More of My Thoughts on Syria

india1Question: If, as I stated in my last post, my mission in life is to proclaim the kingdom of God; and if my allegiance to God’s kingdom supersedes my allegiance to any political ideology; does that mean I have the responsibility to think about how my country’s decisions affect believers of other countries that could be harmed because of the actions of my country?

I think the answer is yes, and that affects how I view the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine, and now Syria.

I have several friends who grew up as Christians in Baghdad. Their families had to flee because of religious persecution. Persecution that got worse once the United States got involved.

Everyone agrees, even my Iraqi friends, that Saddam was a bad guy. But under his regime there was a degree of religious freedom that evaporated when he was toppled. Here is my understanding from Christians who lived there during that time: Saddam used Islam to his favor. But he was such a bad guy that he controlled most of the fractions within Islam with an iron fist. In other words, if he told the Taliban to leave Christians alone, they were left alone. Saddam used Christians in his country, especially in Baghdad, because they were highly educated, good citizens, and excellent businessmen. Saddam even had Christians in his cabinet. Continue reading

The United Nations & Palestine.

gaza-west-bank_mapI am trying to educate myself a little bit more on the political nature of the Palestinian / Israeli conflict and the path to peace and the two-state solution, etc…I know the conservative, evangelical, theological point of view, but I am interested in learning more about the practical, day-to-day impact on the people living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, especially the Palestinian Christians who, I believe, have been overlooked and forgotten by most believers in the States.

I have a long way to go and a steep learning curve to navigate. But I am trying.

I have several Arab Christian friends. I have asked some of them their thoughts on the present situation, mainly the UN’s recent decision to recognize Palestine as a state. Below is the response I received from one of them.

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Israel and Palestinian Christians

There are four things I need to make clear up front:

  1. I am not an expert on the Middle East, especially the situation between Israel and Palestine.
  2. I am all in favor of standing with Israel against her enemies. I believe God blesses those who bless Israel.
  3. Any sovereign nation (or group of people for that matter) has a right to defend themselves.
  4. My thoughts on all this are a work in progress.

With that said, I am concerned how quickly evangelical Christians in the United States are to unquestionably support Israel in her continued conflict against the Palestinians. Israel does have the right to defend herself and they have shown considerable restraint up to this point, but does standing with Israel mean the Israeli government can do no wrong? Is standing with the government of Israel the same as obeying the biblical mandate to stand with Israel? Can Israel (the government) do no wrong? Am I suppossed to ignore all the stories of the apartheid like oppression imposed by the Israeli government its people?

I don’t know the answer.

(for sake of balance, watch this video by conservative Dennis Prager)

My purpose in this post is to write about the forgotten people in this struggle. My purpose here is to bring some attention to the Palestinian Christians who are being killed and overlooked in the entire conflict. I want to stand with Israel, but I believe I am more obligated to stand with my brothers and sisters, the Palestinian Christians, who are innocently being killed in this seemingly endless conflict. Continue reading

Election Day Prayer

Well, tomorrow is the big day! Election day 2012! I will be glad when it is over and I do hope it is over tomorrow evening. I pray that whoever wins wins by a solid enough number so there will be no disputes, cries of voter fraud, recounts, lawsuits and countersuits; and even though I think the electoral college is ingenious, I pray that whoever wins the popular vote also wins the electoral college vote. I pray for a conflict free election, regardless who wins. I ask you to join me in that prayer.

In addition, here are some other things I will be praying tomorrow: Continue reading

A Bumpy Ride

Well, everyone better buckle up their chin strap, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. It’s only April. November is a long way off and the campaign is full throttle. Unfortunately, however, right now the candidates are talking about everything but the issues. Instead of talking about the economy, unemployment, and war, they are talking about dogs, stay-at-home moms, and prostitutes. It’s really sickening.

But, at least there are some good editorial cartoons coming out to lighten the mood. (I have attached three of those cartoons to this post.)

While the candidates and the media are talking about these issues, here are the more important issues that need to be addressed. (In my humble opinion.) Continue reading