Friday, July 24, 2009

Spiritual Oppression

As I watch TV coverage from the Arab world, my heart breaks as I see women walking around in know the head to toe dress that keeps not only her face covered but her entire body covered. Like a drop cloth, it covers her. It is a metaphor for the all encompassing spiritual oppression of Islam. Looking from our viewpoint, we wonder why they don't just rebel, throw off the shackles and be free. But they don't....they won't....they can't. They don't even know they can because they have lived with oppression their entire lives. It is all they know. We can only see it because we have known freedom.

But how different is it for us? We are born into a spiritual paradigm of freedom in Christ or the oppression of a religious system that pretends like they have freedom in Christ. How would those born into oppression know anything else? How could they know when it is all they have ever known? The thing about oppression is...those in power say oppression is best...that any other way is wrong or sinful. They say that rules, laws and suffocating decrees are the best way to live, to know you are living "right." In wanting to maintain oppression, they tell their followers to reject and actively fight against freedom.....fight against Christ, grace and the Spirit.

As I think about it, there can be spiritual oppression in Christ. If we take away love, joy, peace and kindness, we are left with an idealistic set of rules that must be grace, no mercy. It just becomes another set Pharisaical laws to follow with a Christian Taliban to enforce them. Ugh. The Christian Taliban see to it that anyone who believes differently than they do is banned, excommunicated, and tried for heresy with themselves as judge and jury. Ever seen it happen?

We need to pray for freedom. For ourselves, for other brothers and sisters in Christ, for the Arab world. Freedom in Christ is the only way out....Democracy won't help and neither will war. Christ is it. Pray for it. Only God can make it happen.

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