Monday, July 31, 2006

God, You, and the Middle East

Yesterday in worship I did something I've never done before.

I left the pulpit and sat on a bar stool while talking to my congregation. Now lots of preachers talk to their people without pulpits, but I did it to make a point--for one Sunday, I would not say, "Thus saith the Lord." Instead, I told everyone that they going to hear my opinion about the Middle East situation.

In the churches I grew up in, I never heard the pastor talk about current events. While that's certainly not their task, it did leave me with the notion that God either doesn't know or really care about what's going on in the world. But you can't read the Scriptures and not believe He doesn't.

So using a chessboard and its pieces, I briefly summarized the situation in the Middle East. You've got Israel and the USA on one side. You've got Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas on the other. Bottom line? They're a lot of Islamic fascists who believe you and the Jews should be dead because you don't worship Allah in their particular way.

I'm not a warmonger. But I believe war is sometimes necessary if you want a real and lasting peace. If you're not sure about that, consider Germany and Japan.

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