Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Islam: ideas have consequences

This post could have many titles:
Iraq: was it worth it?
Iraq: our soldiers died for this?
Iraq: I told you so
Who is this girl?


She is — or was — seventeen-year-old Rand Abdel-Qater. Now she's a statistic, a sad statistic: another victim of the way the Islamic religion is being practiced across the Middle East.

Her father now boasts of "having stamped on, suffocated and then stabbed his daughter to death," with the help of his sons. He then threw her in a grave, her uncles spat on her body. And I don't really care to pass along any of the subhuman celebrations and rationalizations of these monsters.

Her crime? Immoral sex? You know they're hard on women who sleep around. No, it wasn't that. Rand died a virgin.

It was that she had feelings for a (non-Muslim) British soldier. That was enough to move her father to murder her brutally.

The police (he says) knew of it and questioned him. But he's free now, bragging that the "police congratulated him on what he had done."

And this is in Iraq. The country we liberated.

I agreed with what President Bush did, I think it makes sense on many levels, I think more free countries in the Middle East is a great thing for the world.

But my reservations are the same that I have registered once and again: the American experiment worked to the degree that it did because it was made within a Judeo-Christian framework. We fought for our liberty from oppression, and built a new society with respect to the truths of the Bible. To the degree we've held to that framework, to that degree it has been successful.

But neither of those things is true of Iraq. They did not (primarily) fight for their freedom, and it was not sought and achieved within a Biblical framework. People in general (and women in particular) are not accorded the same value within Islam that they are in Biblically-oriented societies.

The only hope I've had for Iraq has been that liberation would make Christian evangelism possible. I haven't heard of much success in that arena; but I have heard stories of American Christian soldiers having their liberties curtailed as they serve in Iraq.

There is much to pray for, regarding that sad, poor country.

We might start with Rand's mother, who left her husband in horror for his crime. Pray that she not become a "moderate" Muslim, nor an atheist. Pray that someone tells her of the truth of Jesus Christ.

And pray she lives long enough to hear it.

NOTE: rule 4 will be enforced.

25 comments:

CA RN to Honduras Missionary said...

It's so important to be "reminded" again of the horrors and atrocities that happen around the world. We often times live in our comfortable world and don't think beyond our front door. We should also pray for those who are "tentmakers" in countries such as Iran, attempting to make the truth of the gospel known.

Cindy said...

'Zactly. And it doesn't help that we've helped legitimize another Islamic state ("democratic" in a way, as are Iran and Egypt) by approval stamping a Constitution that starts out like this:

" Article (1): The Republic of Iraq is an independent, sovereign nation, and the system of rule in it is a democratic, federal, representative (parliamentary) republic.
Article (2):
1st — Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation:
(a) No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.


Thus to the extent there's democracy, it's limited by Islam. The neoconservative nation-building democracy as panacea approach should get a second look. In the same way you are right about our success linked to our Judeo-Christian framework, McCain continues with the temporary US occupation success analogies of Germany and Japan, but whether its Germany, Japan, S. Korea -- none of those nations had ideology Islam underlying them, they cannot be compared, just as fighting communism cannot be compared to fighting the Islamic threat -- entirely different for reasons that are only made clear by knowing the political teachings of Islam, what it requires re: relations with nonMuslims.

DJP said...

No doubt, Erin. We Americans think we're being persecuted because someone gives us the stink-eye. Most of us have no idea what full-out persecution is.

Daniel said...

I think the most astute observation you make is that the "American" version of democracy works, not because of it being a democracy, but because it is founded upon a Christian world view - and it's success is directly proportional to its adherence to -that- world view.

My blood gets all angered up when I see the wicked boast.

Carlo said...

Dan,

There is some "success" (hate to use that word when it comes to evangelism) in Iraqi evangelism. I would recommend going to the Barnabas Fund website.

http://www.barnabasfund.org/

The Iraqi church is being heavily persecuted there (that is a good sign of biblical success when a church is being persecuted.)

Stan McCullars said...

I pray that Rand Abdel-Qater's father and brothers would be converted.

If not, I pray that they would drown in a pit of pig intestines.

s.driesner said...

Regarding your other alternate titles to this post, I think you chose wisely to focus on the Islamic origin of this atrocity, because the other three could imply that by our deposing Saddam, we actually made such a heinous act possible. I may be wrong, but I'm sure this practice existed before and during the time of Saddam as well. It is only now that we have relatively unfettered access to the country that we have the visibility to see and report and express outrage at these goings on.

It makes me think of William Carey and his fight along with William Wilberforce to end widow burning in India (called Sati). Up until he encountered this terrible tradition, there was no visibility of it to the western world. He was called to India in 1793, but it wasn't until 1829 that the practice was outlawed directly as a result of his tireless efforts to persuade those who would listen of the value of each human life.

So, our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to preach the gospel, now that we have the chance, and pray that in the same way God may grant that their heart may be renewed to reject so called "honor killings" and embrace their Savior.

LeeC said...

One more reason to hate sin and what it does to us.

Thank you Lord that even while I was unsaved you kept me from being as depraved as I could be. As unfathomable as that horrific crime is to me or even one like Josef Fritzle in Austria I have to realize that "there but for the grace of God go I."

I will pray for them all.
Come soon Lord, I'm ready.

Spot on on why the democratic republic of the USA works, or should I say wrked. Once we fully lose that Judeo Christian worldview as a society completely the government will not be able to function as it was created.
Period.

Solution?

Pray hard, evangelize hard, and look for His coming.

Randy Furco said...

They fully follow a demonic religion, so they are just imitating their Father the Devil.

You know though, I will say this, America is not much different, we just cover it up better.

Our demons are clearly seen in every city across our nation where there are hundreds upon hundreds of child molesters roaming free. 20,000+ die in drunk driving accidents every year....thousands of children are murdered or severly abused by parents....Every second of every day there is someody being murdered,raped or tortured...millions of abortions ...we feed the world the most foul movies and entertainment out there...I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

We live in a fallen world that is getting darker and darker..we are no better than they..unless we are blood bought children of the most HIGH GOD.

I always had a problem with "American Pride"..God hates pride doesnt He?

Pride overlooks all these things...pride looks back at "the good old days" at "our christian roots"..Pride calls what we did to the Indians christian...Pride calls the good old days...when prostitution was in every city, in every saloon...Where men openly shot and killed each other in the street to see who drew a gun faster...

The only reason The Lord has had such patience is because we spread the gospel to the world and support missionaries doing the same..We feed the world...so The Lord is merciful..God will not be mocked though..His pateince will run out..And we had better be lifting Jesus up when it does..Not the American Flag.


God Bless

Rob Mellen Jr. said...

Dan,

My wife and I have friends who are missionaries in the Middle East and who have been unable to enter the country for nearly two years. The situation is not very good.

The sad truth of our invasion is that it actually set back the cause of Christian evangelism in Iraq by decades if not more. There are fewer than half as many Christians in Iraq today as there were during the evil dictator Saddam Hussein's reign. He actually 'tolerated' Christianity and evangelicals because they were a tool he could exploit. The fall of Saddam brought a mass exodus of Christians from Iraq and new persecution upon those who remained.

All this is to say that if your rationale for supporting the invasion was that it might further the cause of Christ, the very opposite has happened in Iraq and throughout the middle east.


SDG

Carlo said...

Rob wrote: "The sad truth of our invasion is that it actually set back the cause of Christian evangelism in Iraq by decades if not more."

Wrong. To suggest that any human endeavor can actually "set back" the cause of Christian evangelism is at best absurd and worst rejecting the absolute power and providence of God. God was in Iraq before the war on terror in Iraq, He remains in Iraq during this war ad infinitum.

I would just like to remind everyone that in the work of evangelism we do not "bring God." The Lord is already way at work in a culture before evangelists arrive.

I'd also like to point that whatever exodus from Iraq that is occuring of Christians is not necessarily a bad thing. (Many have and are returning)

Some of us may recall the exodus of Christians from the unfortunate Protestant sacrilism resulted in the Puritans coming to the New World. We may also recall during the Reformation that many Protestants fled the persecution of Roman Church and went to Geneva to be taught by Calvin and many of the refugees returned to their countries to proclaim the gospel and share what they had learned from Calvin in Geneva.

Your friends that you speak of, White Americans, will probably never go into Iraq for a very long time. But this should not be a failure on their part.

Rather than continue to show your bias Rob which you have since the beginning, you need to think outside of the box. Your friends and other White missionaries that have no chance to enter Iraq (nor should they have that expectation) have a wonderful opportunity to do what Calvin did and that is train those from the exodus as missionaries and if the Lord is truly working in their lives, like He did with those in the Reformation in Geneva, these trainees will go back to their land and proclaim the gospel.

Stop looking at the world Rob through the eyes of your bias against the President and the war on terror and start looking at it through the eyes like the early church did and also the church during the Reformation.

I would recommend three books to all on evangelism: "Missionary Methods: St. Paul's or Ours?" by Roland, "Christ and Culture Revisited", by DA Carson and "The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth - lovers, Marketers" by David Wells.

Again, I would remind all, that "success" in evangelism is by getting White Americans into these countries that we wouldn't be welcomed into anyway, nor is "failure" in evangelism evidenced by any exodus and I as I have shown, we see that evidenced by the Reformation (and also I left out the early church when it was being persecuted by Jews - that persecution led to a massive spread of the gospel among the nations.

Carlo said...

My last paragraph should have read success is "NOT" by getting White Americans into countries we are not welcomed.

Rob Mellen Jr. said...

Carlo wrote:
To suggest that any human endeavor can actually "set back" the cause of Christian evangelism is at best absurd and worst rejecting the absolute power and providence of God.

My Response:
I was not speaking of God's concealed will in Iraq and the rest of the Islamic world. Human actions can and do counter God's revealed will all the time. From a human perspective, evangelical progress was being made in Iraq before the invasion...that is not currently the case.

Carlo wrote:
Stop looking at the world Rob through the eyes of your bias against the President

I respond:
My post said nothing whatsoever about the president, about whether I supported or did not support this war, or any other part of the war on terrorism (you can't wage war on an emotion, which is what terror is).

Carlo wrote:
Your friends and other White missionaries that have no chance to enter Iraq (nor should they have that expectation)
It is a good thing the Apostle Paul did not share that view! By the way, my friends have a home in a city in southern Iraq which they have not been able to return to for more than two years. In the meantime they have been training as many "locals" as are willing to go into Iraq and do just as you say. The best part about that is that much of the funding for their work comes from that international organization that shall not be named! My friends, yes, white Americans, have lived in the middle east for nearly 20 years and have been witnesses for Christ in many Islamic countries. Since the beginning of this war they have been unwelcome in many of those same countries.

Carlo said...

Rob wrote:
"My post said nothing whatsoever about the president, about whether I supported or did not support this war, or any other part of the war on terrorism (you can't wage war on an emotion, which is what terror is)."

Yes, you did not say it but I think it's important to put everything in context. This has more to do with you being against the war (you have been since the beginning and I think everyone should know that when they read your post) than an objective look of whether there is any stifling of Christian evangelism in Iraq. Christian evangelism cannot be stifled especially under persecution. In fact, the gospel is advanced when a culture is under persecution.

Your comment that Christian evangelism is “set back” by “decades” because of the Iraq war is false. Your comment (again, based on your bias, not based on the facts of how the gospel is advanced) leads to a false conclusion that the gospel is spread under times of peace. This is not based on any facts of redemptive history including the early church. We can look at the early church when it was greatly persecuted in the first three centuries. We can also look at the Protestant sacrilism that forced the Puritans out of the Old World into the New World.

We can also look at examples in the negative sense. In times of peace and prosperity, the gospel is stifled. We can look at what’s happening in Europe where Christianity seems almost dead and we can look at our country.

One begins to wonder, why Satan, continues to persecute the church when he knows the gospel is most advanced when he persecutes it, and the only answer to that question seems to be because Satan has so much malice in him he can’t but help in certain parts of the world to persecute God’s own. In Western Civilization, he knows not to stir the post because he knows if he does, especially, in our country, we’ll be start praying like there is no tomorrow and praying hard for the advance of the kingdom. Right, the American Christian church is deluged in its own affluence and peace and selfishness.

Stan McCullars said...

Randy Furco,
Reading your post makes me think you're not "Proud to be an American." Just kidding.

I do have a few comments.

You said: "America is not much different, we just cover it up better."

By and large Christians in America don't celebrate the sins you mentioned.

In fact, I don't know any non-Christian Americans who celebrate that "hundreds upon hundreds of child molesters roaming free. 20,000+ die in drunk driving accidents every year....thousands of children are murdered or severly abused by parents....Every second of every day there is someody being murdered,raped or tortured...millions of abortions ...we feed the world the most foul movies and entertainment out there."

Sure, there are some who celebrate a woman's right to butcher her children. There are others who celebrate the vices of the entertainment industry.

My conclusion is that America is that much different. Perfect? No. Anywhere near perfect? No.

You also stated: "The only reason The Lord has had such patience is because we spread the gospel to the world and support missionaries doing the same..."

You know this how? Please don't tell me that you heard it at "the Florida Revival." ;)

God doesn't need America to spread the gospel or support missionaries. Paul and company were doing fine without us.

Rob Mellen Jr. said...

Carlo wrote:
This has more to do with you being against the war (you have been since the beginning and I think everyone should know that when they read your post)

My response:
Actually, my posts have absolutely nothing to do with how I feel about the president. Yes, I opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning but I also supported the invasion of Afghanistan. I think my statement on the effect the war has had on evangelism applies equally in both cases.

Maybe the case is actually that your views are colored by your love for President Bush? You did, after all, once say that you wanted to have his children! (I do have a witness to that...).

Bottom line...my view that evangelism in the middle east has suffered a setback because of the invasion of Iraq has NOTHING to do with how I feel about the president or the war itself. The sooner you recognize that, the sooner you'll stop spitting into the wind and having it blow back in your face. That will be my final word on this subject.

ChosenClay said...

Another example of the demonic nature of islam.

Solameanie said...

Amen, Dan.

Another scary thing going on is that we have a small, but growing push within some evangelical circles to disassociate from Israel so Muslims aren't offended. It doesn't help when previously sound premillennial theology within some fellowships is eaten away by closet amillennials and Replacement Theology.

Very worrisome.

Stan McCullars said...

Solameanie,
"It doesn't help when previously sound premillennial theology within some fellowships is eaten away by closet amillennials and Replacement Theology."

First, I don't find premillennial theology to be sound. Second, I'm happy to hear we amillennialists are gaining ground and have you guys running. ;)

Solameanie said...

Stan,

I wouldn't characterize us as "running." We are standing our ground in a tide that is running, perhaps, but we're not running.

And that's fine if you don't agree with me on premillennialism. All that's required for basic orthodoxy is that you believe in a physical return of Christ to earth. The particulars are secondary doctrine.

Cheers,
Joel

Stan McCullars said...

Solameanie,

True. I just couldn't resist a little fun.

Randy Furco said...

Stan

You know I wasnt talking about Christians..I was talking about our society,,but now that I see the post was about their religion, not their society..I will stand partially corrected.

Everything else I posted,I stand by. :)

Not funny, okay mabee a little, about the Florida "revival".

I have a couple of post on my blog hinting about that whole thing..Is this to what you were refferring... :)

Randy Furco said...

Yeh, and umm..unless you have seen Paul recently walking the planet, spreading the gospel...lol.,,The LORD does and has used America as the main supporter of missions and the spread of The Gospel for the last century.

There are some pretty needy missionaries that sure would like more people to get behind them..Paul, doesn't need money anymore. :)

Randy Furco said...

Oh, I see you were talking about non-christian Americans...not celebrating these things.

Oh, quite on the contrary..what they laugh at and what they are entertained by, is a form of celebration....and does bring them right in line with the same devil that causes people to act these things out.

Sometimes I think with all the theological debate that goes on..we forget that there is a very real spiritual war around us.

And it aint The Holy Spirit that is influencing some of the things we see.

Stan McCullars said...

Randy Furco,
I know you weren't talking about Christians but rather America as a whole. I wanted to speak to Christians and non-Christians separately to allow for generalizing their attitudes towards the sins listed.

I saw your blog but I didn't see your reference to the "florida revival."

I went to high school with a guy named Paul. Does that count? ;)

I completely agree that God has used America to fund missions for a while now and I'm sure many missionaries would like, and could use, some additional support. My only point was that God doesn't NEED our support. He has all the world's resources at his disposal.

Psa 50:9-12 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.

As for non-Christians, they laugh at a lot in the entertainment world. However, I think it would only be the most hardened sinner, or perhaps an insane individual, who would laugh at "hundreds upon hundreds of child molesters roaming free. 20,000+ die in drunk driving accidents every year....thousands of children are murdered or severly abused by parents....Every second of every day there is someody being murdered,raped or tortured. I have never heard anyone laugh at those items. I must confess that had I heard someone laughing at such things I quite possibly might have had to put them out of commission on a temporary basis, sinner that I am.

Please note, the only sins I'm speaking of regarding the laughing are the one's mentioned in the preceding paragraph. There are definitely some who glory in butchering unborn children and the excesses of the entertainment industry.