At the end of the above article at fox news, a priest, Father Johnathan Morris asks "Will President Obama, and the free world, allow the United Nations to continue in its cowardly silence on this matter?"
Now whilst I am of course not happy that this is happening to this brother, I have to applaud his faith in the face of such persecution. But this Father Morris asking if President Obama going to allow the U.N. to continue it's silence, is just what I was talking about a couple of days ago.
This is an Iranian matter. The guy is a citizen of Iran and not of the United States. We as citizens of the U.S. should feel terrible that this is happening to this guy, and I hope we all do. I surely do. But this is not something for the United States government should even have an opinion on. Much less get involved in. If Christians all over the globe, including in the U.S. want to stand up and cry out for this brother then that is fine. That is how it should be. But do not cry out in protest. Cry out that this brother having lived his life for his God is no willing to make the ultimate sacrifice his God. Martyrdom.
The church always reels against persecution against itself. Why do we fight against the world? Didn't Christ say that we would be persecuted for his sake? This brother in Iran isn't saying that it is his right to practice how he wants. In fact according to Iranian law he is not guilty of any thing. But he is taking it. The important thing to him is that he not renounce his faith because he knows where he is going and what his reward is. He is a true Christian in word and practice. He has to be. He lives in constant persecution. Real persecution. Not the silly stuff that the American Church cries over. There is not one instance in the new testament, with the exception on Peter cutting off the ear of one of the soldiers sent to arrest the Christ, where any of the apostles or early Christians fought physically or verbally back against the State. They gave defense of their faith, and why they believed what they believed. And every single one of them were willing to go to their deaths for the sake of the message of Christ.
And there is what happens here in America: In America if the Christian sees or hears something even slightly offensive the Christian goes on a wild tangent and complains to the media and to their congressman, or they publicly boycott and so on. Why do we fight so against the world? We will never win that battle. God will win it in the end but we humans will not win it in the here and now. Adult led prayer was taken out of public schools. So what. If not being able to pray in a public school is detrimental to your spiritual faith then you need to check yourself. Then you say, "well it's my constitutional right according to the First Amendment to evoke my freedom of speech." Do any of you really think God gives one hoot for the U.S. Constitution? Really? I think so many American Christians are so full of them selves as they think being American and Christian are practically the same thing. I mean to say that they thing that true Americans follow "traditional Christian values." Well phooey on you if that is what you think.
The point I am making is that we think God is on America's side. I don't know where we ever got that Idea but there is nothing to support it. Just because a bunch of people living in the U.S. call themselves "Christians" certainly doesn't mean anything of the sort. Let me say right now that there is no such thing as a Christian Nation. At least not one with borders. Actually that is just another way of saying the "Church." America is not a Christian nation. It just isn't. Just because we have mega churches and we have all this influence in Washington means absolutely nothing to God. Christians having influence over their government is no different than Muslims having influence over their respective governments in the middle east. Sure our ideologies are different but we both want the same thing out of our governments. To make sure they enforce rules to so that our faith and sensibilities aren't offended.
And why do get offended by things of the world. They are of the world. They are supposed to be offensive. Just turn your head and keep on walking. Be offended by the offenses of the church instead. That is where we Christians need to work. We need to fix our own house first before we try and fix the world. And believe me there is a lot wrong in the Christian house. You know "remove the plank from your own eye," and all that. The same thing goes with American foreign policy. Why on earth are we helping the world when our country is teetering on the brink of chaos. It just boggles the mind. People say, "well we need to make sure that American interests are being taken care of abroad." Those people are military interests. And no....we don't. Any way I digress...
So here is my main point in all of this. These are the people who do not offend me when it comes to my faith: Governments, homosexuals, murderers, abortionist, women who get abortions, rapists, democrats, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, Lindsay Lohan, Transvestites, Muslims, the Women's NBA, Hugo Chavez, Communists, socialists, mimes, and etc...
Get over your selves if you are offended by any of these people or entities. It doesn't matter. The government can sensor your faith and people can burn bibles and so on. But there is no need to be offended. The bible is a book. That same book says that the word of God is written on your heart. This is not Iran, or Saudi Arabia. In those places you will be thrown in jail for being a Christian. And there is a very good chance that you willbe executed. And you might say "well if we do not do something about it now, then that is what will eventually happen in America." Then let it happen! It is foretold in the bible. This Brother in Iran isn't fighting that his faith be recognized or for his constitutional rights. He is willing to go Happily into Gods eternal embrace. So should we all be if we were truly reliant upon him.
I think we in western societies are just scared to death to have that much faith in God. Because we are so pampered here, even the poorest of us, that the thought of having to actually give up everything for God, even our lives to the the possibility of imprisonment, torture, and death, is just totally outside of what is possible in the western Christian mind. So we fight against it. We prolong the inevitable out come that Jesus himself said would happen.
Now I am not a perfect Christian by any means. Boy do I have my hang-ups. But I know who I want to be and what I want to be and I fight with my self every day to get there. And that fight has nothing to do with society, with the government, with the world, with democrats or republicans, or congressmen, senators or presidents. The fight is with my flesh. It's my spirit and God against my flesh. That is where the real battle lies for me. It is so for all of us. We go through such great lengths to avoid pain when we must go through pain, acknowledge our pain, and embrace our pain in order to be healed. We do not have to suffer. Pain does not equal suffering. Suffering only comes when we fight against feeling any sort of pain. Then we suffer because we can not get to where God truly wants us to be. Because we are complacent, seeking after riches and the things of the world we suffer. Because we build lavish homes for our selves and work so hard for all the things we want we suffer. If only we worked for the things we needed. Then there would be less suffering because there would be less greed.
Pain is not suffering. Pain is cleansing. Suffering is the absence of having gone through pain in order to heal those wounds we didn't even know we had. I am not speaking of purposefully inflicting physical pain on ones self. Rather I speak of not avoiding the pain that comes to us naturally through just living in every day life.
Even those things that we think are good do cause pain. Here is an example. We live in a society of modern wonders. Medical wonders, technological wonders and so on. There used to be a thing called survival of the fittest. This applied mainly to human beings and other animals but in the last few hundred years it also applies to business'. Let's first talk about the people aspect. There was once a time when the average life span of a person through adulthood was about 45 - 60 years. This was true even as recently as the 1850's - the 1930's. The mortality rate of newborns as well as mothers delivering said newborns was much higher as well. No we have modern advances in medicine and therefore people are living longer and babies and their mothers are living through and well after birth. This is seemingly a good thing and it is. It is a great thing indeed. Now because of these modern wonders in medicine, the direct, but unintended result is that certain areas of the world is over populated. I would go so far as to say that even though there is still loads and loads of land that is not settled, the world it self is over populated. The Earth was never meant to hold this many people. But we are all here. So there for we must suffer for the sake of our brothers lives. Here is how this problem creates suffering in the West. There are loads of people living in the West. It is indeed over populated. Even so we could all have what we need, if that were all we ever worked for. But unfortunately the amount of people wanting their wants (greed) met far out weighs those of us that just want our needs met. This creates suffering. It is the greedy who suffer because their need for all that they can get their hands on will never be satisfied. Those who need suffer because they have to go to the greedy to meet their needs.
Ghandi said "the Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.” And this is true even today. The modern American Christian calls their greed "Gods Blessing." The modern Christian in the Congo would say that a bite to eat every couple of days "Gods blessing." You tell me who is right.
Now lets look at businesses. Specifically big corporations like banks for instance. It used to be that if a business looked like it was going to go under the owner of the business would either borrow what he needed from a lender or a friend, acquaintance, or family member with a lot of money and the heart to want to help. Of course there may be a reasonable, or unreasonable amount of interest attached to the loan. And if they got the help that they needed then their business was saved for a little while longer. If they couldn't get what they needed to keep their business afloat then they went under, or filed for bankruptcy. This is still true today, if only for small businesses. But big banks and other corporations have it good. Corporations like bank of America and General Motors. These days if the likes of these companies are in trouble then they run to the government for a bailout. The fed just prints up money out of nowhere and says here ya go. Safe! No bankruptcy. They are just to big for us to let them fail. 120 years ago they would have done just that. Failed. But today the big guys make it but not by any real merit of their own. And the little businesses have to just succumb to the Walmarts of the world.
And therefore there is suffering. Because the big cats at the top do not give a damn for the lives of the peasants. So we unwittingly live to serve them because they tell us we need them and we fall inline and obey. This is suffering. Pain would be removing ourselves from indebting ourselves to these folks and doing what we can for ourselves with out their help. Pain is working for one another to help each other succeed. Pain is helping our brethren no matter what. In this way pain creates freedom. Freedom from the government and freedom from the corporations. Freedom from all those who would see us crushed under their yolk of servitude. For we have been in service to the entities for along time now. And it is time that it end.
We should want to be in service to one another as equals and to God as our head.
That is all. Please keep the Brother Youcef Nadarkhani of Iran in your prayers. Ask that God give him strength to meet Gods will what ever it may be. If it that he is to be freed to live his life with his family and preach the gospel, then so be it. If it is that he should die for his faith then so be it. The important thing is the he trust God and we trust God for him.