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6.17.2007    |    Stoned in Iraq
From George Will's column today, this little report -- which says volumes about what our men and women are fighting for in Iraq:
Last month in Iraq, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), had lunch with three soldiers from his state, one of whom had been working with an Iraqi officer training police cadets. That soldier told Smith that when the cadets learned that the Iraqi officer was a Catholic, they stoned him.

To death.
It is still hazardous to one's health, to say the least, to profess Jesus as Lord in Islamic nations. There are sound policy and geopolitical reasons for leaving Iraq as soon as is practicable -- not the least of which is that nothing that we do seems get the Iraqis to stop killing each other. Not to mention the alliance between al-qaeda in Iraq with the Sunnis.

Shiites killing Sunnis, Sunnis, including foreign Sunnis, killing Shiites and Kurds, both groups targeting Americans and other Coalition troops. The much-vaunted "surge?" If we surge our troops in Baghdad, the jihiadis simply scarper to the countryside -- there to continue their terror and sectarian violence. So, what does a Christian, who is obligated to love his enemies and pray for them, do about Muslims who only wish the Christian to convert or die?

Well, my answer is to give them some tough love. First, by not giving them the opportunity to kill Christians, i.e. by protecting, where we are able to, those Christians who might be in harm's way. Second, by leaving Iraq, so as to not place our Christians in harm's way. Third, by seeking out, and offering visas and funds, to Iraqi Christians who would like to be able to live their lives without fear of Islamic murder and mayhem.

Should we stop Muslims who attempt to kill Christians? Yes, of course. With lethal force if that is what it takes (of course that's what it takes; jihadis will not listen to reason). How does that square with "love lour enemies?"

God's love is different than our concept of love. God will love any jihadi who repents and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. For that matter, though I can't speak for the Big Guy, I'm pretty certain God will also love all who decide to live in peace. From Micah 4:
2...For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide for strong nations afar off;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;
4but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
"But they shall sit every man under vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid." This is what the Lord will love. But it doesn't look as though Muslims will adapt this live-and-let-live philosophy anytime soon.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.