I have been around Christians who could open a travel agency for guilt trips. That is not my desire with today’s post. But if you opt to take a guilt trip because of these thoughts I should pack my spiritual bags and join you on the journey.
Yesterday dawned with your humble correspondant feeling a bit low in spirits. Work has taken me away from church for a couple of weeks. My schedule has been mentally and physically taxing. I woke up feeling like hammered dog doo (sorry, couldn’t think of the medical term). The woe is me voice was gathering volume as I picked up the Sunday paper. There in the Dallas Morning News was a story that caused me to take a sharp detour off of Pity Parkway. This headline put my little problems into sharp perspective.
Afghan man could be executed for converting to Christianity
Here is the story from the Dallas paper.
An Afghan man who allegedly converted from Islam to Christianity is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death, a judge said Sunday. The defendant, Abdul Rahman, was arrested last month after his family went to the police and accused him of becoming a Christian, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada told Associated Press in an interview. Such a conversion would violate the country’s Islamic laws. Rahman, who is believed to be 41, was charged with rejecting Islam when his trial started last week, the judge said.
During the hearing, the defendant allegedly confessed that he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago when he was 25 and working as a medical aid worker for Afghan refugees in neighboring Pakistan, Mawlavezada said. Afghanistan’s constitution is based on Shariah law, which states that any Muslim who rejects their religion should be sentenced to death. “We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law,” the judge said. “It is an attack on Islam. … The prosecutor is asking for the death penalty.” The prosecutor, Abdul Wasi, said the case was the first of its kind in Afghanistan. He said that he had offered to drop the charges if Rahman changed his religion back to Islam, but the defendant refused.
Those last four words sent me to the bathroom mirror to look at a man who generally does not have a clue what a bad day looks like.
…but the defendant refused.
Wow. Would I have that kind of courage to stand up for Jesus? I recently wrote an article called Time to Post and Run. It dealt with the difficult topic of whether we sometimes choose to remain victims when we have been spiritually wounded. I am not making any judgements for you. I just know that the decision of Abdul Rahman humbled me. My brother in Christ made a stand for Christ that may cost him his life. I was worried about a tough schedule and few speed bumps on my journey. Paul realized his weakness was really his strength. That is what I must cling to in my stumbling, bumbling journey.
I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say. To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12 NIV
Pray for our brother Abdul. I suspect that about 99.9 percent of those who read this today can pause and be grateful that we likely won’t ever have to make a decision like Abdul. But if I do have to make such a decision I pray that I will have written the truth of His Word across my heart.
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2 NIV