have a relative who is very involved in various ministries that promote this. I am not saying this is wrong but I think that well-meaning individuals, in their zeal, have done something that is. We have almost demonized Arab Christians, particularly those who live in "The Holy Land". If we are not demonizing them, we are ignoring their plight. We cannot do this. We cannot ignore the fact that we have Arab brothers and sisters, many of whom face not only persecution but execution, not only by strangers but by their own families. While some of us may have family members who reject us because of we are Christians, how many of us have had a father, a brother, an uncle, a grandfather, a cousin or perhaps a spouse attempt to kill us or provide reward money for our death? Probably not too many of us.
In the book, "Light Force", I read of the frustration and despair of Arab believers who live in the Middle East. Many feel like they are unwanted step-children in the Family of God. Brothers and Sisters, quite honestly, this is wrong. We do not have to agree with the politics and the actions of a country and we can voice our opinion but we must be very careful that in doing so, we do not cross the line of xenophobia.
I am troubled by comments I have seen by Christians posted on Facebook and sometimes even here on CB. We seem to forget that Jesus said that we were to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). This does not mean that agree with them but I also think we need to remember how Jesus responded to His enemies at Calvary.
One of the reasons people turned on Jesus was because they expected Him to raise up an army and overthrow the Roman government. He didn't do that. In fact, we have no written evidence that He walked around bad-mouthing them. Why? Because that wasn't why He came. He came for something much more important. I cannot help but wonder how things would change if we as Christians, began to obey Jesus and do what He clearly told us to do in Matthew 5:44, pray for our enemies.
In the book, "Light Force", Brother Andrew attempted to get Israeli and Palestinian pastors to go on a retreat together. It was not an easy feat. It is never easy to come face to face with your own shortcomings and lay aside your bad memories and your hurt. No one ever said it was easy but we must do it.
We have no business spending our time vilifying anyone. Their actions speak for themselves and God will judge them accordingly. Instead we need to be reaching out to the world around us, sharing the Gospel and demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ. We are to be a light in a dark and miserable world.
Does this mean that we can never speak out against evil? No. Of course not. It just means that before we open our mouths, we need to make sure that we have God's approval for what we are about to say.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Interesting. I am pleased you wrote these words and want to give you a and a
Your thoughts are very in line with my own this evening as you may have seen. It's surprising to me that people too often don't seem to know that "ISIS" and "Muslims" or "Arabs" are NOT interchangeable. They are all different.
I mean, I'm Northern Irish - doesn't mean I'm in the IRA or that I support their values. To take it one step further, I also have a close relative who is Arabic and can say that this person is not a risk to any of us. Nor are any of the Muslim people I work with or know personally. The murder of innocents is as disgusting to Muslims as it is to us.
Enough said; each person can read the newspapers and see that the Arabic countries and Muslim leaders really do not stand in agreement with the ISIS or DIIS ('daesh') terrorists.
You put it well when you said we have no business vilifying anyone. Like I was saying on the wall and you said above, there's a lot for us all to pray for - the people suffering, our countries' leaders and our enemies too.
Thanks K and God bless,
>>> Does this mean that we can never speak out against evil? No. Of course not. It just means that before we open our mouths, we need to make sure that we have God's approval for what we are about to say.
Yeah, lesson I have been trying to learn the last 9 years that CB has been online!
We have almost demonized Arab Christians, particularly those who live in "The Holy Land". If we are not demonizing them, we are ignoring their plight.
I am troubled by comments I have seen by Christians posted on Facebook and sometimes even here on CB. We seem to forget that Jesus said that we were to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44)