After 117 days as a political prisoner held hostage in Baghdad, the 74-year old peace activist, Norman Kember was finally rescued by British led Special Forces, with the assistance of UK intelligence officers, American and Iraqi forces.
However, some disappointment was made by Sir Mike Jackson, 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.
(Some press reported that bribes were offered to his hostage takers, and also that a one million pound ransom was paid by a ‘wealthy Qatari businessman’ to secure his release. At the same time, the financial cost to the UK units and departments involved in his four-month search has exceeded ‘over half a million pounds.’)
Upon return to Heathrow airport, he read out a handwritten statement – apparently, he wrote while he travelled first class, with the British Ambassador at his side, on his flight from Kuwait to London – thanking embassy staff and those in the UK, but he failed once again to thank those soldiers directly.
Throughout this whole period of Mr Kember’s imprisonment, many spokesmen and friends had been put up in front of the media (some get paid for this) to speak on behalf of Mr Kember’s pressure group Christian Peacemaker Teams.
Two statements that caught my attention were those made by the liberal Roman Catholic (ex-priest) Bruce Kent, and liberal Methodist minister, Rob Frost; both men friends of Norman and his wife.
Mr Kent went overboard to assure his BBC audience 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 of his long association that he had enjoyed since knowing Mr Kember.
Rob Frost also stressed emphatically that Norman’s trip to Iraq was ‘solely to live out the Christian life’ and not to proselytise them.
May I say for me that the Christian life is first and foremost, winning unsaved people to the Lord. That is ‘living out the Christian life.’
The New Testament speaks about this as being urgent, (Luke 14:23), for everyone (Acts 17:30), 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,’ saddens 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 friends, 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 again false doctrines and false religions, they just simply couldn’t do it. Their whole environment and denominations would shun them and this would leave them out on their ear.
One other thing that must be noted is the great publicity those in the ecumenical movement have enjoyed, because of this massive press interest in Norman’s capture and subsequent release.
Bruce Kent said it was great for inter-faith relations. Why this is so, I do not understand.
And I must wonder if Bruce has really thought this through either? Do he and others appreciate how evil and dangerous the ecumenical movement is? Do they comprehend that once Rome gets all religions under her umbrella, the Antichrist will then be able to destroy such an apostate movement (Rev. 17:16.) 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 the opportunity to escape and be born again.
The tragedy with all of this is the fact that those people that I have mentioned are no Bible-believing Christians who stand or fall on the Word of God. Their churches and denominations have long parted company with the Bible, so all we get from them are verses normally taken out of context and presented to a secular country, which must be even more bemused and disinterested in what these ‘religious people’ are doing.
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 tell us that his family are well known and loved in the community.
Friends, does this sound Biblical to you? It doesn’t to me, for did not the Lord Jesus tell all those that would follow Him, how they would be hated for following and obeying Him (John 15:18-20) because they are not of this fallen world (John 17:16.)
And 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 by their unsaved neighbours when they came back from preaching the full council of God? I think not.
The reality is that too many Christians fail to understand that the world is terminally sick. Only when the Messiah returns can all things be made right.
The Bible is clear: the born again Christian is to preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15), love the true saints of God (1 John 3:14) and love thy neighbour as thyself (Gal. 5:14) but this doesn’t mean we condone the sins of unsaved people, (Ps. 7:11) but rather we try and pull them out of the fire, lest we too are contaminated by their defilement (Jude 1:23.)
So if a professing Christian enjoys the world loving him, 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 of the world, and only be in the world that, by all means, we might try and win some 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, could 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.)
Friends, unless Christian Peacemaker Teams and others like them send out their volunteers to get people saved, their missions remain unbiblical 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.)
On a personal level, I resent the term Christian as used about Mr Kember and other members of his socialist peace organization. Well, don’t you?
We on this website describe ourselves as born again and it is the mission of those like us to get out the message of John 3:3, where and when we can, in season and out of season.
We believe we are NOT called to resolve political disputes between warring nations or other popular issues – let the politicians do this. It’s their calling, not ours (for we have enough politicians in the world, but the same can’t be said of Bible-believing soul winning saints!) And isn’t all violent disputes eventually solved by diplomacy-it is NOT the task of the born again Christian.
His calling is to get out the word of the Bible – no more than that. We on this website grieve for the thousands of unsaved souls who each hour join that wide road to Hell – and I wonder why!
It’s no good getting to the Judgment Seat (if you’re saved) and being asked by God: “Who have you brought with you,?” and saying meekly: “No one.”
Or as Charles Spurgeon once 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 4 am by sinister 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 see or return 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 the do do-gooders who lined up to give news interviews for Mr Kember will line up to give interviews to the waiting news organizations 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!
Friends, we are living through the Laodicean church with all its false wonders and signs and hypocrisy as written in the Book of Revelation.
But remember until then we wait for the glorious rapture. But before this happens, we may just taste some of the suffering and pain that the early Christians experienced.
Remember: “He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches” (Rev. 3:22).
25th March 2006
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