Friday, February 10, 2006


Many of you I am sure have kept up with the news this past week and the recent developments in the escalating clash of worldviews occurring between the West and Islam. I have had some helpful conversations on this issue and some very discouraging ones as well.

Essentially, this is a clash of two worldviews at the most fundamental levels of their value structures. In the west, liberty (freedom of speech) is the most valued possession, and something I beleive will still they would go to war over. In Islam it is honor, particularly the honor of Allah and the prophet - tihs is what they live and die for. Both sides are evaluating the issue from their own value structures. No one will win here. They both want their values to be adopted and accepted by the other side, but this is impossible. This is of course a complex situation rooted deep in history, but is either side ‘right’ here? This may seem like moral ambiguity, but I think there is an another way, a better way.

So what is the Christian do here, what is the church’s response? I have been bothered by the immediate weight American Christians simply put in the Western worldview. Is there a higher value here then liberty or honor that we need to adorn in this growing season of turbulence? As Christians our national allegiance is to the Kingdom of God (I am curious to know how Iranian Christians view this situation). In no way do I condone the rioting and the burning of embassies, but neither do I condone the blatant disrespect from the West.

I have some thoughts on how the church should respond here, but I am curious to know what others are thinking. Maybe I am wrong, maybe the church should choose a side, maybe someone is right. How ought we to live here, we must we say - because I know we should not remain silent?


Joe said...

Some interesting and related news stories

Joe said...

here is the other one

A. Engler said...

Wow. So I've been picking at a post for about a week here to adress the same issues. It's not just islam that's the "Honor"'s more the entire Mid East plus. It's more than an eye for an eye, but rather "you took my eye, so I'll make you completely blind." Hurts are NOT forgotten here. We tend to think "just forgive and move on," but that just isn't acceptable here. I mean, and very, very literally speaking here, if I up and drove a bulldozer through the dome of the rock on the temple mount, either in the name of Judaism OR Christianity the ENTIRE world would be at war quicker than you can say the word. The only way to bring peace is to bring Christ...but that in its very self is just as complicated as the rest of the lot. And especially so here in Jerusalem. For example, the Palestinian Christians are in a REAL tight bind right now with Hamas in power. What will they do if Hamas instills Islamic law? They're Palestinian! They don't even have passports! Where will they go? Who will take them in? The west associates the name immediately with terrorism and won't take them in. I can assure you, they'll get no compassion from Israel or Jordan either. So what will they do? There are major, MAJOR issues at work here that at the present time, seem unanswerable. So prayer...more and more prayer for starters, and after that? Lobbying the govn't I suppose.

Jerica said...

Hey, Joe-

Although I have a lot to say about your post, I'll pass on that. Just wanted to say it was nice to see you the other day at Caribou! Thanks for always being so humble.