Obligation to spread the word, {Christian stuff}

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You may know that a number of aid workers are on trial in Kabul accused of preaching Christianity in an Islamic country and I am wondering what everyones' opinion is on this.

-- john hill (john@cnd.co.,nz), September 09, 2001


Hi john, my opinion on this is fairly simple.

1. Bad. It is bad. Or shall I say, wrong. Bad and wrong.

2. This is also not surprising. Christians know the potential price for preaching the Gospel, our Savior has warned us. Sad, heartbreaking and lacking in justice but not suprising.

3. I believe the persecution of christians will become more common, as those who would do the persecuting will become bolder in their efforts.

Thanks for asking.

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), September 09, 2001.

Christ told us it would be a bitter cup. Here in the U.S. we get the idea that it is easy to be a Christian, full of blessing and reward. The truth is, we will be hated as He is hated, Christ promised that. Sometimes we don't want to see that part of the Gospel. May God be with all the missionaries everywhere who risk their lives daily for His sake. I guess I really don't have an opinion, it's just how it is.

-- melina b. (goatgalmjb1@hotmail.com), September 09, 2001.

Christians are being persectued and killed for their faith on every continent except North America. (In America, we are being snubbed for our faith, but not truly persecuted.) Nationals as well as missionaries are being forced to choose between standing for their faith in Christ or living. Many are making the right choice. Jim Elliot wrote not long before being murdered in South America: "He is no fool to lose what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Already in America "those crazy evangelicals" are being blamed for what's wrong with society. We are so "intolerant". Satan's lies are effective and he has a firm grip on the Islamic nations. Talk about intolerance!

-- Skip in Western WA (sundaycreek@gnrac.net), September 09, 2001.

This whole middle east deal had me thinking on the ages old war....interestingly enough, it is sibling rivalry of the most brutal sort, no?

To the question, I feel like melina b. It's just the way it is, and the way it will be here one day. I just pray for enough strength...reading the Voice of the Martyrs magazine really puts things into perspective. I really like that quote, Skip.

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), September 09, 2001.

I feel for these folks who are on trial for spreading the word cause they are truly at the point of witnessing where the rubber meets the road. Generally, we as Americans have NO clue as to what it is to lay it all on the line for our Saviour. Makes you stop and wonder if we would be bold enough. I certainly hope that I would, and I'm afraid that it won't be too long until we find out.

-- Uncle Jake (lulafred@cs.com), September 09, 2001.

Every religion everywhere has people being persecuted because they subscribe to a certain "less popular" philosophy. I say let people believe what they want to believe. Just because you believe something is wrong for you, that doesn't nesseccarily make it wrong for me. Fact is, I believe in God, but that does not give me the right to judge or condemn them for having their own beliefs. Some christians get all up in arms about what the Taliban are doing, but most refuse to see the fact that the Taliban are practicing what their religion states, just as the relief workers were doing. The workers knew what they were getting into. Afghanistan is a very bad place. The type of place I would seriously think twice about preaching in. They knew the risks that were involved.

Of all the places where people needs preaching to. Is there no other place where people need to see the goodness and the positive of our faith? I am sure plenty of people need to hear the good word in this country.

Fuel for the Fire - My Two Cents...

-- gabe (ggrote@hotmail.com), September 10, 2001.

It makes me sad that a country has laws which decree death as punishment for preaching about Christ. It makes me more sad to hear on CNN yesterday that the majority of these accused folks deny that they were preaching Christianity. If they are evangelical Christians who were, indeed, preaching, then to have them deny Christ to save themselves is the saddest thing of all. I do hope that what was reported is not true. As far as "fuel for the fire", we Christians are commanded by God himself to go out and spread the word of God to the unbelieving world. This includes Muslim countries. The early disciples faced death daily as the consequences for preaching Christianity. Can we of the "modern age" do any less? I would rather be called a "fool" and suffer torture and death than refuse to serve my Lord or deny His word. "A coward dies a thousand times; a brave man only once." I believe there will come a time in this country when folks either stand up and face death to be counted as Christians, or deny their God. We'd better be ready.

-- lesley (martchas@bellsouth.net), September 10, 2001.

I am a christian. Plain and simple. It angers me what is taking place, but the orginal post asked what we thought about what was going on. I simply offered my opinion on the subject. I never suggested that doing so was easy. I just said they should know better. They were preacticing what they believe in and the Taliban are practicing what they believe in. Therein lies the conflict that will last forever. Your God told you to do something. Their God tells them to do something. They probably don't mesh too well, or we wouldn't be discussing this.

As to denying that they were preaching. They just might be choosing their battles. "Tis better to live and fight another day." Besides, put yourself in their shoes. How many people can say that they would stand up to these people and face certain death? I am sure you can talk tough here in the good old US of A, but sitting in a desert jail for a few weeks with limited food and water... That might just change the situation a little.

Call me a coward, but dying in the desert does not make a point, and I think (just my own opinion) that God understands this. They are not declaring their disbelief, they are simply choosing to live another day.

-- gabe (ggrote@hotmail.com), September 10, 2001.

I don't worry about it much. If somebody were to kill me for trying to witness, so be it. I still don't think that Allah is the same God the Christians have. They seem to have a everlasting God of war. Maybe not, but thats the way I see it.

I wonder what they do to Jews trying to preach? I'd think it would be worse then the punishment for being Christian, although I don't know how.

-- Uriah (Uriahdeath2@netscape.net), September 13, 2001.

Uriah, there is a synagogue in Kabul although very few Jews now, maybe only two but they are free to continue their lives as best they can. I very much doubt that they would fare any differently to the Christians if they were found to be trying to convert local people.

Please do not write off all followers of Islam as being followers of any god of war.

-- john hill (john@cnd.co.nz), September 13, 2001.

Well John, thats what I believe.

Muhammad believed that if you didn't embrace Muslim, you should be killed. Period. In other words, if you didn't accept Muhammad, you were worthy of death. Not much seems to have changed over they years.

One of Muhammad’s popular claims is that God commanded him to fight people until they become Muslims and carry out the ordinances of Islam. All Muslim scholars without exception agree on this.

In other words, he told his followers not to kill anybody unless you first invite him to embrace Islam. Only if he rejects it, must he be killed. This is evident in the story of Abu Sufyan:

When Muhammad and his followers were about to attack Mecca to subjugate it to Islam, his adherents arrested Abu Sufyan, one of Mecca’s inhabitants. They brought him to Muhammad. Muhammad told him: "Woe to you, O Abu Sufyan. Is it not time for you to realize that there is no God but the only God?" Abu Sufyan answered: "I do believe that." Muhammad then said to him: "Woe to you, O Abu Sufyan. Is it not time for you to know that I am the apostle of God?" Abu Sufyan answered: "By God, O Muhammad, of this there is doubt in my soul." The ’Abbas who was present with Muhammad told Abu Sufyan: "Woe to you! Accept Islam and testify that Muhammad is the apostle of God before your neck is cut off by the sword." Thus he professed the faith of Islam and became a Muslim.

It is also mentioned and attested to by contemporary scholars such as Dr. Buti in his book, "The Jurisprudence of Muhammad’s Biography", p. 277. He repeated it on page 287 because such stories incite the admiration of the Buti and bring him joy. Yet Dr. Buti feels that some people will protest, especially liberals and the civilized international society, who believe that faith in a certain creed ought not to be imposed by the threat of death. Therefore, he said (p. 287) the following:

"It may be said, ‘What is the value of a faith in Islam which is a result of a threat? Abu Sufyan, one moment ago, was not a believer, then he believed after he was threatened by death.’ We say to those who question: ‘What is required of an infidel or the one who confuses other gods with God, is to have his tongue surrender to the religion of God and to subdue himself to the prophethood of Muhammad. But his heartfelt faith is not required at the beginning. It will come later."’

This is God in Islam, my dear friends—a God who is satisfied with the testimony of the tongue of a person who is under the threat of death. But "the heartfelt faith" will come later! The important thing is to increase the number of Muslims either by threat or by propagation!

Dr. Buti was more than frank, and we would like to thank him for that, yet we would like to tell him that Christianity rejects the testimony of the mouth if it does not stem from faith that is rooted in the heart first. In Christianity, a person has sufficient time to think quietly before he makes his decision, as the Gospel says:

"Let each be fully convinced in his own mind" (Rom. 14:5).

God reveals His attitude in the Bible when He says:

"My son, give me your heart" (Prov. 23:26).

When the Ethiopian eunuch expressed his desire to be baptized, the evangelist Philip told him:

"If you believe with all your heart, you may" (Acts 8:37).

God even rebukes the people of Israel and says:

"These people draw near to Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me" (Isa. 29:13).

The story of Abu Sufyan reveals clearly that Muhammad does not care much about the faith of the heart, especially at the beginning, as Dr. Buti suggests. What is really important is that professing faith is a natural response to the threat of death. The threat is very clear: Testify that Muhammad is the apostle of God or you will be beheaded. The story concludes: Abu Sufyan professed the testimony of "truth" immediately!

You can read the whole thing at http://answering-islam.org/BehindVeil/btv2.html if you get bored. It's a pretty interesting acticle. I've been trying to understand the Muslim world view, and this is helping a little. For the most part, they don't share the same views I do.

-- Uriah (Uriahdeath2@netscape.net), September 14, 2001.

Afghanistan News

-- 1212 (1212@1212.232), March 17, 2002.

"Spreading the word" in this case seems to have hobbled the Humanitarian effort and added fuel to the fire of religious hatred. That said, I hope that they are not hurt in any way.

I don't really know if the U.S. has taken any official stance on missionaries. I've read some statements by the heads of these organizations. When they try to downplay their conversion agenda it comes out sounding like this: "We just want to give them food (jesus) and work for the jesus-peace that all humans crave in jesus (jesus). I've always thought that missionaries were pretty harmless, like Mother Theresa and my cousin Maria. As long as they were saving lives I guess I didn't mind if they played "god's messenger". But now I realize that for the most part it is conversion via coersion. They go into 3rd world counties and say, "look at me, I'm so fresh and clean and I got some treats and houses and breads and circuses". Oh yeah, and then there's the whole heaven or hell thing. Bush should publicly warn them to not mention jesus.

1. Some people will convert or do anything else you tell them to do, because their house just got blowed up.

2. How do you know that the conversion is genuine, after all, their house just got blowed up.

3. That Graham guy who spoke Bush's invocation said, shortly after 9/11, that Islam was "a very evil and wicked religion". This would not be so very bad if we had some semblence of separation of church and state. He would be seen as just another wrinkled crack-pot. But we don't. Religion, and extreme religion, is entangled with this administration. Yeah, its way up in there.

Sorry this is long-winded but I think religions are very interesting. It's amazing how many sects and interpretations there are for all the religions texts out there. here's some more. I hope I can convert some of you. The following is some stuff I had already written on the subject:

> There are over 27,000 christian missionaries in > islamic countries. Half of these dopes are > Americans. lets just look at that number for a second. > > Ok. Now. one of the reasons for terrorism is > hatred > of american hubris. This is blindingly obvious. > Yet, > after 9/11, MORE people thought it would be a good > idea to SNEAK over there and introduce their > slightly > different set of supernatural precepts. This can > get > you killed, so they must be heros of some sort. > Martyrs perhaps? > > I Don't want to ramble on here. So let me just say > one last thing. It frightens me to think that we > have > a president who not only panders to these messianic > miscreants, but he is one of them. discuss......

-- Mike F. Hofrichter (lasermidget@yahoo.com), June 30, 2003.

Israeli Mob Attacks Jewish-Christians Hundreds of Jewish rioters attacked Jewish Christians on Saturday, Nov. 28, 1998 in Jerusalem "after a rumor spread in the city's synagogues that missionaries were baptizing Jewish children."

Black-coated Jewish Orthodox Hasidim left their synagogues to go to a house in the Be'er Sheva quarter, where a Christian congregation of more than three dozen men, women and children, members of the "Jews for Jesus" movement, were meeting.

The Christians were trapped and surrounded and had to be rescued by the Israeli police.

One Jewish-Christian decribed the attack: "A mob of men in black surrounded us and were shouting and throwing stones and they tried to jump over the fence. We were especially scared for the children. We're not missionaries."

A few days ago in Kiryat Malachi, several dozen Hasidic 'Jews' stoned an American couple who were accused of being missionaries. The Americans denied being missionaries. They said they were working for a philanthropic group from Switzerland.

Source: The Hebrew-language Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz, Nov. 29, 1998 Jewish Mob Attacks Swiss Christians On Nov. 15, 1998, a "mob of 500 ultra-Orthodox men attacked and ransacked an apartment rented by three Swiss Christian women."

The women were also charged with conducting evangelism in Jerusalem's Mea She'arim quarter.

Christian evangelism is banned by Israeli law.

Source: The Hebrew-language Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz, Nov. 29, 1998

-- john hill (john@cnd.co.,nz) (john hill (john@cnd.co.,nz)), June 11, 2004.

Missionaries are brave folks and I wish that big religious rivalries did not exist. I don't blame Bush for everything, but when he says that "God" has told him to do stuff, he comes across as a religious zealot and encourages Islamic extremists to fight back. A strong religious conviction is an anachronism that was understandable back when people were just figureing out the world. But now religion has to go back where it came from- individual human brains. No one should be expected to have the same take on the supernatural as anyone else.

-- mike f. hofrichter (lasemidget@yahoo.com), July 12, 2004.

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