Tag Archives: Syria

When The Lion Met The Scarecrow.

Last week I flew over Paris on the way back from Kenya, totally unaware that only a day later over 130 people would be killed in a terrorist attack. There’s been a lot of talk since then about the Syrian refugee crisis, and I have to say, I don’t like what I hear from either side. It’s like listening to a conversation between the Lion and the Scarecrow. One side has no brains and the other has no heart. I try to avoid overt political discussion in this blog, but this is one of those times it can’t be avoided. I will be talking a little bit about the Lion’s point of view, but mostly the Scarecrow’s, since that is supposedly the Christian perspective.

The United States government made a commitment to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year. Since the terrorist attacks in Paris and Lebanon, there’s been a lot of talk about additional scrutiny and background checks for those refugees we let into this country. This is not an unreasonable request, if nothing else just to put at easy the nerves of the people of this country. President Obama has ignored that request. This follows his pattern of ignoring reasonable requests, which then turn into unreasonable requests out of nothing more than push-back. I believe his presidency would have gone a lot more smoothly if he’d at least made an appearance of listening to people. So the fight has begun. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Now onto the Lion. I have been dismayed by the attitude of people who proclaim, in word anyway, to be Christians. This is especially apparent on Facebook. I see things like, “Would a Muslim country take in Christian refugees? Don’t let Syrian refugees into the US.”  Let’s start with the question, would a Muslim country take in Christian refugees?  The answer is, probably not. This is precisely why we should. We are Christians and this is what we are supposed to do, so let’s start acting like Christians. When Obama said, “whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”, are we going to prove him wrong or right?

So for those Christians who aren’t tracking with me yet, let me throw some scriptures out there.

Deuteronomy 27:19 “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.”

Leviticus 19:33 When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34‘The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.

Matthew 25: 34-46    Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Psalm 146:9 The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

Malachi 3:5  “At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

I could go on, but for the sake of brevity, I won’t. Most of the people I’ve seen with the attitude of leaving the Syrians to the wolves say they believe in missions. I’m going to have to take issue with that. I didn’t see any of them rushing over to Syria to preach the word of God. Now God has handed them into their laps. These Syrians have seen the absolute worst that Islam has to offer, and many of them are disillusioned and questioning their faith. God has handed them over to us with an opportunity to show the love of Christ, and we’re telling them to go home. I understand that security is an issue, and people are afraid. The problem is, when we became Christians, security was not something we were promised, at least not the physical kind. We really need to get over feeling as if security is a birthright. We are here to show love to our neighbor, and for those who don’t know who your neighbor is, the parable of the good Samaritan is excellent and has new meaning for today.  It does no good to stand up for the rights of the unborn when we won’t stand up for the refugee, and it’s sad when the lost world has a better perspective on the subject than the church does.

As a last point, I just want to remind people that Jesus was a refugee when he was two years old, and had to flee to Egypt until his oppressor died. Would we tell him to go home as well?

For those who are interested in missions, we need a real heart change. These are the people we deal with. Everyone I have me in South Sudan is or was a refugee at one point, and many of those in Ethiopia were as well. If we have no compassion for them here, why is it different when they’re over there? If you believe it’s a national security issue, fine. Just don’t call it a Christian perspective.

This is the result of civil war, in this case in Ethiopia.
This is the result of civil war, in this case in Ethiopia.
Advertisements

The Name’s Satan, But You Can Call Me “Pud”

I’ll start off by saying, some of you aren’t going to like this post.

Imagine if you knew your imminent execution was coming by a horrible means, and once a  predetermined set of criteria had been met, your execution would be carried out without further delay. Now imagine you’ve got an army that you can command from your prison cell. What would you do? You would of course command that army to do everything in its power to make sure that set of criteria did not come to fruition, or at least put it off as long as possible.

The reference in the title is to a 1939 movie, “On Borrowed Time”, based on a novel by Laurence Edward Watkin, in which death is trapped in an apple tree until he is let down. With what is going on recently in Syria and Iraq with Isis slaughtering everyone who won’t convert to Islam, I have become convinced until someone proves otherwise that Islam’s sole purpose on this earth is to delay the return of Christ, and by extension, stay Satan’s execution.  Does that concept make you angry? So be it, but prove me wrong. It seems the more vile and violent Islam becomes, the more people insist that Islam is a peaceful religion. “Thou doth protest too much”, is the line from Macbeth. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, but stupidity is looking at something right in front of you and insisting that it’s something entirely different.

The criteria of which I’m speaking is multi-faceted, but specifically I’m talking about the verse in Revelation that says, “After this I beheld, and, see, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” The verse indicated that before Christ comes back, there will be followers of Christ from every tribe, language, and nation. Every time Islam moves into an area, they try to eradicate Jews and Christians. (Afterward, when the Jews and Christians are gone, they turn on each other, but that’s for a different blog). Once again, don’t like what I’m saying? Prove me wrong. From the Pakistani kid I went to school with who said he wanted to kill Salmon Rushdie, to the girl at college who had to flee Kenya because there was a price on her head for converting to Christianity, to everyone I know in South Sudan who lived most of their lives under the oppression of the Islamic state there, no one seems keen on showing me the other side. From the Philippines to Indonesia to Iraq to North Africa, I’m not sure it would be possible to count the number of groups trying to set up an Islamic theocracy. Am I making you angry yet? As angry as it makes you that in Syria and Iraq Christian children are being systematically beheaded? If you read the newspapers, they’re never listed as Christian, they’re always listed as “minorities”. No one will look at the issue.

It is time for the church to wake up and realize the spiritual battle that it is in. Much of the church doesn’t believe that it is in a battle. It’s time to look around. Some friends of mine just got back from Kenya where among other things they witnessed an exorcism. Some of you are saying to yourselves, “there’s no such thing as demons, that stuff doesn’t happen.” Well, the only difference between those oppressed by demons in Africa and those oppressed by demons here is that in the west, we’re content to live with our demons. It’s time to stop settling and start living the lives as more than conquerors that we are promised.  It’s time to start engaging the battle, and putting more effort into saving the world through the gospel than the effort Isis is putting in to eradicate it. It’s time to start freeing people with the love of God, and that means going to the places where Satan’s army has a stronghold. Satan knows that someday Mr. Brink is going to get let out of the apple tree, and when that day comes, it’s his last day. Let’s do everything we can to make that day come sooner. It’s time to stop living in fear, time to stop worrying about trying to be politically correct. It’s time to stop worrying about what the neighbors think. It’s time to stop ignoring the spiritual warfare going on around us and start taking part. Just because you refuse to engage with the battle going on around you doesn’t mean you will survive, and you certainly won’t do any good. Let’s convert more from Islam with the love of God than they convert to Islam with the barrel of a gun. It’s time.

blog-1753