I recently posted comments on some stuff concerning to verbal critiques of Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham of Islam. I was reading an article by John Piper concerning prayer and missions. I was really taken by this excerpt. Here is the text. I underlined some crucial thoughts in the piece.
But I Timothy 2:1 looks like it might conflict with this battlefield image of prayer. Paul says that He wants us to pray for kings and for all who are in high positions "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way" (v. 2). Now that sounds very domestic and civilian and peaceful.
But read on. The reason for praying this way is highly strategic. Verses 3 and 4 say, "This (praying for peace) is good, and acceptable in the sight of God our savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." God aims to save people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. But one of the great obstacles to victory is when people are swept up into social and political and militaristic conflicts that draw away their attention and time and energy and creativity from the real battle of the universe.
Satan's aim is that nobody is saved and comes to the knowledge of the truth. And one of his key strategies is to start battles in the world which draw our attention away from the real battle for the salvation of the lost and the perseverance of the saints. He knows that the real battle, as Paul says, is not against flesh and blood. So the more wars and conflicts he can start, the better, as far as he is concerned.
So when Paul tells us to pray for peace precisely because God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, he is not picturing prayer as a kind of harmless domestic intercom for increasing our civilian conveniences. He is picturing it as a strategic appeal to headquarters to ask that the enemy not be allowed to draw away any fire power onto decoy conflicts of flesh and blood.
While Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham are busy calling Islam satanic, Satan is winning a major victory by widening the gulf between Christians and Muslims through the embattlement of the two faiths. It seem that rather than critiquing Islam, we should be praying for those in leadership so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives. Piper's observation fits the context of 1 Timothy, because in Chapter 1, Paul is exhorting Timothy to keep on in spite of the false teachers and the dissention that they had stirred up.
What Satan wants more than anything is for us to be distracted from the purpose we have on earth. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that the real battle we are fighting isn't against powers of this world, but powers in the Spiritual world. Our battle isn't against Islam, but against Satan. If we view Islam as the enemy, then we are missing the real deceiver--Satan.
Pray for those in power, so we as Christians van live peaceful lives, so we can go about the real work we have, and that is proclaiming salvation, not lambasting Islam.
Post a Comment