Learning to weep with those weep

I  will never have the whole Middle East thing figured out. (That will disappoint many conservative friends… and that’s just the way it is.)

My heart breaks with the news I hear, the posts I read from missionaries, the posts I read from the churches in those areas. Rather than identify with those suffering, we are far too quick to pick sides and thump our political or theological chests to declare who is REALLY right.

I came across a poem today from one who has worked in Gaza and it is becoming my prayer. The post is worth reading as well.

Cry with us
This is a season of weeping and mourning, but it is not void of hope.
Our tears are the bridge between brutality and humanity;
our tears are the salty gates for seeing a different reality;
our tears are facing soulless nations and a parched mentality;
our tears are the dam preventing rivers of animosity.
For the sake of the mourning men, cry with us to reflect your amity.
For the sake of the poor children, cry with us demanding sanity.
For the sake of lamenting mothers, refuse violence and stupidity.
Love your enemies and cry with them is the advice of divinity.
Bless those who curse is the path to genuine spirituality.
Pour tears of mercy; compassion is true piety.
Pray with tears, for the sake of spreading equity.
Followers of Jesus: crying is now our responsibility.
But don’t cry for your friends only;
but also for your Enemy. — Yohanna Katanacho

Israel, Palestine, and an Effort Toward a True Pro-Life Ethic

I began some thoughts on what it means to have a “pro-life” ethic (HERE), and on that same day the United Nations voted to allow provisional recognition of Palestine as a “state.” This came over the loud objections of the United States and Israel.

This is a perfect areas to try and hash out a true “pro-life” ethic. It’s a messy situation. As a Christian growing up in a very conservative home, I was always taught to be “pro-Israel” (as a geo-political nation) no matter what. As I grew older I realized the complexities of that position.

Jonathan Martin has written an excellent piece on the issue of Palestine, Israel, and being Christian HERE. It’s an article to disagree over, to be sure. I hope there IS discussion over this issue.

But the larger ethic of being radically pro-life stands out to me as Jonathan wrote this sentence:

5.  Loving people on both sides of this conflict does not make a person “anti-Israel” much less anti-Semitic.

THIS is the place I am trying to get to in my pro-life ethic. To be radically pro-life means you reach beyond the political arguments to actually see people, and realize bringing Kingdom blessing to people takes us beyond political posturing.

This is a loaded issue among conservative Christians, and at this point I am hoping there is enough disagreement to actually cause a discussion. My point is we need to work more toward a true pro-life ethic rather than just becoming more entrenched in past political positions. We need to think. 

Source: Carnegie Council