The Gospel for the Middle East

I believe that part of our “problem” with the Middle East is that we truly have no clue when it comes to understanding what motivates the people and the leaders, or what drives their culture.  Islam is more than just a religion, it is a gigantic system that governs and controls the lives of more than 1.2 billion people around the world.  It has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components and they are all intertwined. 

So when you hear Imam’s pray that Africa would be the first Islamic continent, how deep and wide does such a sentiment ring?  Egypt is a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Middle East, as well as in the entire Mediterranean region.  However; for the last few decades Egypt was seen by the Islamic world as a “liberal” country at best and as a “secular” country by most.  Before Mubarak stepped down Imam’s lamented that he was too secular, that he was too kind towards Israel and America, and even that he did not force his wife to wear traditional Islamic garb “suitable for women” (Sharia asserts that a Muslim head of state must rule by Islamic law and preserve Islam in its original form or he must be removed from office).  Sharia leaves little wiggle room for most Muslim leaders (though Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to fit in quite nicely).  Because of this; Muslim leaders (especially those tied to the international scene), play a dangerous game.  They have to appear Islamic and anti-west, while trying to get along with the rest of the world.

Where we tend to make our mistakes is in thinking that if they are friendly towards us, then they are our friends.  That; and the fact that Sharia Law states that “A Muslim head of state can hold office through seizure of power and through force.”  Where this causes problems with the “civilized west” is that we fail to understand that this tenant of Sharia means that every Muslim leader out there will most likely turn to brutality and tyranny just to hold power and survive.  It’s king of the mountain with guns and tanks.  So… when a “secular” leader is over thrown or protested against in favor of the more pious (ie. Fundamentalist)  Muslim who would be a leader, the choice isn’t one that can be deemed “good” or “bad”, but rather it is one of “bad” or “worse.”  Especially for those of other faiths in the region. 

What then does the Middle East need?  Barak Obama has shouted the “protestors” praises from the rooftops, but why?  Does he believe that democracy can rise up in a nation that has never experienced it in history?  Can it?  Or maybe we should ask, “Should it?”  Perhaps Obama believes that if the Middle Eastern countries can move towards democracy, then they can also move towards socialism/communism?

Does Egypt, or Libya, or Yemen, or Syria, or (insert your Middle Eastern country of choice here) need democracy?  Do they need Sharia Law?  Or maybe Communism?  Or anarchy?  I think they need something more than a governmental, or financial system.  I think they need Jesus Christ.  You see; within every man there is a corrupt nature that separates man from God.  We are totally depraved.  What that means is that not every human being is as sinful as he or she could be, but that every human being is sinful in every aspect of themselves (mind, souls, thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, etc…) to the point that they are incapable of altering their condition and incapable of saving themselves from the consequences of their condition. 

There is no real peace in democracy, socialism, communism, social reform, civil justice, social justice, oligarchies, etc…  Any form of government may for a season make things appear better and improve standards of living, but a man in and by himself cannot mend himself morally to attain the state of social and moral bliss and moral innocence that he lost through Adam’s transgression in the Garden of Eden.  True freedom and liberty only comes from knowing the One true God through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

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