How should we Respond to Papal Visit in Syria?

There is no doubt that this visit is drawing attention to one of the neediest areas on earth. If it brings financial or practical help and other resources to rebuild this once vibrant land, then it could be positive. However, despite the genocide murder, torture, rape, destruction of homes, property and wholesale atrocities which have been perpetrated upon this nation, Syria has become a signpost to billions of people worldwide, that the beliefs and behaviour patterns of those following extremist Islamic teachings are satanic. Anyone condoning, agreeing with or not condemning I.S. ideology shares part of the blame for what they have been allowed to accomplish.
The positive side, is that many Muslims have clearly seen what Islam is, and multitudes have found faith in Christ Jesus to be the One, who heals broken hearts, restores lost hope, gives meaning to shattered lives, peace to searching souls and forgiveness to repentant sinners, [both respectable and murderously evil ones]. As Martin Luther King stated, ‘Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about things that matter.
Many people have written condemning Open Doors’ reaction to the Papal visit. Others, immediately condemned those doing the condemning, accusing them of vitriolic hate-mongering and judgementalism. What is the use of speaking or writing if we only arouse anger and further division? Jesus told us, ‘They would know we are Christians by our love.’ [John 13:35] – so let us show love when we share our opinions. We can do it from hearts filled, not with sentimental froth, but with His supernatural love. Even then, you will be hated as I have been.
E.g. Slapped across both cheeks to see if you believe the Bible, – I have been!!
Stoned [not the drunken kind] – I have been!
Recently, 62 letters were sent out to pastors of churches within a 1 mile radius of a centre where babies are being murdered, Not a misprint [murdered], and no one bothered to reply.
[1] poisoned – [murdered by a saline solution], a truly agonizing death or
[2] ripped apart and removed from what should be the safest place on earth – their mother’s womb.
The Roman Catholic church [for all its faults] among others, is standing against this scourge, which we wlll one day answer to God for. The myth that babies in utero can’t feel pain has been blown out of the water by Dr Ben Carson [USA, neurosurgeon], who has operated many times on babies before birth. He has found they actually need more anaesthesia because they feel pain more. So do we believe politicians or someone who knows and cares!
Not only has the Roman Catholic church adamantly opposed this illegal action, which has been forced on N.Irish citizens and paid for from questionable sources, but they have condemned the laws allowing Same Sex marriage etc, while other Protestant ministers are too afraid to ‘rock the boat!’
Listen, God’s Word never changes! It has always been truth and light, and as long as we live by its precepts – we will have God’s blessing on us.
As missionaries, we are on a quest, to reach as many people in the World with the Gospel as possible [John 3:16, Romans 4:12], to see them come to faith [ Ephesians 2:8-10] and to disciple them until they can do the same! But everyone is free to make up their own mind! We hold 100% to the Gospel preaching regarding the New birth – but we still have hundreds of friends who don’t see things as we do, yet!
Recently, and rightly so, the Roman Catholic church has been castigated for its failures in protecting its children from the shameful intentions of so many priests, much of which has been covered up for years.
It is also known as the Add-on church:
• Faith plus Works
• Grace plus Merit
• Christ plus Mediators
• Scripture plus Tradition
• The Glory of God plus Glory of Saints.
As someone said, the difference between the ordinary and the extra-ordinary is that little bit extra. So, do all these extras make the Roman Catholic church extraordinary ? – No!
Many refugees, who call themselves Christians, are still praying to Mary and worshipping saints in their desperation. Jesus said in John 14:6: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me! Jesus alone died to Redeem us and Jesus alone can save us!!
His Gift of Forgiveness is Free and Simple:
(i) Repent, (ii) Believe, (iii) Accept (iv) Share
This is how to be saved!
This is how to be sure!
This is how to be satisfied!
Have I any alternative? No!!
In the course of our ministry, we have met only 2 or 3 Born again believing refugees, but we have met dozens of these Syrian by birth ‘Christians.’ In giving them Scriptures in their own language, these folks are thoroughly confused, as to what the new birth in John 3 could mean. It reminds us of the verse in [Matthew 7:21] ’Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven.’
On hearing the explanation of God’s greatest story, many sat in tears, wondering had the nightmare in Syria been allowed to happen, that they could discover this wonderful fact. Some hugged and even kissed us for sharing.
Syria needs to be rebuilt for people to either remain or return there, but let us not only reach out to help those in Syria, but reach out to help those who have fled its borders, enduring a desperate dangerous passage and are seeking to live a peaceful life in Europe or UK.
Brother Andrew, [founder of Open doors’] wrote a book called, ‘God’s Smuggler’ which changed my life and I will be eternally grateful for this incredible man, who risked all in many parts of the World [Eastern Europe, Muslim World etc and they all respect him for who he is. Open Doors have invested untold millions helping persecuted believers in many lands, from providing Bibles in the needed languages, paying for education, court cases, trauma classes to help the persecuted stand strong, feeding programs, sponsorship, crisis relief, care for families of imprisoned pastors, to name but a few of their ministries. I too, have been disappointed regarding some of what has been published about the Papal visit, but what they are trying to show in this venture is solidarity, by coming together with Christians, Jews and Muslims, in a bid to stop the persecution of people of faith, and make a platform to rebuild this land.
Our family have been in different lands and locations, where these type of Rallies were being held. We had the opportunity of meeting thousands of [mostly] sincere religious people, longing for assurance of sins forgiven and peace with God. They don’t know they need to be Born Again, that a water baptism isn’t strong enough to wash away our sins, but Faith in the Precious blood of Christ is! ‘It is finished!’ was His cry and 3 days later He arose. The only one ever to do so! That is enough for me and for you!
Let’s trust Him and then try to help Syria, in whatever way we can.

Leave a Reply