Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ingratitude is Not a Christian Response

Earlier today coalition soldiers, led by Americans, freed the surviving three members of the Christian Peacemaker Team that had been taken hostage in Baghdad by the so-called "Swords of Righteousness Brigade" back in November.

Joyful families released a statement, including the following bits:
Our hearts are filled with joy today as we heard that Harmeet Singh Sooden, Jim Loney and Norman Kember have been safely released in Baghdad. Christian Peacemaker Teams rejoices with their families and friends at the expectation of their return to their loved ones and community. (...)

Harmeet, Jim and Norman and Tom were in Iraq to learn of the struggles facing the people in that country. They went, motivated by a passion for justice and peace to live out a nonviolent alternative in a nation wracked by armed conflict.

"They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers.

"We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq. The occupation must end.
Not only no word of appreciation for the people who actually freed the men, there is continued condemnation. And to make sure that we don't miss the point of who they consider to be the real enemy, there is this:
"With God's abiding kindness, we will love even our enemies.
With the love of Christ, we will resist all evil.
With God's unending faithfulness, we will work to build the beloved community."
It is Christian to love your enemies. We can respect that. It's a hard teaching, and bonus points to those who master it.

But this Chicago-based group considers the United States government, and to a lesser extent the British government, to be its enemy. An enemy to resist. Here their logic is faulty. The U.S. did not declare itself against Christianity. The U.S. did not single out members of their group for imprisonment or oppression.

Instead the group has sought to make an enemy of the U.S. government (and by extension the people of America) for the decision to unseat Saddam in a pre-emptive war against a mostly Muslim country.

It is one thing to oppose a war: that's an American right (although we have to point out that the survivors include two Canadians and a Brit; the lone American among them died).

It is another to declare your country an enemy and seek to subvert its mission in the theatre of combat by giving aid and comfort to its real and declared enemies. This is treading up against the definition of treason.

It is most definitely not evangelization, as there seems to be no effort on the part of the Christian Peacemaker Teams to convert Muslims.

The fruits of what we see are radical leftist political actions, which explains why there is no gratitude for the rescue. Christians are supposed to be people of gratitude, giving thanks to God for their lives and His blessings, and extending thank-yous and blessings to those who come to their rescue.

Do you suppose Joseph, sold into slavery into the Pharoah's household, was ungrateful for the opportunity to continue to live? Instead, he blessed his captors by becoming Pharoah's chief adviser and right hand man. Egypt, surely not a people of the same God of Jacob and Joseph, prospered because of Joseph's gratitude.

How much peace promotion is there when, after three of your brothers are released from captivity and the possibility of death, your gratitude is so miserly that you cannot even bring yourself to acknowledge - with even a tiny thank you - the people who freed them? How much would it have cost your movement?

Or are you so set in your way of thinking that you pridefully cannot change?


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