Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Inseparable Love of God

Look at this picture. The man behind bars is a Christian leader presently facing blasphemy charges in Indonesia. He is one of more than 40 Christian leaders who were imprisoned in April, after a video recording of them praying for Muslims was leaked to Islamic organizations. They have been charged under Article 156 KUPH. Under article 156 and 156a, "anyone who expresses hatred, opposition or insults one individual or groups of Indonesian citizens in public, will be imprisoned four to five years, or fined 4,500 rupiah. Muslims claim Christians blasphemed the Koran by placing it on the floor and praying for millions of people deceived by it. The Islamic organizations consider the video's content abusive and have released the video to the media.

Just as bars cannot separate this man from the love of his wife, neither can they separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:38-19). No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us - Romans 8:37.

5 comments:

Michael said...

I deeply feel for people who are suffering as a result of such tyranny. It's too bad the sense of a threat to one's way of life can make them do anything but what their holy book tells them to.

Like Gandhi, I refuse to believe that this world must be governed by one iron-fisted faith. I believe there is room for all true faiths under God---faiths that truly respect humankind and heed the holy books' message of peace and harmony rather than twisting it into violence. All religions have their extremists, but the best among us will join hands across these boundaries rather than sling mud at each other.

Glenn Penner said...

I appreciate your intent but your solution is, I am afraid rather utopian and errant in a number of ways. Let me mention three: 1) According to the Bible, there is only one true faith and one way to God; through faith in Jesus Christ. I know that this sounds rather exclusive but it is an accurate statement if one is to take Jesus at His word and not as one might like Him to be. The message of Jesus was not one of universal harmony. Rather, He knew full well that His message would be divisive (see Matthew 10:34). 2) when Muslims act violently towards unbelievers, they are not acting contrary to their holy book but according to it. There are numermous surahs in the Koran that command Muslims to punish those who reject Islam or dishonor Allah. The Koran actually forbids Muslims from even being friends with unbelievers (Surah 5:54). Hard to see how this could lead to peace and harmony. 3) Those who think that all of the so-called holy books teach basically the same thing have usually never actually read them. The differences are significant and cannot be overlooked if one wants to be intellectually honest.

Rob Stevens said...

Just a note: "4,500" rupiah is only 50 cents (USD) - are you sure that information is correct.

Glenn Penner said...

Yes, we checked this. Seems low doesn't it? Probably written into law when it was worth more.

Anonymous said...

Are there differences between Islam and Christians? If you make a list of all the things each stand for, they are pretty much alike, really. They would die for their faith. We would as well. They and we believe there is one God and one book and one redeemer for men. I'm speaking as one who may be looking for someone to believe in. Islam is a religion of hate. They do not pray for others to accept Muhammad, they say kill if they are not Islamist. Christians pray for those without a savior, not kill them. Christians are a religion of love and peace. One more thing they have that Islam doesn't, the Holy Spirit. Islam has an evil spirit, a spirit of deception. Satan goes about seeking to kill, steal, and destroy, seeking whom he may devour. The one true God does not. God seeks for your heart, for you to know Him.