Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What Will Martyrdom Accomplish?

With all the discussion about the Abdul Rahman story (Cent's two cents is Classic Gospel, tone-deaf world), I'm wondering if we're really missing the point. Yes, human rights are important, but what about building God's Kingdom?

By God's providence, we're studying Hebrews 11 at church right now, and we're coming up on the place where the writer talks about all those in the "hall of faith" who sacrificed in order to receive a better resurrection (cf., Heb 11:32-38).

Also today (at my men's group), we talked about suffering (finishing up John Piper's book Desiring God. If you have time, take a look at it, and see if what's described there is not exactly the type of thing we're seeing in Afganistan.

Human rights are important, but God's kingdom is paramount. Heb. 11 tells us about all sorts of triumphs of faith, both those who overcame, and those who were overcome. Though we don't like to talk about it, and certainly don't desire it, part of how God builds His kingdom is through martyrs. But we can be thankful that there are believers around the world who are willing to "resist to the point of shedding blood" (Heb 12:4).

Would that we all would be that faithful in our own lives.


centuri0n said...

Let's make sure we don't say, "Let Abdul die because it's good for Gospel business". We should be petitioning for his pardon and/or release, and praying for the rulers of Afghanistan, but if he dies it is in testimony to the fact that the Gospel is the stench of death to this world.

It's a fine line between seeing the work of the Gospel here and somehow not wanting Abdul Rahman to be spared. I don't think you're doing the latter, Gummby, but let's make sure we don't accidentally omit our fervent hope that he will be released.

Gummby said...

Yipes! I hope it didn't come across that way!

I was trying to say that 1) we should be faithful, even to the point of death (as this man obviously is prepared to be), and 2) that "rights," in the generic sense, is something that we in the west make a big deal out of, but Paul (for instance) never used, except when he was trying to further the gospel.

In short, it was more about our reaction to these issues than his situation. I do hope and pray that he is released.

Rob said...

It was a joy to meet your dad. I work with the youth on weds, and we are on Heb 11 also. Tonight we discussed Abdul. We just need to make sure that the people that we come into contact know we are Believers.