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Saturday, March 25, 2006

As Peacemaker Church Members Leave Iraq Many Christians Choose To Stay

As three members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams walked away from harm's reach yesterday and celebrated their freedom with a cup of latte, military leaders discovered several Christians pastors who refused to leave.

Christian Peacemaker Teams(CPT) members, blended from numerous peace churches in the United States, including The Every Church A Peace Church, feel they can stem evil and sin from overtaking the planet by becoming human shields and teaching non-violence seminars.

"I never expected them to want our heads cut off or anything, gee, we went in with our songs of freedom and stuff, but we just couldn't get those guys to sit and listen to our tapes of non-violence," said a member of the Church of Misled Redemption who was afraid to give his name.

According to The CPT web site mission statement it says: "We Mennonites and Brethren in Christ are ready to start to die by the thousands in dramatic vigorous new exploits for peace and justice, we should sadly confess that we really never meant what we said..."

In an interview with several Christian pastors and leaders who secretly meet in homes in and around Iraq, they stated that their intentions are to bring salvation to as many who will listen to the Gospel of Christ Jesus and to have their sins atoned for by the blood of his death.

One member said he often thinks of the 23rd Psalm where David wrote, "Yea though I walk through the valley of shadow and death, I fear no evil: For You are with me.."

The soft spoken missionary continued, "Our lives are in danger every moment, but our eyes are upon Jesus. He is our higher calling."

These Christians leaders, it was observed, do not feel the need to stand in front of soldiers, sword bearing--Koran toting Muslims, but to build up and bless the local churches in Iraq.

One Iraqi woman who lost her husband in a roadside bombing last year shared a verse she read that morning in Psalms, "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord. For in time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock."

"I never knew a God like that when I secretly heard men read the Koran. Now, I too can read God's Holy Word. Do you know how wonderful that is," the woman said.

The CPT follow the gospel of "Love they neighbor and thou shall not kill," which some say conflicts with their mission statement that says they are ready to die by the thousands.

"Can one continue to love thy neighbor after they kill you, then who is your neighbor and how do you preach Christ and salvation to them," the woman said.

The pastors who oversee one of the imbedded local churches said there is but one peace, the peace of God, which passes all understanding, which will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

As he leaned forward in his chair, the elderly pastor paused for a second, reached for his ragged Bible, full of book markers and dog-eared pages and read a passage from Phillippians, "Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things."

"You see, we take the Bible as a whole book, written from Genesis to maps. It encompasses peace, man's hatred, God's love, the salvation offered through the death on the cross-- and the book of Revelations. Before Christ returns there will be no peace, but afterwards, when we live and reign with Christ for a thousand years, then my friend, we will have peace and then and then only will the lamb lay down with the lion."

When followers of Christian Peacemakers was asked about the pastor's statement, they just said, "Whatever, whatever, whatever, give me a bulldozer to stand in front of any day."

13 comments:

Ms. RightWing, Ink said...

I am sorry for those who lost their comments. I had problems editing and to erase the post and start anew.

Feel free to re-comment

Ms. RightWing, Ink said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maggie said...

Please pray for The first Baptist Church ever in Bagdad.Pastor Figally leads the growing congregation there.He and his family and members are in constant danger but refuse to back down.They have a building and many
converts have been baptised and added to the church.

JAINPHX said...

I've been reading your comments here and on other bolgs,and know that your heart is with clean free life continue this site it both uplifts me and amuses God bless

Terry_Jim said...

Here's a real peacemaker

http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_82513.asp

Desmond T. Doss, Sr., the only conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II, has died. He was 87 years old.
Mr. Doss never liked being called a conscientious objector. He preferred the term conscientious cooperator. Raised a Seventh-day Adventist, Mr. Doss did not believe in using a gun or killing because of the sixth commandment which states, "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13). Doss was a patriot however, and believed in serving his country.
During World War II, instead of accepting a deferment, Mr. Doss voluntarily joined the Army as a conscientious objector. Assigned to the 307th Infantry Division as a company medic he was harassed and ridiculed for his beliefs, yet he served with distinction and ultimately received the Congressional Medal of Honor on Oct. 12, 1945 for his fearless acts of bravery. . . .
On one occasion in Okinawa, he refused to take cover from enemy fire as he rescued approximately 75 wounded soldiers, carrying them one-by-one and lowering them over the edge of the 400-foot Maeda Escarpment. He did not stop until he had brought everyone to safety nearly 12 hours later.

Ms. RightWing, Ink said...

JAINPHX

Thanks for the words of encouragement. Sometimes I feel like I should stop blogging and move on to something else, but the writer in me knows fully well if I quit soon my MS would take over the brain cells and then poof! I become a computer potato.

Ms. RightWing, Ink said...

Somewhere in my library of many books is Bonhoeffer's writings. Here was a Luthern theologian who was hanged in the concentration camp at Flossenbürg on April 9, 1945 for his preaching against the Nazi movement.

This is an exert from the web site
http://www.probe.org/content/view/57/91

Bonhoeffer's most famous work is The Cost of Discipleship, first published in 1939. This book is a rigorous exposition and interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount, and Matthew 9:35-10:42. Bonhoeffer's major concern is cheap grace. This is grace that has become so watered down that it no longer resembles the grace of the New Testament, the costly grace of the Gospels.

By the phrase cheap grace, Bonhoeffer means the grace which has brought chaos and destruction; it is the intellectual assent to a doctrine without a real transformation in the sinner's life. It is the justification of the sinner without the works that should accompany the new birth. Bonhoeffer says of cheap grace:

[It] is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Real grace, in Bonhoeffer's estimation, is a grace that will cost a man his life. It is the grace made dear by the life of Christ that was sacrificed to purchase man's redemption. Cheap grace arose out of man's desire to be saved, but to do so without becoming a disciple. The doctrinal system of the church with its lists of behavioral codes becomes a substitute for the Living Christ, and this cheapens the meaning of discipleship. The true believer must resist cheap grace and enter the life of active discipleship. Faith can no longer mean sitting still and waiting; the Christian must rise and follow Christ.

It is here that Bonhoeffer makes one of his most enduring claims on the life of the true Christian. He writes that "only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes."{3} Men have become soft and complacent in cheap grace and are thus cut off from the discovery of the more costly grace of self-sacrifice and personal debasement. Bonhoeffer believed that the teaching of cheap grace was the ruin of more Christians than any commandment of works.

There is plenty of good inspirational reading on several other web sites, but no stories of standing in front of bulldozers or anti-war marches

camojack said...

No comment.

Ms. RightWing, Ink said...

camojack

What? Was the coffee that bad

Kajun said...

The coffee was good even at the first drop.

camojack said...

Nah, I was referring to that comment I left before...that disappeared.

Ms. RightWing, Ink said...

camojack

I tried to edit the story. The site would not re-post the story so I had to copy it to word perfect, delete, re-post, so forth and so on.

This caused all comments, including yours to vaporize

camojack said...

Yeah, I know...but I'm LAZY!!!