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A View from the Altar / Weep with them that weep
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Weep with them that weep

Egypt has taken its turn toward radical Islam, and now the Christians are the first in line to pay the price for it.  Concerns were expressed about this when the Mubarak regime fell.  The military establishment briefly controlled things; then came the elections in which the radical Moslem Brotherhood acquired what power the military was willing to relinquish.  Now tensions between Christians and Moslems have grown worse.  Christians comprise only about a tenth of Egyptian population, so any outbreak of serious violence will see them lose badly.

Pakistan has already traced out a somewhat similar trajectory.  Though the military is still heavily involved in moving the levers of power in Pakistan, radical Islam is a potent enough influence that military officials don’t often cross them.  Hence, Christians are a sorely persecuted minority there, suffering under “blasphemy” laws that assign the death penalty to evangelists and converts alike.  Christians are occasionally murdered in sectarian violence, or worse (if you can imagine it), their children are abducted and forcibly converted to Islam.  The authorities do little about it.

Two lessons here.  First, Christians in America should thank God that America’s public ethics were so deeply derived from the Gospel.  And out of our thankful hearts, we must remember to weep with them that weep (Rom 12:15), praying for them and asking the Good Master to open doors of opportunity for us to help our suffering brethren.

Second, Christians in America still have a few precious freedoms left.  We should use them to oppose the small but growing influence of radical Islam in America.  Once in a while somebody wants to be judged by Sharia law, and Christians should be the first to raise the objection.  “Law” becomes a deadly farce if each sect gets its own special set of rules.  Exodus 12:49 commands, “One law shall be for the home-born and for the stranger that sojourns among you.”

It is impolitic to say it — and in this age it’s seriously risky to express politically incorrect opinions — but Islamic radicals are no friends of western liberty.  The sufferings of our brethren abroad should be enough to teach us this, to move us to compassion for them, and to influence our political machinery with an informed sense of caution.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

 

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