Do Not Keep Silent
During World War II there was a lot of horrible things that were happening and people many people did not speak out against what was happening. Those who did faced death. A prime example of this is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. By speaking out against Hitler’s horrific crimes he put himself into danger and ultimately he faced death. One of the books Bonhoeffer wrote during his lifetime was The Cost of Discipleship. In it he discusses the price we must pay if we are to be true followers of Jesus Christ.
Today we are watching as our world is changing in dramatic fashion. We can watch on our TVs and computers as people are being hunted down and killed simply because they are Christians or other ethnic minorities who certain groups have decided should not be allowed to live.
Are we, as Christians, OK with sitting here comfortably and being silent? If we are more concerned with our comfort than we are with the suffering that is happening around us, can we really call ourselves imitators of Christ? I don’t think Jesus would want us to call ourselves by his name if we aren’t really willing to follow him fully.
I believe that as a culture we are at a turning point. I believe that as Christians we, in the West, are going to learn what our brothers and sisters in many parts of the world already know. If we are going to claim the name of Jesus Christ we will pay a high price. Are you going to stand strong? Are you going to deny you ever knew him?
Right now there are 4 men who are wrongfully being held in an Iranian prison. I won’t pretend to know what three of those men are being held for, because I haven’t really researched their stories. I have researched the story of Saeed Abedini. He went to Iran to work in an orphanage. Did he actually break the law of Iran by telling people about Jesus? Did he actually encourage people to convert to Christianity from Islam? I don’t know. Knowing the little bit about him I do, it seems possible that he did do those things. Those things are illegal in Iran. But Pastor Saeed decided that obeying God’s law was much more important than obeying the law established by men. Can we then say he was wrongfully imprisoned? If he broke Iranian law, than perhaps not.
I want these men brought home. I don’t want these men to suffer what I consider to be terrible treatment. I do know that Proverbs 24:11-12a says:
From the reports of Naghmeh Abedini, Pastor Saeed’s wife, she believes that Pastor Saeed’s life is in danger. He has not officially been sentenced to death, but she believes that the Iranian government has placed her husband in one of the most violet prisons so that he will be killed by other prisoners. Naghmeh Abedini has also reported that her husband is receiving regular beatings at the hands of these other prisoners because he is a Christian and a convert from Islam.
So what is our responsibility?
- I believe first and foremost we must pray. We must be praying that the name of Jesus will be glorified because of the sacrifice of Pastor Saeed and his wife. We must also be praying for Pastor Saeed’s release.
- I urge you to contact your Senators and Congressmen to ask them to oppose the current deal that has been made with Iran.
- I urge you to sign the petition to bring Saeed home.
Please don’t just sit back and do nothing.
I did not expect to find myself in the middle of our Blogging Through the Bible series to be speaking out on Political issues. I do not want this blog to be a place for political discussion in general. I made the exception this time because I was very convicted by the verse quoted above. I have not fully established my own thinking or opinion about a Christian’s role in the political arena. I do believe that these verses are pretty clear. That is why I felt I needed to speak out.