Off with the youthworker hat and on with the world events cap. Just for a moment.
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured a scrappy little op-ed piece about Iran. The Iranian government is planning to kill five pro-democracy protestors. And they’re bullying a 24-year-old French woman, apparently with France’s blessing, Sarkozy’s tough talk notwithstanding.
In its 30 years, the Islamic Republic has used assassination squads, fatwas, terrorism and hostage-taking as tools of its war with the West.
The editors list “a nearly unbroken string of outrages” beginning with the U.S. embassy takeover in 1979, the death sentence demanded for Salman Rushdie, the grabbing of British sailors in 2007, the detention and trial of an Iranian-American journalist earlier this year, the 12-year prison sentence meted last month to an Iranian-American scholar, and the espionage charges leveled against three American backpackers who “stumbled across the Iranian border in July.”
Plus the whole nuclear dance.
For too long the West has responded to these various outrages by offering Iran little more than meek compliance, plus a clean slate the moment any one crisis is resolved.
Now we are again beseeching Iran to . . . to what? Comply? Give up? Co-operate? Roll over and play dead? Show good faith? Let’s see a show of hands — how many think Iran is planning to throw in the towel? By all accounts Iran appears to be doing a good job playing the shrieking four-year-old holding her thirtysomething dad hostage. (Yes, we are simplifying a bit, and no, we’re not editorializing about Iran.)
Now, back to youthwork. Spend one week in any school — rural, urban, or suburban. Mix with the identity groups. Listen. Watch with eyes, heart, and spirit. Is there any question our students are under siege? The Enemy is wreaking havoc. The Enemy who is stronger than us, but no match for our Lord Jesus Christ.
So let’s intervene. Reflect on our position in Christ. Speak to one another about The Sovereign God, The Lamb who was slain, and The Holy Spirit who intercedes, quickens, and convicts. Use the Word, learning to apply it with care, compassion, and courage. Pray. Love. And so forth.
We know the arsenal. We know what decisive force is. It’s God. And we see the need. We have friends and allies in the ministry. Let’s “one another” each other and set about upending tyranny. The gates of Hell aren’t all that strong.