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Evangelical Blindness on Lebanon ( An Arab Christian's Point of View )
Christianity Today ^ | 07/17/2006 | Martin Accad

Posted on 08/03/2006 9:48:15 AM PDT by SirLinksalot

Another Point of View: Evangelical Blindness on Lebanon

The academic dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary is angry at evangelical Christians, Israel, Hezbollah, the U.S., and the international community.

by Martin Accad

------------------------------------

Note: When covering international crises, such as the current fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, Christianity Today takes care to listen to evangelical Christian leaders in the places most affected. We may find their views corrective, provocative, or even abhorrent at times, but in each case we learn about areas where we stand together and areas where we disagree. In the case of this submission from Martin Accad, academic dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, there are many areas where we strongly agree, and there are some areas (particularly his characterization of Israel's history and U.S. diplomacy) where we strongly disagree. We present it here to illuminate at least one Lebanese Christian leader's perspective. —Eds.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It is normally easy enough for me to dismiss with a smirk some of the simplistic comments that I constantly read or hear from Christians around the world as pertains to events that are going on in the Middle East. These comments hit much deeper at a time when my country is once again hurting beyond pain, under the murderous aggression of Israeli armed forces for the past five days.

It is striking how normally highly reasonable and spiritually aware people can suddenly lose any sense of ethical, let alone Christian, balance when it comes to Middle East conflicts involving modern political Israel.

(Excerpt) Read more at christianitytoday.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: arabchristians; blindness; christianitytoday; evangelical; lebanesechristians; lebanon; martinaccad

1 posted on 08/03/2006 9:48:16 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot

Interesting, read later.


2 posted on 08/03/2006 9:57:29 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: SirLinksalot
Pre-9/11, I remember hearing a naive American Evangelical reporting on his missionary trip to Lebanon. Upon learning that the Christians weren't attempting to evangelize their mohammedan neighbors, the American Evangelical asked "Aren't you worried about your neighbors burning in Hell?", the Lebanese pastor replied "I can't think of a better place for them".

The misionary was quite shocked at the Lebanese pastors reply and his shock was quite evident as he relayed the account to the congregation. I just wonder what that American Evangelical now thinks?

3 posted on 08/03/2006 9:58:23 AM PDT by fso301
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To: SirLinksalot
Ask them whether weapons of any kind are in safe hands in any bloodthirsty human hands. And if they were not bloodthirsty, why would they have them? Why would anyone have them?

All you need to read from this idiot is above. HELLO!? Maybe because there are BAD people in the world...

4 posted on 08/03/2006 9:59:31 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: fso301

Not all Lebanese pastors have turned their backs on their neighbors' souls. Some have stayed to remain a light in that seemingly God-forsaken land. They need our prayers.


5 posted on 08/03/2006 10:07:55 AM PDT by twigs
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To: SirLinksalot

Not everyone (or every publication) called "Christian" is really Christian.

A mouse is not a cookie just because it's in the cookie jar.


6 posted on 08/03/2006 10:09:12 AM PDT by RoadTest (Whenever you hear that "world opinion" holds a view, assume it is morally wrong. - Dennis Prager)
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To: SirLinksalot
Related Thread:

In Land of Jesus, Christians Struggle [And blame the USA]

 

7 posted on 08/03/2006 10:09:34 AM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: SirLinksalot

He thinks that Christians who support Israel are "pseudochristians". I can't think of a better term for so-called christians who support muslim terror movements and terrorist governments.

The present arab-Israeli conflict is a litmus test, the moral issues couldn't be more clear, and most people outside the US and Israel have come down on the wrong side. It astonishes me that a supposed Christian could be as blind as this man is, at least in his hatred of Israel he has far more in common with Hezbollah than he does with any Christians I know.


8 posted on 08/03/2006 10:10:32 AM PDT by marron
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To: fso301

Interesting place to be as an American and as a Christian. There is no good choice, either support our ally in the war on terrosism and watch my brothers in the Arab countries take the brunt of the hit by both Muslims and Israelis, or turn our backs on Israel and watch the second Holocaust. How do you answer your brother that you choose Israel over them? I do not know, but they are my brothers. Scripture comes true before our eyes and we are amazed.

Zec. 12:2-3 "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the surrounding peoples,...3 It will happen in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples. All who burden themselves with it will be severely wounded, and all the nations of the earth will be gathered together against it.


9 posted on 08/03/2006 10:22:07 AM PDT by fatez (What's the use of unity if you are going down the wrong road?)
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To: SirLinksalot

Before everyone condemns the Lebanese Christians...just remember they are the ones facing bombings everyday....


10 posted on 08/03/2006 10:26:47 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: SirLinksalot

How about the Israeli jet planes that are bombing, as I write, my country and its population, my sisters, my brothers, my fathers and mothers and grandfathers, my children and nieces and nephews?

Once again...an idiot who does not know where to place the blame. Correction:

How about the Hezbollah kidnapping, terrorism, and rockets launching into Israel as I write, killing its population, sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers and grandparents, children, etc. Why did Hezbollah bring this wrath of Israel onto my country and countrymen?


11 posted on 08/03/2006 10:33:21 AM PDT by Hambone02
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To: fatez
How do you answer your brother that you choose Israel over them?

How do they answer American Christians that they chose Muslim terrorists over us? If they want a little sympathy, they could try siding with us a little more.
12 posted on 08/03/2006 10:37:52 AM PDT by Zhang Fei
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To: SirLinksalot
Pretty vile and weak stuff.

But how is it that he, like so many others, fails to notice that world events in the last few years—even decades—have had as their main catalyst tens of thousands of evangelical Christians with a "messianic" mentality who believe that apocalyptic destruction of all but their beloved Israel will be "a precursor to global salvation"?

What a false-hearted statement. No Christian believes that he can accelerate history, no Christian believes that all people will be apocalyptically destroyed except Israel and no Christian believes that Israel will be unscathed by the apocalypse.

"Nuclear-armed Iran"? How about the Israeli jet planes that are bombing, as I write, my country and its population, my sisters, my brothers, my fathers and mothers and grandfathers, my children and nieces and nephews?

How about the Katyusha rockets that are bombing, as your write, other people's relatives?

Why are Hezbollah allowed to use the most powerful weapons at their disposal against Israelis and Israelis are somehow not allowed to retaliate using a portion of their capabilities?

According to the Lebanese health minister,

You mean Shi'ite Muhammad Jawad Khalifa? Might he be biased?

Israel is even using phosphoric bombs, which are forbidden under international conventions!

Unproven assertion.

Are my people to consider Iran more dangerous than this? Are we safely in good hands with such actions?

President Ahmadinejad has said that nuking Israel would be a solution to the problem. Would you consider nuclear fallout a threat to Lebanon, Marty?

Come with me to Beirut and see how inoffensive Israel is. Ask the thousands of Western nationals that are presently being evacuated by the shipload. Ask the hundreds of U.S. and other Western missionaries that are running for their lives from Lebanon as you read this, through the most dangerous routes.

Would any of these people be refugees if Hezbollah had not invaded israel and started its rocket-launching campaign?

Ask them whether weapons of any kind are in safe hands in any bloodthirsty human hands. And if they were not bloodthirsty, why would they have them? Why would anyone have them?

Marty, have you heard of the American Second Amendment? Is self-defense an attitude that only the "bloodthirsty" have?

In the past, tit for tat has been the only way for any Arab country or armed group to get anything from Israel.

What do they want from Israel that necessitates violence? Trade reciprocity? A broader visa policy? Tax rebates for their citizens?

Or do they want to take land and blood from Israel?

So once more last Wednesday, Lebanon's Hezbollah ventured into kidnapping two Israeli soldiers in order to force the hand of Israel into a prisoner exchange.

And which other countries tolerate this kind of behavior?

Talk about an understatement to describe a one-week—and still going—machine of annihilation that has destroyed in days what had taken 15 years of reconstruction.

How long did it take to build the communities that Hezbollah is ravaging with rockets?

Civilians "killed accidentally"?! Explain that to the young mother squatting right now at my parents' home in Lebanon, having just heard her husband was torn into pieces by an Israeli bomb as he was carrying out civil relief in villages of South Lebanon!

It's an easy explanation: he went into a warzone at great personal risk to himself and he died.

But of course these civilians were at fault, since they had been warned by Israeli flyers to evacuate their villages the previous night. But to go where? To my father's living room?! They are welcome, but it's getting really full.

What a Christian sentiment, marty. Good thing there are no hurricanes in Lebanon with Christians like these.

And then this wish: that "our own government will undertake policies to help foster a reduction of tensions in the region." Oh what wishful thinking! When did it ever?! When did the U.S. ever use anything other than its veto power at the United Nations, precisely in order to prevent policies and resolutions that might potentially have been helpful to my people?

Ah, America-bashing for America-bashing's sake. What policies and resolutions concerning Lebanese Christians has the US vetoed, exactly?

Please, Christians! Let's grow up and get over our childish wishes. If, like me, you had lived through the 17 years of Lebanese civil strife from 1975 to 1991 and were presently facing the real and gruesome prospect of another extended conflict, you'd be far from hoping and believing in any benevolent and sincere peace efforts of any external broker, supposedly neutral.

It's really simple, Marty. If you and your fellow Christians in Lebanon collectively refuse to permit terrorists to operate in your midst, on your own soil, the US will help you to help yourself. As long as you turn a blind eye to terrorists and shelter them, you will have to deal with the consequences.

I'll tell you, if you care, what I think those governments will help foster. I think that some pseudo-biblically motivated Christians with decision power, who believe "that apocalyptic destruction is a precursor to global salvation," are presently working toward provoking a Middle Eastern conflict of regional significance in order finally to settle accounts with Hezbollah- and Hamas-supporting Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and Palestine, who have committed the crime, as Gushee put it, of making their hatred for Israel "crystal clear."

Must be nice to be martin Accad, he gets to lie about and slander other Christians and still is welcomed to write in Christianity Today.

And how dare they, since the said state has only been acting as an aggressor and racist colonial state with neighbor-exterminating tendencies from the moment of its inception?

Let's unpack this vicious and hysterical sentence. Israel is an "aggressor" - I guess a clever team of Israeli saboteurs forced Nasser at gunpoint to invade Israel. "Racist colonial state" - "Racist"? - Israel welcomes people of all races and religions while various Arab nations ban Jews and deprive Christians of civil liberties. "Colonial"? - Of which power is Israel a colony? The UK? China? "Neighbor-exterminating tendencies"? Which neighbor has Israel exterminated, exactly?

(Of course, I will be accused of being an anti-Semite because of such words.

Classic anti-Semite line. "I'm just telling the truth - you only think it sounds anti-Semitic."

But I will just shrug and sneer at that accusation and say: "What makes you a Semite anyway?"

Then the Arab anti-Semite bait-and-switch - "I am ethnically Semitic so I can't really be anti-Semitic" when everyone knows that anti-Semitism means Jew-hatred.

Having just read the holocaust account of Elie Wiesel's Night with tears and deep empathy, having Jewish relatives on my Swiss mother's side who fled Germany to Switzerland during the period of the rise of Nazism, being an Arab Christian with Lebanese paternal ancestry, I have more Semitic DNA in me than most who will be reading this.

And the final non-sequitur - because I claim to be at least partially Jewish I can say whatever nasty things about Jews I want.

My ethnic heritage may be a mess, but I can still recognize ethical wrong when I see it!)

Ah yes, marty, your high ethical standards are evident for all to see. You are on record as saying that it is OK to kidnap people.

As an academic with a Ph.D. from Oxford University and specialist in Christian-Muslim and East-West relations, constantly seeking creative models of conflict resolution and better understanding, all of what I have just written is written in a manner far from what I would normally write or say with a cool head, far from what my Swiss-blood-flowing veins would normally permit me to utter.

Ah, so much vanity and nonsense packed into such little space!

But then, perhaps academics sometimes owe their readers more genuine feelings, skin-level emotions gushing out of a deeply hurting, frustrated, desperate, and hopeless soul that has had enough of human arrogance and injustice.

We already see that the real you is very, very ugly, marty. We get it.

Having come to the U.S. at the wrong time to teach a course for two weeks, I find myself at the wrong place at the wrong time, stranded after my country's airport was sent up in flames by Israeli jets. There are two Israeli soldiers imprisoned by Hezbollah hands, 10,000 Arabs in Israeli jails, and one poor soul imprisoned in the U.S. by human madness and bloodthirsty governments.

Oh, you're "imprisoned" in America? Oh, you poor little baby! Millions of refugees try to escape "Prison America" every day! America has zero immigrants.

I am angry at self-centered Hezbollah, which has done the inadmissible of taking a unilateral war decision without consulting the Lebanese government of which it is part, never giving a second thought to the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of Lebanese who will perish as a result of its selfish decision.

LOL! Israel is evil, bloodthirsty, exterminationist, kills innocent women and children. But hezbollah is selfish. Israel is pure evil, but Hezbollah is the jerk who takes two free samples from the tray in the supermarket aisle.

I am angry that citizens of a nation like Israel, who have so suffered at the hands of others, would allow themselves such an out-of-proportion reaction, oh-so-far from the "eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-a-tooth" principle that we might have forgiven them.

Behold, a Christian who believes he gets to pick and choose whom and under which circumstances he will extend forgiveness.

By both sides, I would be lynched for what I have just said, if they had the chance.

Uh-huh. That's right, Marty. All those anti-war leftists in israel are regularly lynched in the streets. OK.

What a slimy, repulsive little assclown. I hope he gets a flight out of the US soon.

13 posted on 08/03/2006 10:38:23 AM PDT by wideawake ("The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: marron
What is even more astonishing is that this a So. Baptist seminary.

We are pro-Israel to a fault.
14 posted on 08/03/2006 11:04:03 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: All
"Christianity Today" is the New York Times of the "religious community". This article is a vehicle for the magazine to spew their own world view without appearing to soil their own hands. They are liberals at heart, and as Rush Limbaugh has said, liberalism is their religion, more dear to them than their "faith." Saying this always creates a fire-storm from the faithful. You only have to look at who created the magazine and their own statements over time. Unfortunately, good hearted people are too willing to make excuses for their favorite personality, rather than calling them to account.
15 posted on 08/03/2006 11:05:55 AM PDT by WestwardHo (Don't be afraid to ask a question.)
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To: SirLinksalot

While I disagree with this guy a lot, he does make some points.

The Christians in the Middle East are between the devil and the deep blue sea. They really have no where to turn.


16 posted on 08/03/2006 11:52:08 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: wideawake

Absolutely BRILLIANT analysis, sir! I couldn't have said it better myself!


17 posted on 08/03/2006 11:55:02 AM PDT by detsaoT (Proudly not "dumb as a journalist.")
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To: SirLinksalot

I think this calls for a projectile barf alert.


18 posted on 08/03/2006 12:54:52 PM PDT by Wicket (God bless and protect our troops and God bless America)
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To: SirLinksalot
I don't believe he's a "Christian". I believe he's an "Arab".

All the Lebanese who call themselves "Christians" should rise and stand against the "Arab" terrorists that infest their country.

Since they don't, I consider them "Arabs", not "Christians".
19 posted on 08/03/2006 1:04:50 PM PDT by ryan71
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To: Tulane

Would have made more sense to face the terrorists everyday, huh?

But they didn't. They allowed them to fester, to take their country, and now they threaten to join them.


20 posted on 08/03/2006 1:09:09 PM PDT by ryan71
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To: SirLinksalot
His opinion is that anyone who supports Israel's right to defend its self is immoral and unbalanced. No need to read further. It is striking how normally highly reasonable and spiritually aware people can suddenly lose any sense of ethical, let alone Christian, balance when it comes to Middle East conflicts involving modern political Israel.
21 posted on 08/03/2006 1:12:52 PM PDT by DManA
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To: SirLinksalot
Very interesting article - thanks.

But how is it that he, like so many others, fails to notice that world events in the last few years—even decades—have had as their main catalyst tens of thousands of evangelical Christians with a "messianic" mentality who believe that apocalyptic destruction of all but their beloved Israel will be "a precursor to global salvation"?

If a Christian President were to threaten to annihilate the world with nuclear weapons in order to bring about the return of Christ, his point might be a valid one. Until that happens, it isn't.

Ask them whether weapons of any kind are in safe hands in any bloodthirsty human hands. And if they were not bloodthirsty, why would they have them? Why would anyone have them?

Wait - so any country that has weapons is "bloodthirsty"? How ridiculous! We live in an evil world, and arming yourself is simply common sense. Is Hezbollah "bloodthirsty" because they have weapons? He doesn't say.

And how dare they, since the said state has only been acting as an aggressor and racist colonial state with neighbor-exterminating tendencies from the moment of its inception?

Give me a break - the Arab nations attacked Israel at the instant of its inception as a state. The Arab states hate Israel because they are Jews and occupy the "holy land" of Islam. Israel, if they could, would live at peace with their Arab neighbors.

Hezbollah, which has done the inadmissible of taking a unilateral war decision without consulting the Lebanese government of which it is part...

I am no expert, but I doubt that this is any different than how any terrorist group would behave if they lived under a democracy.

22 posted on 08/03/2006 1:25:29 PM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: fso301
Upon learning that the Christians weren't attempting to evangelize their mohammedan neighbors, the American Evangelical asked "Aren't you worried about your neighbors burning in Hell?", the Lebanese pastor replied "I can't think of a better place for them".

I hope they rethink that policy, because not only is it dishonoring to God, in the long term it is culturally (and maybe even physically) suicidal, as the more Muslims surround the Christians the more precarious their position comes.

23 posted on 08/03/2006 1:27:01 PM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: SirLinksalot

Bumping this thread for future reference.


24 posted on 08/03/2006 3:44:51 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Arabs out! Temple up! Mashiach NOW!!! HaShem is King over all the earth!!!!)
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To: SirLinksalot

The author needs to look in the mirror -

Hezbollah has been holding Christians in Lebanon at gunpoint, preventing them from leaving and becoming targets AFTER Hezbollah has used their homes / property to attack Israel.

Hezbollah is threatening Christian areas to the north if they get their clocks cleaned too badly in the south.

Lebanon (meaning also Christian of the ilk of the author) has allowed a terrorist organization to co-opt most of their nation, based upon an ideology that would have them killed in a moments notice.

Finally, Israel didn't start this fight.

Now, what part of this immoral behavior by Israel don't I get?


25 posted on 08/03/2006 3:53:08 PM PDT by Godzilla (OK, who stopped payment on my reality check?)
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To: Godzilla

I have had contact with Lebanese Christians for about ten years, and I have felt that my Lebanese Christian friends have picked up some Islamic ideas and thoughts, so I believe that we should pray for them. I have not met one Lebanese Christian that believes in the ten commandments, and the laws or commandments is what makes the difference between the Allah of the Koran, and Jehovah or Yaweh God of the bible. They are just not the same.


26 posted on 08/03/2006 5:56:52 PM PDT by tessalu
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To: SirLinksalot
Hezbollah ventured into kidnapping two Israeli soldiers in order to force the hand of Israel into a prisoner exchange.

What does he think Israel should have done? Sat down and parleyed with them?

27 posted on 08/03/2006 6:02:00 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 49-54)
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To: wideawake
EXCELLENT Fisking!
28 posted on 08/03/2006 6:05:17 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 49-54)
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To: tessalu
I have had contact with Lebanese Christians for about ten years, and I have felt that my Lebanese Christian friends have picked up some Islamic ideas and thoughts, so I believe that we should pray for them.

I agree on prayer. However, when an individual in his position takes up his soap box and writes what he did, he deserves the criticism he recieves.

29 posted on 08/03/2006 6:51:43 PM PDT by Godzilla (OK, who stopped payment on my reality check?)
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To: redgolum
The Christians in the Middle East are between the devil and the deep blue sea. They really have no where to turn.

If they are, indeed, Christian, perhaps turning to Christ might be in order...

the infowarrior

30 posted on 08/03/2006 11:01:50 PM PDT by infowarrior (The GOP runs the US, the Dems run their mouths... Freeper HardStarboard)
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