AND SO WE BLEED ON
Have you noticed that life on this home planet of ours is living up to the second law of thermodynamics—that calculus about “entropy,” which we’ve come to define as “a gradual decline into disorder”? This single phrase succinctly, painfully describes the unraveling crisis in the Middle East, doesn’t it? (Is the Middle East ever not in crisis?) This week the President announced that once again our nation is at “war” (albeit one theoretically limited only to high altitude fire power) in or above the sprawling desert sands of the Near East. When will this one end? Nobody can say. What the President did say to the United Nations on Wednesday was, “There is a pervasive unease in our world.” How true. So what posture shall we as American Christians, more particularly as Seventh-day Adventist Christians, take to the endless bleed or entropy that retrogrades any hope of lasting peace in that volatile region? We know well our Lord’s parting command, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). And there isn’t one of us that doesn’t believe that His commission certainly includes the Muslim world’s 1.4 billion adherents. But how shall we respond in the face of a global hemorrhage that cannot be staunched? May I suggest three responses? First, we can pray. Dramatic narratives in both testaments of Scripture (read Esther and Acts for starters) depict the people of God earnestly interceding for divine intervention and deliverance in the face of dark prospects. The psalmist pleads: “Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless” (Psalm 108:12). The truth is we—Muslims, atheists, Christians—share a common enemy behind all the terror and evil unleashing on earth. Thus the prayer Jesus taught us: “Deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). For the sake of God’s will being “done on earth even as it is in heaven,” let us petition Him to hold the Enemy at bay long enough to reach all of God’s earth children while there is time. Second, there are some of us who can personally go to the deserts sands of human suffering. Right now Adventist Frontier Mission (AFM here in our village) is preparing to send one or two (no doubt young) missionaries to minister to the ISIS-displaced refugees in Erbil, Iraq. The conditions those refugees are enduring (I’ve seen AFM president Conrad Vine’s pictures) are appalling. What more Christ-like response could there be than incarnating His cross-cultural love for these sufferers? (For more information go to www.afmonline.org/missionaries.) Third, we can join the Friday Prayers for the Muslim world. It is no more logically correct to conclude that the Muslim faith fosters ISIS butchery against Christians, than it is to conclude that the Christian faith fostered the butchery of the Crusades against Muslims long ago. There are millions within Islam today whose hearts are seeking the One true God. Why not join the Friday Prayers that AFM sponsors and intercede for Christ’s miraculous breakthrough to these honest in heart (www.afmonline.org/get-involved/friday-prayers/)? Will the world slowly bleed out until Christ comes? Without a doubt. In fact believers in Him rightfully conclude there will come a stunning acceleration of evil’s hemorrhage as we near the end. But rather than railing against the dark, we must light the bright candle of faith, hope and love. One candle—one intercessor, one volunteer, one missionary, one contagious witness—can dispel the darkness in any corner of Earth. Won’t you please be that one?