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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My Thoughts on Syria

Our country is on the verge of a decision concerning Syria. After much thought and prayer, and following the situation as closely as I have time, here are my thoughts. These thoughts are not just on Syria, but war in general and what I believe my attitude should be. Please understand these are my thoughts and how I feel. In this post I am refusing to say things like, “Christians need to…”; “Believers need to…”; etc, etc, etc. I am not speaking for Christians nor for Christianity. This is just simply how I believe at this moment in time. I am a work in progress and so I reserve the right to grow and change. I am going to speak with bullet points because I know my thoughts are somewhat random.

  • In the past, based on my interpretation and application of conservative Christianity and conservative politics, I have been far too quick to rush into war (or armed conflict) because “we are right” and everyone else in the world is “wrong.” I bought into a conservative understanding of “American exceptionalism” and wrapped my Christianity up in Nationalism. I was wrong, and have confessed those attitudes and beliefs as a sin based on a biblical principle found in Colossians 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
  • I am becoming more and more convinced that my mission on earth is to proclaim the kingdom of God, and that doing so puts me more and more at odds with my government. I felt this way long before the present administration. If you have been following my blog for any length of time then you know I do not support either political party. In fact, I believe, my allegiance to God’s kingdom prohibits me from aligning myself to closely to any political ideology.  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