Faithful Politics

Being faithful with our politics, not political with our faith.

When Prayer Is All We Have To Give

Flickr user FreedomHouse by Mulham al-Jundi via Creative CommonsSyria

On March 20th, 1995, several members of the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo cult released sarin, a deadly nerve agent roughly five hundred times more toxic than cyanide, into the Tokyo subway system. Over the course of only a few minutes, hundreds of people began to lose control of their bodily functions as the chemical attacked their nervous systems. On that single morning, nearly six thousand people were injured and thirteen people died because of this group.

And the world may once again be sarin-stained if the Syrian government decides to pull the trigger on the chemical bombs it has aimed at its own people. A single drop of sarin the size of a pinhead is enough to kill a healthy adult; tens of thousands of people have already  died in the almost two years of fighting inside Syria – may we pray that those numbers will not be multiplied.

Egypt

Last month, democratically elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sent shockwaves through the worldview of the three Egyptians (and one U.S. President) who weren’t expecting him to overstep his boundaries and reach for a new Pharaoh-ship when he unilaterally declared himself free of judicial oversight and has since called for a direct referendum to replace the Egyptian constitution with a document more closely based on Islamic teachings. As Morsi’s party, the infamous Muslim Brotherhood, has garnered significant popular support, they have been faced by a coalition of non-Islamic groups that are concerned with the sharia-based law that is up for a vote next week.

And now the arguing has turned to violence. As angry mobs pick up makeshift weapons to fight with, several senior government officials have resigned to avoid the situation. The army has been mobilized against civilian protestors and Morsi himself has fled the presidential palace after warning members of the Muslim Brotherhood to avoid the streets. Already, more than a few deaths have been reported as the Egyptian people have turned on each other.

May this come to an end before the much-lauded “Arab Spring” skips directly to Thermonuclear Winter.

The Philippines

Earlier this week, the southern Philippine islands were wracked by Typhoon Bopha; tens of thousands of people fled from the heavy winds and rain, but many were unable to reach safety. Over three hundred deaths have been confirmed and nearly four hundred people are still unaccounted for. Several hundred thousand have been displaced by the devastation.

The United States

As Lisa touched on in her recent article, unless the government officials here in our own United States decide to stop playing political chicken with the financial future of their constituents, January 1st is going to have a very dark dawn. If rhetoric were worth money, then we’d all be rich; as it stands, we have yet to see much indication that either party is going to budge towards action concerning our looming debts.

Meanwhile, we have Detroit demanding remuneration for voting for our President, a murdered ambassador whose death has still not be explained, and a distracting, media-fueled debate over – of all things – firearm regulation.

Meanwhile, a Google News search for “kate middleton pregnant” returns well over two million hits.

I’ve got no hard feelings towards the Duchess, but as Paul said to the Philippians, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8, ESV).

At present, there may not be much going on in the world that is pure, lovely, and commendable – but it is nonetheless true and it will most certainly have consequences. If we would like to see something honorable and just in the world again – even for a time – then Christians should be doing everything we can to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with the Lord (Micah 6:8). We should be supporting suffering Christians (and non-Christians) around the globe – even if all we have to give them is prayer. Such a gift is powerful indeed (Luke 11:9, John 15:7, Eph. 6:18, 1 Tim. 2:8, …the list goes on).

Ignorance may be bliss, but it is hardly virtuous.

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