I have been reading some of the news regarding Abdul Rahman’s plight in Afghanistan and a myriad of thoughts move through my head:

Even if Rahman is released clerics are calling on people to “pull him into pieces” . Say he is released. This does not nullify the fact that the majority of the Muslim people think he should have been executed. This is a man who changes his convictions. What does this say of the Muslim religion? It has been made quite clear that there is a clear distinction between the Muslim value system and that of the West. Even more is there a chasm between Islam and Christianity.
        Some might say that Christians are no better. After all the Crusades were sanctioned with the ad extra panta of Pope Urban II. HOWEVER, the Crusades and other atrocities promulgated under the banner “Christian” are diametrically opposed to Christianity. Men hungry for power and money superseded the teachings of Christ.
        Not so with the Muslim faith. It is being made clearer and clearer that Islam is a repressive religion that seeks to exterminate anyone who disagrees. And I would say that many people are not saying this because they are scared that they will be killed by some radical Muslims. It is clear that this is the mindset of most Muslims. Indeed, it is taught in the Koran. Why won’t more people say something? Because fear has crept in and the truth has been compromised.

One of the main problems is that Muslim equate the West with Christianity. They believe that everyone in the United States is a Christian and in need of conversion to Islam. Movies, music, and television shows from the West cause one to think that Christianity is a religion of license. Oh how I wish there would be a clear witness to the beauty of the Gospel to Muslims! I wish that there would be an open ear to the truth of Jesus.
        What is interesting is that the articles continue to portray the Afghan people as feeling that the West is forcing its morals (licentious freedom?) on them. The West is seen as the bully…In some ways it is. However, putting a man to death for his conversion will not prove to the bully that he can’t pull one over on the people.
        If they really wanted to get under the West’s skin, they would open up dialogues and debate with those of other ideologies rather than kill them. Truth would prevail. But could it be that the only way to get people to believe in the Muslim faith is by coercion?

I believe that God is fueling the flames of these things in order to show the major differences between Islam and Christianity. Rahman and so many other Christians in history refused to deny Christ – choosing rather to be pulled to pieces than deny the Savior of their lives. And so it must continue…the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.
        
The non-Christian is left to ask: What am I so convinced about that I would die for? Why will these people be willing to die for their faith?

And so we end with the Psalmists words:

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you! (Psa 63.3)

Links to Articles:
Fears Over Afghan Convert Trial 3.22.2006
“Judges to Rule” On Kabul Convert 3.22.2006
Mood Hardens Against Afghan Convert 3.24.2006
Afghan Convert ‘May Be Released’ 3.24.2006
Top Muslim Clerics: Convert Must Die 3.24.2006

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This post has 4 Comments

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  1. Remember what brought on the crusades: The Turks had encircled Vienna and wanted all of Europe. Europe was provoked to respond, and respond they did. It was no more a Christian war than WWII.

  2. Interesting point reapolitiklr, I would only say that WWII and the Crusades were fundamentally different in that the Roman Catholic Church used the polemic of Christendom to convince people that this was a worthy cause. Christ nowhere taught advancing the Kingdom by force. In fact it seems that until the time of John the Kingdom was advancing by force (or the Kingdom was suffering violence – a matter of interpretation). However, since Christ came the Christian was meant to walk the extra mile…It wasn’t until the time of Constantine that violence became part of the Christian mindset. That is, due to a failure to separate the affairs of Church and State, the Church failed to be disciples of Christ – sharing in his sufferings.

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The New Economics Will Be People

So I went to a coffee shop this morning and was struck by the utter efficiency they were churning out drinks. In fact the team lead said this much as encouragement to the six other workers behind the counter.

I walked in. Smiled at the barista. Was greeted with a blank stare as he continued to froth the milk and deliver the piping hot skinny latte with extra foam to the drive-thru. I walked to the register and was passed with nary a glance…even when the team lead said “Hello.” No she didn’t look at me, but made sure that her metric of greeting a guest in the first ten seconds was met. A box that is checked. That’s what I was. A large dark roast with no room for cream and sugar. And surely there was no saccharin here. There was utility and efficiency.

In all our pandering for growth our marketing of environment is nothing more than a marketing tool. The timers and grids for efficiency have crowded out the thing that matters. The only thing that matters in products.

You see, the products that are pushed are labeled as though they were made for you. In reality, the products being sold to you have (for the most part) been made for the manufacturer. People have merely become a means to the end of bigger, faster, better.

In the new economy, people will matter more.

They won’t matter because they need to matter to grow the business. Too often companies tell you that you’re important because they want your money. They don’t want to make a difference as much as they want their new car or luxury vacation.

I want to say this loud and clear. In the new economy, people will be the end in themselves. They will no longer be viewed as a metric or a number. In the new economy, mom and pop will be sought after. Because, after all, we all know that the verbiage of how you matter to company x is just verbiage. It’s merely eliciting a response for another end.

In the new economics, people will want to matter. They will flock to the place where they are known by name. And not just to tout the “community” of an establishment. Did you notice the subtlety of that one? No, people will know your name because they know you and you matter. Your name is not known just to brag that you matter and sell the belonging you too can have if you buy your next skinny latte with extra froth…hold the pandering.

We are not there yet because executives are still measuring. Measuring people. Yet, what the new economy will have to embrace is not a spreadsheet or a graph. They will be forced to embrace people. Not to grow their graph. But to grow their own soul.

Returning

Return ArrowLike a long, boring letter or conversation, there’s a tendency to tune out. I pray I haven’t bored you by my long silence. Life has been full of many winding turns over the last year and I am just now getting my feet under me. I am re-thinking and re-tooling my blogging and writing.

I would like for you to enter the conversation and be a part of this part process blog, part resourcing blog, part rumination blog. Would you help me by sending me questions or topics you’d like me to deal with? You can send me an email or make a comment on this post.

I wait. . .

Newtown

If you haven’t heard yet, yesterday marked a dark point in our nation’s history. In Newtown, CT 20 children and 8 adults were shot and killed; all but one victim (the assailant’s mother) were killed at Sandy Creek Elementary School.

 

There are a lot of questions and a lot of grief and a lot of anger as people reflect on the lives of those who were murdered—most of whom were 5-10 years old. I am acutely aware of the sadness and are numb to the fact that evil can and will visit any corner of our globe. Let’s pray for the families who have lost sweet children during this Advent Season. I spent a few extra minutes snuggling with my 6 and 4 year old last night; I’d encourage you to do the same.

 

And in light of Christ’s birth as a child, I was reminded of the horrific events surrounding Christ’s first coming. Matthew tells us in his gospel of such a gruesome action:

Matt. 2:16   Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

Matt. 2:18    “A voice was heard in Ramah,

                        weeping and loud lamentation,

                        Rachel weeping for her children;

                        she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

 

The one who was supposed to protect the innocent, murdered them due to pride and wickedness in his heart.

As the decibel level increased by the cries of mothers and fathers who saw their children murdered, the wrath of God’s anger increased. Yet we know how the story ends, don’t we? The wrath that we all deserve as murderers of neighbors (by casting an angry eye upon them). Liars. Adulterers. Thieves. Unrighteous. We know that the wrath of God welled up and was poured out upon. . .his Son. Let us never forget the death that Christ died offers hope for all those who have lost hope and cannot be comforted.
May we, with Israel of old, cry out, “Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus. Set all that is wrong to right.”

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.