In 2006 after 117 days as a political prisoner held hostage in Baghdad, Iraq by Islamic jihadists, a British conscientious objector and professing Christian Norman Kember was finally and successfully rescued by British led Special Forces, with the assistance of UK intelligence officers and others. However, some disappointment was displayed by the then Chief of the Defence Staff, when Mr Kember failed to thank any of the soldiers that had risked their lives to guarantee him and the other two peace activists release. (Miraculously, not a single soul lost their lives during this daring rescue).
Some press reported how bribes were offered to his hostage-takers along with a £1 million ransom being paid by a ‘wealthy Qatari businessman’ to secure his release. At the same time, the financial cost to the UK during his four-month search exceeded ‘over half a million pounds.’
Upon his return to Heathrow airport, he read out a handwritten statement which he wrote while travelling with the British Ambassador to Iraq at his side on his flight from Kuwait to London thanking embassy staff and those in the UK but failed once again to thank those soldiers directly.
Throughout what must have been a terrifying period of Mr Kember’s imprisonment, many spokesmen and friends had been interviewed by the media (some got paid for this) to speak on behalf of Kember’s pressure group Christian Peacemaker Teams.
Two statements that caught my attention were those made by the liberal and former Roman Catholic priest Bruce Kent, and apostate Methodist minister, Rob Frost; both men being long term friends and associates of Kember and his wife.
Mr Kent went overboard to assure the BBC that Mr Kember not only had no intention of evangelising lost sinners in Iraq but that he had never known Norman to evangelise anybody at any time during his long association since knowing Mr Kember.
Rob Frost also stressed emphatically that Norman Kember’s trip to Iraq was ‘solely to live out the Christian life’ and not ‘to proselytise them.’
May I say that the Christian life is first and foremost winning lost souls to the Lord. That is ‘living out the Christian life.’ The Lord commands Christians to be a perpetual light to the lost. The New Testament speaks about this as being urgent (Luke 14:23), for everyone (Acts 17:30-31), to be done at all times (2 Tim. 4:2) and at the drop of a hat (1 Pet. 3:15).
For me to hear that Mr Kember ‘doesn’t do evangelism’ saddened me greatly and if I had been in his shoes, I would not have bothered to go to Iraq in the first place. But then we must remember of course that this gentleman and his colleagues are ecumenical, hence their inter-denominational relations with non-Bible based churches and other faiths. And because they wear this ecumenical straitjacket, even if they wanted to speak out against false doctrines and false religions, they just simply couldn’t do it. Their denominations and circles they move in would shun them and this would leave them out in the cold!
(In 2010, we tried to reach out and ‘rescue’ hundreds of ecumenical ‘Christians’ as they marched across Manchester. Our video of that day can be viewed here).
One other thing that must be noted is the great publicity those in the ecumenical movement enjoyed due to the massive press interest in Norman’s capture and subsequent release. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if he had addressed the waiting media, a bit like Tyson Fury once did and read out loud John 3:16 and how they must be born again. Sadly, this was the last thing Norman and his friends wanted the world to hear.
(In 2007 Norman Kember wrote a book about his ordeal in Iraq. It seems to have bombed with reviews suggesting it was dull and longwinded. Another missed opportunity I suggest for Kember to have proclaimed to the world the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, not his woes and worries for an already lost and condemned world).
Bruce Kent said this whole incident was ‘great for interfaith relations.’ The glory of God and His only begotten Son never come into the minds of ecumenical apostates just a desire on their behalfs to try and bring all ‘people of goodwill’ together to make this a better and safer world. Humanism basically.
It’s obvious to me that men like Kember and Kent do not appreciate or care how evil and erroneous the ecumenical movement is. They clearly do not comprehend that once Rome gets all religions under her umbrella the Antichrist will then be able to destroy such an apostate movement in one go (Rev. 17:16-17). Perhaps such people should be considered victims of this Luciferian movement, in which case, please pray that God will open their minds and souls, and allow them and others the opportunity to escape and be born again before it’s too late (Rev 18:4-5).
The tragedy with all of this is the fact that those people that I have mentioned are not Bible-believing Christians who stand or fall on the word of God. Their churches and denominations have long parted company with the Holy Bible as their final authority, so all we hear from them are verses normally taken out of context and presented to a secular and confused country which must be more bemused and disinterested in what these ‘religious people’ are doing in the name of their god and religion.
Do-gooder is a term I think might best explain their confused, blasphemous and watered-down Christianity. And how interesting but not surprising it was to see all his neighbours and members of the press core applauding him when he arrived back home at his plush middle-class home, in the leafy area of Pinner, North West London.
Some press reports stated how his family are well known and loved in the community.
Does this sound Biblical to you? It doesn’t to me, for did not the Lord Jesus tell all those that would faithfully follow Him, how they would be hated for obeying Him (John 15:18-20) because they are not of this fallen and cursed world (John 17:16).
The apostle Paul would echo the Lord when he wrote: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12).
I wonder if any of the apostles were ever greeted with the red carpet by their unsaved neighbours when they came back from preaching the full counsel of God? I somehow think not! I seem to recall reading how Paul was beaten, whipped, and almost starved to death for preaching repentance to hostile and angry sinners (2 Cor 11:24-27).
The reality is that too many professing Christians fail to understand that this world is terminally sick. Only when the Prince of Peace returns will there be real and lasting peace. And yet ironically, I fear men like Kember and others may actually dislike of Jesus’s method of rule during the Millennial Reign and may in fact attempt to oppose it!
The Bible is so clear about the role of the true Chrisitan: they are to preach the Gospel to everyone (Mark 16:15), love the true saints of God (1 John 3:14) and their neighbour as themselves (Gal. 5:14) but this doesn’t mean we condone of the sins of unsaved people (Ps. 7:11) but rather we try and pull them out of the fire, lest we too become contaminated and defiled due to associating with them (Jude 1:23).
If a professing Christian enjoys the world loving him while boasting in their works as ‘evidence of salvation,’ there is every reason to conclude that salvation has yet to come to such a person (Matt. 7:21-23).
Paul’s commandment to the true Church is to be separated from the things and people of the world and only be in the world in order to try and win lost souls to Christ (1 Cor. 9:22).
The apostle would also re-affirm a Biblical commandment from the Old Testament when he quoted the following Scripture to drive the point home that those who have truly been born again must never again have any spiritual relations with unsaved people but only to the extent of trying to help them repent and be saved:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:14-18).
Unless Christian Peacemaker Teams and other humanistic groups like them send out their volunteers to get people saved their missions remain unbiblical and unworthy of respect from the true Bible believer and are worthless and totally in vain.
The Lord Jesus said: “I pray NOT for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine” (John 17:9).
In fact, study Jesus carefully to see how He handled and dealt with unsaved men like Pilate, Herod and the self-righteous in general. Short shrift basically!
On a personal level, I resent the term Christian as used concerning Mr Kember and other members of his socialist peace organisation. Well, don’t you?
We at this ministry describe ourselves as King James Bible-believing Christians and it is the mission of those like us to get out the message of John 3:3-7 where and when we can, in season and out of season. Amen!
We believe the true Church is NOT called to resolve political disputes between warring nations or other popular and fashionable issues of the day. Let the politicians do this. It’s their calling, not ours (we have enough politicians in the world, but the same cannot be said of solid Bible-believing soul-winning saints!) And aren’t all violent and hotly disputed arguments eventually solved by diplomacy anyway. It is NOT the task of the born again Christian. Period!
The true child of God’s calling is to get the word of God out. No more than that. We at this ministry grieve for the thousands of unsaved souls which perish forever each hour as they journey on that wide road to Hell, and I wonder why!
It’s no good getting to the Judgment Seat of Christ (if you’re saved) and being asked by Christ: “Who have you brought with you,?” and replying meekly: “No one.”
Or as one preacher said: “If you’re happy to go to Heaven on your own, you can be sure of one thing: you are NOT saved yourself.”
One day, all born again Christians, perhaps very soon, may hear the hammering on the front door at 3 am by hostile authorities. Remember, did they not come for Jesus at that unearthly hour? Then we will be taken away to a destination unknown and perhaps never to return or see to our families again. The early Church knew all about this and expected it.
If this does happen to me one day and I don’t know when the hour might come, I wonder if they the do-gooders who lined up to give sympathetic news interviews for Mr Kember will line up to give sympathetic interviews to the waiting news organisations on my behalf or others. I somehow doubt it! But then I don’t expect it anyway.
And if you’re a born again Christian, neither should you!
We are living in the final church period found in the Book of Revelation the apostate Laodicean church with all its false wonders and signs and hypocrisy. The true Christian’s hope is of the course the blessed Rapture. Amen and amen.
This article was initially written in 2006 and updated in 2020 but sadly since then many more Norman Kember’s have been dazzled and deceived by the lure of the one-world ecumenical church movement. And tragically, many more like him will certainly continue to follow him and his kind through the never-ending trapdoor called postmillennialism. Basically, fix the problems of the world etc, etc but without Jesus Christ at the centre of this as rightful King and on His throne. And if that wasn’t bad enough, such people actually believe they are obeying and honouring God, when in reality they are dishonouring and disobeying Him.
The following from John’s gospel demonstrates such an awful and mistaken belief: “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God SERVICE. And these things will they do unto you, because they have NOT known the Father, NOR me” (John 16:1-2).