UI – Part 233b – Egypt-Nationalism–Secularism–Democracy–God’s Calling
Much of the Middle-East today shuns modernity; at least the leaders and scholars shun modernity, while the youth, the growing population under the age of 30 and adept at social media have come to see benefits from modernity. They like the music, the independence, the freedom, the clothing, and the opportunity to become more than who they are. The resistance lies in the leadership. The resistance wants to begin with the very young to alter this potential to accept modernity. The resistance wants to maintain order and discipline within the framework of Sharia, a mild or extreme form, regardless, that calls for the young to want for Allah above any material success. It wants the youth, their society and culture to crave for Allah and the dictates of the Quran, as interpreted by the select or chosen scholars, It sounds worthy, but it is limited. It is also not what God intended. Humans are charged with the responsibility for this planet and each other.
The General (Sisi) gave up his military stars to run for President, which the results from this week (wk of 5/26/2014) show he won. To appeal to the more fundamental Islamists he is expressing a want for Islam, the role it plays in dealing with the moral problems in Egypt. His intentions, however, do not call for a Theocracy. He has said Islam needs to adapt to today, acting in part as a reformer, but it is his own personal view of Islam that we may end up seeing in practice. So it seems he is a moderate than is not turning his back on the world today for the 7th Century world of Muhammad.
Humans – in Control of Earth
In the Bible, Genesis, God calls on humans to subdue the earth, “God blessed them (the humans) and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it… (Gen 1:28) This is a call for discovery, invention, scientific development, medical breakthroughs, and on-going enhancements to make the world a better place for everyone. God did not want the humans to be repressed. Certainly he wanted them to love God, as God loves unconditionally. God wanted the humans to love each other, regardless of faith. Love God, Love Neighbor, the greatest of commandments. God did not want humans to love material possessions above God, as a substitute for God, but he wanted them to prosper. He wanted humans to go about their everyday duties, responsibilities, and activities demonstrating their love of God and succeeding as a result. God did not intend humans to be constrained to manmade laws, except as to provide structure and safety to all people, for the common good. Secular laws to apply, as God’s Laws are inscribed on the heart of believers, as God’s laws are inherent in the believer as he leads his life for Isa (Christ), purposed by God to succeed and do what is right. God also saw a world that was under the control of all people, not just Christians or Muslims or other ideological sects.
There is good in national pride. There is good in a pluralistic society where the manner of divergent people creates a melting pot, a stew, that reflects all the world. Hearts can be changed not by the sword, but by the Word of God. God did not call for a Theocracy. God, you can argue, did not expect all people on the earth would be Saved. He made Salvation available for everyone through the sacrifice on the cross and the forgiveness of sin, but that calls for acceptance of this truth. Many are in denial and will remain in denial. Judgment Day suggests not all will enter His Kingdom.
Egypt, as is the case for all Countries, nations, cultures, societies, and ummah’s, need structure that provides safety and security for all people living within its boundaries. What develops within the areas defined creates history and patriotism. Each person should be able to lead the life they prefer, honor the God of their choosing, or no god, keeping in mind they must show respect for each other, even when they doubt or disagree. Disagreement can be healthy. It is not persecution as many Muslims contend. Express what you believe. Share what you believe. But do not enter the fray with a club or sword, gun or knife, and kill those who do not adhere to your Allah or God as you do. Killing to make your point known or to grow a following is not the pathway to a secure foundation of belief. Muhammad took such steps after he left Mecca, in Medina, having failed to persuade those in Mecca to follow him. Al Saud did the same on the Arabian Peninsula in the 1700’s, encouraging followers by extirpating those by the use of the sword, Muhammad his example, and following Abdul Wahhab’s interpretation of the Quran and Islamic history. Violence has become a component of the growth of Islam. This is the act of man, not as God ever intended. Morsi tried to do the same. The youth said NO, but will they succeed.
El Sisi has not spoken up on the subject of religious tolerance. There are Christians (the Coptic) and minority groups such as Shi’ites, Baha’is and even atheists living in this Country. Just how religious El Sisi becomes, the extent to which the Clerics provide a political umbrella to make his decisions more palatable, will require ongoing observation. His intolerance for the Muslim Brotherhood may say he is anti-violence, but then his actions towards the Brotherhood has been quite brutal. Also the Salafi’s support El Sisi, but as a group they are not moderate in the least.
El Sisi’s goals will be obtained using the Islamic practices and policies, along with potentially limited freedoms of speech and religion, necessary to garner support and a country that is calm and able to grow anew. Will it be secular? Possibly. Will it be a pattern of modern-day society – but not the West per se.
Modernity is Good
Modernity is good. It is the means to achieve a prosperous Economy. It is a call for tolerance. It is God making people aware he loves everyone, even those that do not love Him. Judgment Day awaits those who adopt and live by the dictates and desires of the created and not the creator. God has made everyone aware of how he will judge on that Day. The Bible tells us so. God has become the advocate for humans who accept the truth, Biblical Truth, and the sacrifice of Isa, the man-God who made it possible for humans to know God, and who also accepted the punishment we all deserve for our sins. He made known God will indwell in those who believe and accept God’s promise. Their lives will change accordingly, having been made right anew in God’s eyes. There are those who dream of Christ, of Isa, seeing the light God shines on those who believe, making them aware of his presence. They are being called to come out of the shadow of oppression, denial and false teaching and live a life for God. Jesus Christ has guaranteed their Salvation. Thanks Be to God.
No Country should assume they know God so well they can compel their people to live by God’s dictates as they so design and command. This is Theocracy. It is not Democracy. You choose in a Democracy. You choose your leader. You choose your God, even though there is but one. You can make the wrong choice too. And as a leader you can and should choose a structure of law that accommodates the needs of everyone, the desire by each and every person to live in safety, security, and be protected from the predators, human or inhuman, from the self-righteous, from the autocrats, and from those who rule in the name of Allah or God, but not as God intended. Societies even need to protect those who make wrong choices.
Know God – The Bible Makes it Possible
The Bible provides a moral and ethical basis for living. Your love of God and acceptance of his incarnation will have you live as God has purposed for you. You will do the right things. The Bible enables humans to know God and have a relationship with Him. He is your lover. He will always love you. Accept that love; return that love, and you will find freedom of heart, mind and soul. You will be Eternally grateful!
The Bible is consistent and tells the story from beginning to end.
The Quran is filled with gaps. It is not followed alone, requiring interpretation and Hadiths first published 200-250 years after Muhammad died to be explained. Too often the explanations avoid issues that would distress adherents that have never read the Scripture or other associated literature.
God allows for national pride, for protective boundaries, for secularism, for pluralism, and for success.
Bible, Know God, Democracy
We were created by Him to live in His Creation. He never intended it to stand still, choosing no time or specific Century in which it should continue. He knows though when it will end. The world is not Mecca, Jerusalem, the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia or Russia. It is all-encompassing and all-embracing. It need not be one community, as a World order of Governance. The community of believers that will survive for Eternity is not to be force-fed. That community will share in their faith in the True God, the biblical God, Isa, Christ, making possible the eternal future for those who believe. That community will be woven into and among the societies, the nations and the countries of the world. Where that is not possible, the people will suffer. Man is to suffering as God is to Glory. Those who deny Isa collectively will force their constituents to also deny the truth. We can only pray Isa will fill the dreams of those who He calls.
Many are being called in Egypt, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Iran, in Yemen, in Indonesia, in the Sudan, in South Africa, in Nigeria, in Tunisia, in Libya, in Morocco, in Mali, in Pakistan, in Bangladesh, in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. If you feel His presence, respond with an open and grateful heart. He may be calling upon El Sisi. This would be a prayer answered for Egypt. The free waters of the Arab Spring might flow to create a beacon in the Middle East of temperance, freedom, democracy, rules for the common good and a society where neighbors of different beliefs can life in safety.
Grace and Peace.