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

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Programmed for Programs

Flag_crowdPart of the United States culture is excess. If bigger is better than more is best. We are people of extremes. We think moderation is synonymous with the status-quo. What we gain in initiative we lose in balance.

“Go big or go home.”

“If you’re not first your last.”

“If you’re going to be a bear be a grizzly bear.”

“If it’s too loud you’re too old.”

Our tendency towards extremes, at times, hinders our ability to communicate and discuss controversial topics. Continue reading

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

To Vote or Not to Vote

For the first time in my adult life I am seriously considering not voting in this year’s presidential election. Go ahead, criticize me and throw stones, but I can’t find anywhere in Scripture where I am commanded to vote. In fact, quite the opposite would be true because there was no democracy in either the Old or New Testament. I am not saying I am not going to vote, I am just saying I am seriously considering not voting. Let me tell you why.

1. I cannot in good conscience vote for Pres. Obama. While I respect him and the office he holds, I just don’t see how he has done anything over the last 3 years to deserve another term. Yes, he did inherit a lousy economy thanks to over spending by Pres. Bush. Yes, he did inherit a war. Yes, the Republicans have stood in his way at every turn. But he just has not done anything to prove he can lead. Even when he had the majority, he still did not get anything done. The fact that he has never passed a budget is enough to convince me he cannot lead.  Continue reading

The Church in the United States

Hey everyone, when you get a chance I would love for you to answer this poll. Thanks.