Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Recognizing Satan In Our Relationships

            Satan attacks unexpectedly to destroy our relationship with God. He attacks when we are most vulnerable. His most potent assaults are through our close associates.

            Unless we recognize the satanic attack, we cannot defeat Satan. But how do we recognize Satan in our lives, especially in our relationships?

            Satan’s invisibility challenges our recognition of him. His destructive work through people around us - those whom we love and cherish - intensifies the problem to an unimaginable extent. Therefore, recognizing Satan is imperative insofar as the damage needs to be controlled and our relationship promptly and effectively restored with the Lord and those employed by Satan to attack us.

            A Christian’s life involves two births; the physical birth and the spiritual rebirth (the born-again experience). The physical birth sans the spiritual rebirth is not of eternal worth. A Christian is a new creation when he or she is born again.

            The spiritual rebirth in a Christian’s life entails a swift and/or a gradual shift in the character of a Christian so to progressively resemble the Lord Jesus in both the public and the private spheres of life. The born-again Christian strives spiritually insofar as to shed his/her former way of life. As years pass by, the born-again Christian gradually departs from the sins that plagued him before he was born-again. (A Christian cannot be perfect a.k.a. sinless in this time and age.)

            Transition from the former way of life would be quite arduous for some Christians. Much effort would be invested into this spiritual transition. Every moral victory earned is an outcome of God’s grace and the effort of this spiritually tenacious Christian.

            This is precisely where Satan enters to crucify the Christian’s spirituality.

            One method of satanic assault upon the spiritually tenacious Christians is by motivating the gullible people around them - parents, spouse, siblings, pastor, church leaders and friends - to shamefully recall their former ways of life, which is the life that they so arduously struggled to discard. This assault usually occurs during controversial situations.

            Consider these assaults:

            “You were a liar, how could I believe you?”

            “You were a drunkard, how do I know that you did not drink today?”

            “You had fudged accounts earlier, so I am sure you have misappropriated finances now.”

            In this satanic mode of attack, the Christian’s past would constantly be recollected to shame him. It is important to note that the Christian, after accepting Christ as HIS Savior, has effectively discarded (or is in the process of discarding by overcoming his temptations) the sinful habits from his life. But people around him, in their own moments of spiritual weakness, could be a pawn in the hands of Satan to destroy this Christian’s spirituality with these lethal verbal assaults.

            Sincere Christians would reel under this assault, even if it were a one-time occurrence. Relentless assaults of this nature could spiritually incapacitate sincere Christians, so much so that they could doubt and reject God’s presence. Such is Satan’s lethal activity in a Christian life.

            Think about this.

            You strived so hard to eliminate that sin (or those sins) from your life. You have experienced God’s power. You are thankful to God for your spiritual achievement. You are so happy to live a clean life. You love your new life in Christ Jesus. You have testified to Christ’s power in your life. People appreciate you and they thank and praise God for HIS work in your life.

            Everything is going good.

            This is when your life crumbles around you. Satan attacks you through verbal assaults from those whom you love so dearly. You strive to forgive and forget. But these attacks become a regular part of your life. You are accused of doing that which you have discarded. Being unappreciated is hard enough to fathom, but to be accused of doing that which you are not doing anymore is a poison you have to drink constantly. To die a thousand painful deaths every single day is not fun.

            That’s not it.

            Your life becomes a living nightmare when those accusing you spread rumors about you. Your family and friends believe these rumors and consider you a hypocrite. Those whom you had considered good friends are not your friends anymore. Your life sinks into despair.

            You wonder why this is happening in your life.

            The answer is not straightforward. But the answer is found in the Bible. Read these verses (Emphasis Mine):

            “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)

            “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18, NIV)

            “Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”” (Luke 9:62, NIV)

            “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14, NIV)

            “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14, NIV).

            “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:20-21, NIV)

            These verses teach us one simple truth. God does not remind us of our sinful past. An entailment of this truth is that God’s people also do not remind us of our sinful past.

            What about those who constantly endeavor to shame us by reminding us of our sinful past? These people may be Christians, but their relentless attack indicates that they are not acting under God’s guidance.

            If they are not under God’s guidance, it is quite possible that they are buying into Satan’s schemes because Satan works against God’s people. Satan will strive to spiritually derail a sincere Christian.

            When people assault you with your sinful past - that very past which you have discarded from your life – be aware that it is the work of Satan. Do not fall prey to the evil schemes of the devil.

            You know who you are in the Lord. You are right in God’s sight because you are not guilty of the sin that you are being accused of. When you live right in God’s sight, do not allow these assaults to impact you.

            Keep moving forward by increasing your proximity with the Lord. Indulge more into the Word of God and prayer. When you are in pain, God will offer you HIS peace and protection. HE will bring good friends into your midst. You will be safe. In due course of time, you would be saved from these assaults and you would be exonerated from these false accusations. Trust and obey!

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,

But is blessed if we trust and obey.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why Does God Love Satan?

The question, “Does God love Satan?” seemingly yields diametrically conflicting answers from conservative Christian theologians. Some assert that God cannot love Satan. In contrast, others claim that God loves Satan. So does God love Satan or not? 
Answers to the question, “Does God love Satan?” cause further complications. If God does not love Satan, how could God be maximally and perfectly good? (If God does not love one being, then HE cannot be maximally and perfectly good.) Moreover, if God hates Satan for being evil, does HE also hate all those humans who reject and slander HIM? If God hates those who reject and slander HIM, HIS love is conditional. But isn’t God’s love unconditional?
The answer, “God loves Satan,” is also riddled with complications. If God loves Satan, how could a good God love the evil Satan? Could there be a semblance of evil in God because HE loves the evil Satan? Furthermore, if God loves Satan, should we also love Satan?

God Cannot Love Satan

Christian Q&A website, affirms that God cannot love Satan, “No, God does not love Satan, and neither should we. God cannot love that which is evil and unholy, and Satan embodies all of that. He is the enemy (1 Peter 5:8); the evil one (Matthew 6:13); the father of lies and a murderer (John 8:44); the accuser of God’s people (Revelation 12:10); the tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5); proud, wicked and violent (Isaiah 14:12-15); a deceiver (Acts 13:10); a schemer (Ephesians 6:11); a thief (Luke 8:12); and many more evil things. He is, in fact, everything that God hates. The heart of Satan is fixed and confirmed in his hatred of God, his judgment is final, and his destruction is sure. Revelation 20 describes God’s future plan for Satan, and love for Satan has no part in it.”1

God Loves Satan

Dr. William Lane Craig claims that God loves Satan, “I feel no awkwardness whatever in affirming that God most certainly does love Satan. Indeed, what I should find awkward would be affirming that He does not! God is a perfectly loving being, whose love is not based on a person’s performance. Satan is a person, indeed, on the traditional conception an angelic person of unparalleled beauty and perfection among creatures. How could God not love him? The fact that that person is now fallen and unspeakably evil does not imply that God ceases to love him, any more than He ceased to love us when we fell and became enemies of God (Romans 5.10).”2
(Dr. Craig’s claim was in response to this question, “…Is it not true then that His love for all includes the Devil? For if it were not the case then there would be at least one eternally damned being whom God does not love or loves less, i.e., He is not all-loving or the greatest conceivably loving being.”)

Is Satan Totally Evil?

In his blog, Tough Questions Answered, Bill Pratt quotes Dr. Norm Geisler to contend that Satan is not totally evil, “Many people mistakenly believe that while God is totally good, Satan, or the Devil, is totally evil. They are polar opposites of each other.
This idea, however, is false. Satan, while being totally evil in a moral sense, is not totally evil in a metaphysical sense. Theologian Norm Geisler explains the distinction in his book If God, Why Evil?: A New Way to Think About the Question. Geisler writes:
The Bible speaks about Satan as “the evil one” (1 John 5:19) who is a liar by his very nature (John 8:44). Surely there is no good in Satan – is he not totally evil? Yes, he is completely evil in a moral sense, but not in a metaphysical sense. Just like fallen humans still have God’s image, even so Satan has the remnants of good that God gave to him as a created angel.
For example, Satan has good insofar as he is a creature of God, insofar as he has intelligence, and power, and free will. Of course, he uses all these God-given good powers to do evil; he is ever, always, irretrievably bent on evil. But this is only to say he is totally depraved morally, not that he is totally deprived of all creaturely good metaphysically.” (Emphasis Mine).3

Understanding God’s Love For Satan

The assertions, “God loves Satan” and “God hates Satan” need not be construed as being diametrically opposite or absolutely conflicting. Both these assertions could be true in a particular sense – the metaphysical or the moral.
Since Satan retains a remnant of goodness of God’s creations from a metaphysical sense, we could reasonably sustain the notion that God loves Satan. In other words, God loves Satan only from a metaphysical sense.
But Satan is morally depraved. God cannot love the consequential deeds of a morally depraved being. So from this sense – the moral sense – the notion that God hates Satan (his evil deeds) could be sustained.
Significantly, an absolute denial of God’s love for Satan cannot be sustained. Just one reason may be sufficient to corroborate this assertion. If God hates Satan absolutely or totally, then should God not hate all those who reject and slander HIM?
But the Bible clearly teaches that God loved us when we were sinners (Romans 5:8). Therefore, if God loves a sinful, rebellious and slanderous man, on what grounds could God not love Satan? While it is true that both Satan and those men and women who rebel, reject, and slander God are doomed to an eternal damnation, the judgment of God need not violate HIS love for those who disbelieve and abuse HIM.
God’s judgment is contingent on the exercise of freewill in the case of Satan and the unbelieving mankind. But God’s love for HIS creation is not contingent on HIS judgment. It is contingent on the goodness of HIS creation (God created all things good). Moreover, as it has already been asserted, neither Satan nor the unbelieving mankind is totally evil, for they still retain their creational goodness in the metaphysical sense. (The unbelieving humans could be morally good in certain or most instances. Satan too could, arguably, be morally good in certain situations, albeit in a passive sense, when he does no harm to his followers – not from the perspective of eternity, but from a worldly perspective.)
To conclude, the understanding that God loves Satan could only be sustained if the entailing complications could be resolved. These are the complications. If God loves Satan, then “how could a good God love the evil Satan?” Could there be a semblance of evil in God because HE loves the evil Satan? Furthermore, if God loves Satan, should we also love Satan?
How could a good God love the evil Satan? Satan is morally depraved and irretrievably bent on evil, but this is from a moral sense. However, Satan does retain a remnant of the goodness of God’s creations (intelligence, power, freewill etc.). If Satan retains even a remnant of the metaphysical goodness of God’s creation, there is enough latitude for God to love Satan. So an absolute assertion that God hates Satan cannot be sustained. Therefore we could reasonably affirm that God loves Satan from the metaphysical sense and yet assert that God hates Satan from the moral sense.
Could there be a semblance of evil in God because HE loves the evil Satan? A maximally good and perfect being cannot be evil in the sense of both the metaphysical and the moral. If God loves Satan from a moral sense, then an argument that God could be evil may be valid. However, God’s love for Satan is from a metaphysical sense (not from a moral sense), hence there cannot be a remote semblance of evil in God.
Does God’s love for Satan imply that we should love Satan? The Bible mandates us to stand against the evil schemes of Satan and his entourage (Ephesians 6: 11). Moreover, Satan works against God’s people, so Christians cannot love Satan.


1, last accessed on 18th June 2017.
2, last accessed on 18th June 2017.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Could We Accuse God’s Anointed?

          Pastor Benny Hinn, during a Pastors conference in Lagos, Nigeria on February 10th 2017, cautioned that God’s anointed should not be criticized.1 He’s not alone in making such statements. Quite a few servants of God pummel their audience to submission with such threats.

            “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm” (Psalm 105:15 & 1 Chronicles 16:22) is an oft resorted verse by fulltime Christian workers (Pastors, Evangelists etc.). This is to protect them against criticism.

            The Bible narrates instances of people being cursed for accusing God’s anointed. In Numbers 12, Miriam was cursed with leprosy for criticizing Moses. 2 Kings 2: 23-25 shares the narrative of the boys mauled by two bears because they cursed Elisha.

            Many Christian leaders are accused of immorality, false teaching, lack of financial accountability etc. So could we accuse these anointed servants of God who serve in HIS vineyard around the clock?

            Anointing is a prerequisite for God’s workers. However, our innate propensity to sin ensures that accusing God's anointed is indeed a complicated predicament.

            There are two broad categories of God’s servants – the true and the false servants of God. The true servant of God is called and anointed by God to employ his/her gift to serve God’s people in HIS Kingdom. Then there are false workers in God’s Kingdom, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15, NIV).

            These false workers need not be anointed by God, since they are not called by God, yet they serve God full time. These false workers undertake God’s work as their permanent vocation for selfish gains.

            If there are false workers in God’s Kingdom, would not our criticism of them be appropriate? Yes and no; this is not as easy as it seems. This is another complicated predicament.

            Consider this complication. How do we absolutely identify a false worker? Confessions and other investigative mechanisms do prove people’s duplicity. However, when confessions are missing and when there are no solid evidences to prove a person’s hypocrisy, we tread dangerously. We do not possess perfect knowledge. So with what certainty or authority do we accuse a servant of God as a false prophet? There is always room for error in our judgment.

            Some Christians argue that God’s workers could be criticized irrespective of Psalm 105:15 & 1 Chronicles 16:22 because these verses do not refer to criticizing God’s servants, “Christians are to hold one another accountable for one another's behavior (1 Jn. 3:17; Gal. 6:2; Tit. 1:9; 1 Tim. 1:3,4; 4:16; II Tim. 4:2; Matt. 18:15-16). … Christians are to be accurate and balanced when giving criticism. When a person or group that claims to be Christian and yet seriously departs from the historical biblical doctrines of orthodox Christianity, one cannot stand idly by in silence. (Matt. 18:15-16). To not speak out would be dishonoring to God and unloving, not only to Christians, but also to the propagators of the error.

            …They point to biblical proof texts such as Psalm 105:15, "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm" (KJV). But if one looks at the passage, it will reveal that it has nothing to do with questioning the teachings of church leaders.

            In the Old Testament the phrase, "the Lord's anointed", is used to refer to the kings of Israel (I Samuel 12:35; 24:6, 10, 16, 23; II Samuel 1:14, 16; 19:21; Psalms 10:6), and not to prophets. In the context of Psalms 105 the reference is to patriarchs in general (vv. 8-15; ef, I Chronicles 16:15-22).

            Psalms 105:15 has nothing to do with the issue of questioning the teachings of any of God's "anointed". In the context of this passage, the words "touch" and "do harm" have to do with inflicting physical harm upon someone.

            Specifically, in I Sam. 24:6, the phrase "touch not the Lord's anointed" refers to David's refraining from killing King Saul when he had the opportunity. It means in that context, "not to kill".

            The fact is that David did rebuke Saul publicly more than once and called him to account for his actions before God.”2

            You may be inclined to criticize the teaching of the person or the very character of that person. However, there is a word of caution associated with criticizing God’s servants when there are no confessions and/or no solid evidences against the said person.

            If you are inclined to slay the character of a God’s servant, then ensure that you “Try everything in your power to contact the person and have them or a representative explain themselves.”3 Do not blindly trust the media or ride the gossip bandwagon. We would be better off to err on the side of grace/caution. We should do our due diligence before attacking the character of God’s anointed.

            Whatever the case may be, if you are to criticize God’s anointed, do know that “…there is scrutiny and there is malicious intent—two very separate ideals. When you scrutinize someone, please make sure it's with 1) Godly intent about his or her teaching,  and 2) not against the person themselves. I've read many examples—especially on message boards—where a preacher's character is maligned because of something he or she taught or is NOT teaching…That's where people fail to take care when they "touch God's anointed." Their words are simply malicious.

            And, malicious intent against anyone, much less God's anointed, isn't without its consequences.

            We know from 2 Kings 2:23-24 what happened to 42 youth from Bethel who maliciously mocked Elisha, certainly one of God's anointed. "He went up from there to Bethel, and going up on the way, little boys came out of the city and made fun of him and said to him, "Go up, you bald head! Go up, you bald head!" He turned around, saw them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and ripped open forty-two of the boys."

             This type of mockery implied malicious intent, perhaps to maim or kill Elisha. At that time, the epithet "baldy" signified contempt in the East and showed severe disrespect for Elisha's message and God's power. God sent the bears as a judgment for their callous unbelief.

            God may not be so blatant these days. But again, there are consequences.

            So what should Christ followers do when they find themselves in disagreement with someone in the ministry? At least these three things:

            Make sure that what you are disagreeing with is something that person actually said. I've seen a lot of people comment on things they don't even investigate and simply assume it's true because they read something somewhere or heard it from someone else.

            Most importantly, check it against Scripture. This is the ultimate test.

            Don't go off half-cocked and rebuke anybody at time in any place—most specifically on the Internet—when you disagree with someone. Try everything in your power to contact the person and have them or a representative explain themselves. Matthew 18:15-16 says, "Now if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, then take with you one or two others, that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every word may be established" (MEV).

            There certainly isn't a lack of public rebuke on the Internet. A great deal of it is mean-spirited and not meant for godly correction, but as it appears, for some people to simply make themselves feel better…Pastor Kenny Luck calls it "spiritual nitpicking."

            It is important—nay, crucial—for Christ followers, as Hux says, "not (to) render a condemning judgment upon anyone (that alone is for God), but to render a discerning judgment upon all teachings. It is important for Christians to test all things by Scripture" as the Bereans did with Paul in Acts 17:11. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all eagerness, daily examining the Scriptures, to find out if these things were so" (MEV).”4


1  (Go to the 1:36:38 mark to listen to this caution)




Thursday, June 8, 2017

Islamic Terror & A Peaceful Response

            Recent terror attacks could motivate a supposition that Islam may be the greatest perpetrator of terror today.

Is Islam An Agent For Terror?

            Statistics do not lie. Consider a few terror statistics in the recent years: 1

            (1) As on date, 18 terror attacks by Islamic terrorists eliminated 350+ and 900+ were injured.

            (2) 1000+ dead and 2500+ injured via 47 terror attacks by Islamic terrorists in 2016.

            (3) 100+ Islamist terror attacks in the year 2015 (3000+ dead and 3000+ were injured).

            Global Terrorism Index 2016 observes that “The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Boko Haram and the Taliban were responsible for 55 per cent of all the deaths from terrorism in 2015.”2

            These statistics are adequate to conceive a case for further Islamist terror attacks this year. Significantly, Islam could be the supreme perpetrator of terror in today’s world.

            The verses from the Quran do not lie. The Quran seems to motivate terrorism. Consider a few relevant verses:3

            Quran 2: 191: “And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.”

            Quran 3: 85: “And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.”

            Quran 5:33: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment…”

            Quran 8: 12: “…I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.”

            Quran 9:5: “And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush…”

            Quran 47:4: “So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah - never will He waste their deeds.”

            Muslims do not lie. The entailment of the Quranic motivation for terrorism is the logical yet dastardly response by a segment of Muslims who refuse to cooperate with the authorities even if they were aware of an imminent terror attack, “TWO thirds of British Muslims would not inform the police if they thought that somebody close to them had become involved with terrorist sympathizers, according to a poll.”4

Are We An Agent For Terror Or Peace?

            These evidences demonstrate that Islam could be construed as the greatest perpetrator of terror today. But does this offer a non-Muslim a valid reason to accuse Islam and the Muslims?

            This content would be consumed by those active in expressing their opinions in the social media or to friends and family. Despite the evidence that indicts Islam as the greatest terror manufacturer of our day, how do we respond to this predicament?

            We could either promote terrorism or peace. Our response could either placate or intensify this situation. A Christian response should rightfully help heal the menace of terrorism.

            What are the options ahead of us?

            Accusing Islam or ridiculing Muslims could be the most natural response. When we accuse Islam or ridicule our Muslim brothers and sisters, we would definitely not appease this situation. Instead, we may amplify the gap to intensify the animosity between Muslims and non-Muslims. If we are to accuse and ridicule Islam and Muslims, a Muslim could dig in his heels deep into his faith.

            Accusing Islam cannot and will not help soothe this situation. Islam cannot change; the Quran will be what it is. The Quran cannot be rewritten to make it less violent or more peaceable. Religious texts cannot be modified. This is the fact of the matter.

            Accusing our fellow Muslims cannot heal the menace of terrorism. Our accusations would probably entail a greater non-cooperation between Muslims and the governing authorities, as is the case in Britain. Alternatively, our accusations could foster an active or a passive intensification of the jihadist movement within Islam or of its support.

            Any form of accusation is more likely to promote terrorism than not.

            How then can our responses to terror heal the menace of terrorism?

            Instead of posting accusatory posts on social media that are intended to accuse Islam and its adherents, we could post prayers or comforting posts that could heal the victims of terrorism.

            Islam, by its very nature, may motivate terrorism, but that there are millions of Muslims who hate these deeds of terror. We could express our love for these Muslim brothers and sisters through our responses.

            Any well meaning government would respond in a manner befitting the situation. Crackdown on terrorism would gain intensity and stringent measures would be employed that could increase the discomfort of ordinary citizens. We could bear with these efforts instead of complaining about the increased discomfort that strives to eliminate terrorism.

            Walk alongside the governing authorities, irrespective of our political affiliations or compulsions, to help heal the terror menace. Information to the authorities of any possible terror insinuations or affiliations that may appear in our domain is the need of the hour. Pray that God gives us the wisdom and discernment to identify a potential terror situation.        

            Please do not judge every Muslim as a terrorist. Let not the average Muslim be a recipient of our latent anger and resentment against the Islamic terrorists.

            Let not our Muslim friends arrive at a conclusion (based on our accusatory posts) that we do not intend to be their good friend. Just as God loves everyone, let not our love for our Muslim friends decrease, instead let it increase.  

            Last but not the least, pray for the terrorists. Pray that they may realize their foolishness, repent and change their ways.

            Pray for the victims of terror. Pray that they regain their normal life or at the very least adapt to their situation with least resistance.

            “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5: 9, NIV). “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3: 18, NIV). May we be the peacemakers our world so desperately needs.


1These statistics were gleaned from Wikipedia.


3these verses were obtained from


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Beef Ban & The Christian Response; How Then Shall We Think?

            Hurricane “beef-ban” has inundated the entire Indian subcontinent. If this ordinance attains fruition, consumption of beef would be scarce or virtually impossible in India.1 Social media is buzzing with frenzied voices arguing for and against the government ordinance to ban the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter.

            This ordinance, which has been announced on the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, could be tinted with religious overtones, for Muslims have traditionally been beef-eaters.2 Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was elected to govern India, the minority religious groups (Christians and Muslims) have been nervously anticipating curbs to their religious practices. This ordinance fuels the nervousness that similar complications are en route. (The 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque in the city of Ayodhya serves as a painful and a recent antecedent to this nervousness.)

            What’s a reasonable Christian response to this predicament? Here’s my one cent.

            This ordinance need not necessarily be a precursor to further complications endangering the religious practices of the minority religious groups. Hence, our response should be measured, let alone we overreact. From a strict Christian stance, we need not be bitter or angry about this predicament, for Christianity is not all about eating.

            Easier said than done! To not be bitter or angry, in an existential sense, is difficult for a Christian who loves to eat beef. Then there are those who can only afford to eat beef, for beef is generally inexpensive in comparison to seafood, red meat, pork or poultry. To eradicate beef from the lives of these Christians could be construed as an intensification of their poverty or invasion of privacy, to say the least.

            Every Christian is crucified in Christ, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2: 20a, NIV). Hence our response to anything in and of this world should primarily be predicated on our Christianity.

            The government need not be the only entity that eliminates certain pleasures of life. Bad health condition does rob us off our pleasures. Beef is not a recommended cuisine for those suffering from obesity, high cholesterol etc.

            So if a valid reason is all we need to avoid consuming beef, then just as we avoid beef while we suffer from, say, high cholesterol, we could avoid consuming beef, if it hurts the religious sentiments of our Hindu brothers and sisters. The Bible emphasizes this situation without a doubt, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.” (Romans 14: 19-21, NIV, Emphasis Mine).

            Moreover, the Bible mandates us to love our brothers and sisters; this includes our Hindu brothers and sisters. An entailment of our love for our Hindu brothers and sisters could be to sacrifice our consumption of beef.

            Consider the beef ban in the context of liberal or postmodern Christianity. My fellow Christian brothers and sisters, who are more liberal in their Christian attitude, go ballistic upon conservatives (such as myself) over the issue of homosexuality. My liberal Christian brothers and sisters argue to endorse homosexuality in Christianity, whereas I do not.

            Just as the liberal / postmodern Christian fragment argues passionately to exclude the legitimate hermeneutical thought process of the conservative Christians, why not exclude beef from their kitchen as well? The liberal Christian community loudly proclaims their love for the practicing gay Christians. In the same vein, why not exclude beef because of your love for your Hindu brothers and sisters?

            Well if you are a liberal Christian, you do not have any right whatsoever, to argue against the beef ban. Relativism includes everything. Relativism includes the religious sentiments of your Hindu brothers and sisters. So shut every possible vent and sit tight! Bury your disagreements within yourself. (If you are not a postmodern Christian, please pardon me for my aggression against postmodern Christians. Postmodernism is an insane concept. Those who have studied postmodernism and still subscribe to it deserve some harsh words that could possibly awaken them from their self induced intellectual coma.)

            Do think about this as well. Are you voicing your opinion against the beef-ban because of fear? Do you fear that the worse is yet to come, and hence you are against beef ban?

            Fear cannot rule a Christian’s life (Luke 12: 4 - 6). The Bible teaches that Christians are to expect persecution, ““Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5: 10-12, RSV, Emphasis Mine).

            Whenever we take issue with anyone over anything, let us do so knowing that our sovereign God is in total control. No harm would invade the Christian’s space unless God permits it. If God allows it, let us be certain of HIS sustaining presence.

            We are not fighting flesh and blood. We are fighting powers in the spiritual realm. The key to winning spiritual battles is to be clothed with the armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10 - 18). So let us respond to this beef ban while we immerse ourselves in Christ seeking God’s guidance and wisdom to respond appropriately.

            If God has chosen you and me for persecution, no force on earth can prevent persecution from materializing in our life. So let us continue to trust in God and not fear an impending persecution. God will sustain those who are persecuted. The incomparable power that raised Christ from death will sustain us during our moments of suffering.

            Consider those who are in utter poverty or unjustly imprisoned, with little or nothing to eat. Consider the refugees of war and those living in war prone areas of our world. Eating good food may not even be their prayer when their lives are at stake.

            In comparison, we are blessed. So let us employ our blessings to strive for the necessary aspects of our life than the fringe benefits such as eating beef. While expressing our opinions is necessary, let us not lose our peace over this [rather trivial] predicament.

            Peace is a rare commodity in our world. If we are to live in peace, we are to not indulge the forces that do not impact our faith in Christ. Tolerance and sacrifice are necessary to live in peace. As the Bible mandates let us not destroy the work of God for the sake of food (Romans 14: 20).