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The Christian church in Iraq is older that the Roman, or the eastern orthodox church. As I speak, militant radical Islamic fundamentalists are actively seeking out and murdering Christians and their entire families as fast as they can find them. Yet in spite of this persecution, these Christians continue to convert believers and spread the Gospel of Jesus.


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Sounds to me like we ought to be praying for the militant radical Islamic fundamentalists!

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Gerdean O'Dell
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Yes, We should also pray for them. Sometimes I find it very difficult to pray for my enemies. I've seen first hand what these people are doing over there and I don't know if I can pray for them. I know I shouldn't judge, but by their actions I'm not sure they even have souls to pray for. Bob.


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When Jesus was crucified, not everyone was indwelt with a Thought Adjuster. In fact, with the outpouring of the Spirit of Truth occurring on the Day of Pentecost, paving the way for the virtual carte blanche arrival of Thought Adjusters for all normal-minded mortals, it is probably safe to assume that MOST people did not have a "soul". And yet Jesus was big enough to ask Father to "forgive them, they know not what they do." I guess that is the whole point. If they don't know what they are doing -- and if they are not God-conscious -- they cannot TRULY know what they are doing, we need to pray that the door of their heart be opened. People, as we well know, can talk a good talk, but walking the talk is something else again. It doesn't do any good to talk gospel and act like infidels.

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In Baghdad, our Bible study group was attended by several Iraqi Christian members that had to take a clandestine route each time they came to our study group. One time three members didn't show up, and we found out later that they and their families had been murdered by a group that claimed Christian and all other infidels would be publicly (shamed). The closest term I could find in English. We had prayed for our and their enemies over there and walking the talk was the hardest thing to do. Praying for them afterwards while still harboring the almost overwhelming urge for revenge was and still is very difficult for me to deal with. We prayed for each other in the group to try to deal with this tragedy. Praying for my own help to overcome this harboring of revenge has helped tremendously. One of the things that helped me the most was the Iraqi friends of the slain members, and their telling me that it was Allah's will. Bob.


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I personally don't take kindly to people testifying that it was God's will that somebody die. We all die, but God doesn't require that we die for specific purposes or political reasons. He does not require a sacrifice. Still, I can see where there would be some who find comfort in letting God carry the burden of something they cannot understand. I will pray for you, Bob.

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Gerdean,
Thank you for your prayers. My Iraqi friends and most of the Iraqis I met were a cheerful and spontaneous group that would burst into song and dance at the drop of a shovel. They were having to deal with unimaginable treachery and tragedy all around them and personally on a daily basis. To cope with this kind of stuff on a continuous basis is something we as Americans are totally naive about, yet these people do it. When my moslem friends would go aside to a secluded spot to pray several times a day, they did so secretly and humbly. I was grateful and respectful and wondered if their prayers were for their enemies also or just a routine they practiced to conform to their religion. As it was improper to ask if they did so, my observation was that somehow they were at peace with their plight, and accepted it as the will of Allah whatever happened in there lives. One time I naively asked how they deal with this stuff and they answered as if I was irreverently delving into their lives. Their only reply was a whispered "Allah's will". I was somewhat envious that they could do this, as I was struggling with my own emotions over these events.


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I don't wonder that you struggled with this. It boggles the imagination. "Having to deal with unimaginable treachery and tragedy all around them and personally on a daily basis" is not something I am unmindful of, relatively speaking. But the truth is, Bob, God goes through these experiences with us, and he feels the same things we feel. It is literally true: "In all your afflictions he is afflicted."

PAPER 2 - THE NATURE OF GOD, Section 2, says at line 64: "God is eternally and infinitely perfect, he cannot personally know imperfection as his own experience, but he does share the consciousness of all the experience of imperfectness of all the struggling creatures of the evolutionary universes of all the Paradise Creator Sons. The personal and liberating touch of the God of perfection overshadows the hearts and encircuits the natures of all those mortal creatures who have ascended to the universe level of moral discernment. In this manner, as well as through the contacts of the divine presence, the Universal Father actually participates in the experience with immaturity and imperfection in the evolving career of every moral being of the entire universe."

If we would inflict such "unimaginable treachery and tragedy" on our fellows, and if God does actually participate with us in our experience with immaturity and imperfection, I can only conclude that we are very unkind to our loving Creator to put him through much of what we do. And that translates to being very unkind to one another while pawning it off as "God's will." I can see where taking a moment now and then throughout the day to touch base with Deity, to be humble, is a good idea. But I would also aspire to emerge from that peace which passes all understanding to rise up against the ignorance and prejudice that keeps people in bondage to an angry, hostile, jealous and/or militant God. It boggles the mind what mankind does -- and does not do! -- in the name of religion.

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