Monday, April 21, 2014

Pastor Saeed, an Easter Message from Prison, and an Advertisement

I was reading a news website last night about Pastor Saeed Abedini and his plight in an Iranian prison.  In case this is news to you, Saeed was captured, arrested, tried, and sentenced for being a Christian and sharing the Gospel.  He has been beaten, tortured, denied medical care, and other violations of decent humanity (much less international conventions).

The measure of a regime or any society is how it treats its most vulnerable.  Prisoners qualify in some senses, especially political rather than criminal prisoners.

What was interesting, though, was the juxtaposition of the story with the advertisement below.  It says plenty about our societal values, and maybe has a word for us about our level of Christian commitment.  Here's the screen shot:

Do you see the irony there?  

Our culture is wanting us to buy their product or service by appealing to our culturally conditioned need for security.  Pastor Saeed writes about how we want the power of the resurrection without the pain of the cross.  

That, to me, is a blistering indictment of my heart.  Because I want security.  And yes, I want it (at least sometimes) at the cost of my faith.

But someone as crazy as the Apostle Paul said that living is Christ and dying is...I'm having trouble remembering how Philippians 1.21 goes.  I think it might have been living is Christ and dying is less advantageous than living securely.  Or something like that.

And someone as authoritative as Jesus said to fear someone who can kill the body and try not to stress out the One who can kill the body and throw you into an unpleasant place.  Again.  I may be misquoting that slightly.  I'm having trouble remembering the verse (Matthew 10.28).

Anything familiar to your heart in that?

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