Eritrean Christians should involve in Eritrean politics

When a government in ancient Persia decided to put an end to a religion it deemed hostile to the nation (Book of Esther), Mordecai went into great mourning. Mordecai believes in God and it was this faith that fueled the campaign against him and his fellow Jews in the first place. He had refused to bow down to a government official citing religion as his reason.

Mordecai didn’t find his faith in an able God conflicting with the idea of involving in a political solution. On the contrary, his faith gave him the confidence and the courage to make a dangerous political move. He messages his cousin Esther (who happens to be a Queen) and asks her to go before the King and plead for her people. He encourages the Queen who is about to risk her life by approaching the King without first being called, “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish.” He continues, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?1.

In many ways, the Eritrean Church is in a similar place. Its government is out to eradicate the religions they deem hostile to their rule. Eritrean churches and individual Christians, particularly those in the diaspora, are in a situation very similar to that of Queen Esther. Mordecai’s message is relevant today: For Eritrean Christians to remain completely silent at a time like this is unacceptable! …Yet who knows whether you have come to such a position for such a time as this?

The complete silence of Eritrean Churches to officially acknowledge the oppression in Eritrea, and their reluctance to encourage the faithful to involve in political solutions is strange. I have shared my views on this topic in an earlier article:

Mute and without opinion: The Eritrean Churchs

The church must be the guide and the critic of the State and never its tool.” writes Dr Martin Luther King Jr, outraged by the silence of many American churches on the racial injustice of his time. The church, or any religious institution for that matter, should not hope to earn favours or avert scorn from government by such means as self-censoring on issues that the government labels “politics”. Especially not when the issues are well within the domain of the church’s teachings. Dr King continues and warns that unless the church recaptures its position in society as a guide and critic of the state “…it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” [Open the full article]

Ethiopian-Mezmur.jpg

What of the Ethiopian Church

Ethiopian evangelical church worship

There is a peculiar lack of voice from Ethiopian Churches  about their brothers and sisters of Eritrea. The suffering of Eritrean Christians has yet to inspire gospel songs or sermons in any major conference.

So far I haven’t heard of any Ethiopian pastor or gospel singer talk about the persecution of Eritrean Churches. I am not aware of any special service done by the Ethiopians addressing issues of Eritrean Christians. This is not good. I am very fond of Ethiopian spiritual songs and sermons, they show great care and concern for their society. Why the silence on Eritrea?

P.S.: This blog is about silence of the Church in speaking publicly and NOT about silence towards God. One is not necessarily an indicator of the other.
I have written about the strange silence of Eritrean Churches on their own affairs (my articles “Mute and without opinion” and “Eritrean evangelical Christians are criminals” are some examples).

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Updated July 24

“Where is your brother?” -God

Cain answered,  “I don’t know…Am I my brother’s keeper? (Genesis 4:9).

A translation of the full Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops of Eritrea is found here.
መልእኽቲ ካቶሊካውያን ጳጳሳት ኤርትራ ንምንባብ ኣብዚ ጠውቕ
ንባብ መልእኽቲ ንምስማዕ ድማ ኣብዚ ጠውቕ

Message-Tig

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God Desires Good Government

{Excerpt from article by Derek Prince}

In his First Epistle to Timothy, Paul instructs Timothy in the proper order and administration of the local church, which he calls “God’s house” (See 1 Timothy 3:14-15). In chapter two he gives directions for the church’s ministry of prayer:

1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2for kings, and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:1-4)

“First of all,” Paul calls for “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks….” If we were to choose one term to cover all four activities, it would be prayer. The first duty of Christians meeting in fellowship is prayer. It is also their primary outreach.

In verse two Paul says that prayer is to be offered “for all men.” This agrees with the prophecy of Isaiah 56:7 where God says, “…Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” God is concerned with all men and all people,” and He expects His people to share His concern.

After “all men,” the first specific topic for prayer is “kings, and all that are in authority.” This may be summed up in the single word, the government. When praying for the government, what specific petition are we exhorted to make? Paul’s answer is: “…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Does the kind of government we live under affect the way we live? Obviously it does. Therefore, if we desire a good way of life, logic and self-interest alike indicate that we should pray for our government.

Continuing in 1 Timothy 2, Paul says in verse three, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour….” The pronoun this refers back to the topic of verse 2, which we have summarized as “good government.” If we replace the pronoun this by the phrase to which it refers, we arrive at the following statement: “Good government is good and acceptable in the sight of God.” More simply still, “Good government is the will of God.”

Here is a statement with the most far-reaching consequences. Do we really believe it? To judge by the words and actions of many Christians, they have little or no expectations of good government. They are more or less resigned to the fact that the government will be inefficient, wasteful, arbitrary, corrupt, unjust. For my part I have studied this question long and carefully in the light of logic and of Scripture, and I have come to a deep conviction concerning God’s will in this area: The will of God is good government.

Why God Desires Good Government

Moving on to verse four, we find that Paul states the reason why good government is the will of God: God desires “…all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” God desires the salvation of all men so intensely that He made it possible by the supreme sacrifice of history, the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Through faith in Christ’s atonement, salvation has been made available to all men. However, for men “to be saved,” they must first “come to the knowledge of the truth” concerning Christ’s atonement. This is possible only if they have the Gospel preached to them.

Paul presents this issue very plainly in Romans 10:13-14: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Unless the Gospel is preached to them, men cannot avail themselves of the salvation purchased for them by Christ’s atonement.

We may sum up the logic of this very simply. God desires “all men to be saved.” For this it is necessary for them to “come to the knowledge of the truth.” “Knowledge of the truth” comes only through the preaching of the Gospel. Therefore God desires the Gospel to be preached to all men.

What kind of government makes it easier to preach the Gospel? Good government or bad government? To obtain an answer to this question, we may briefly contrast the effects of good and bad government, in so far as they relate to the preaching of the Gospel.

On the one hand, good government maintains law and order, it keeps communications open, it preserves civil liberty, it protects freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Good government, without becoming involved in religious controversy, provides a climate in which the Gospel can be preached effectively.

On the other hand, bad government allows the breakdown of law and order, permits unsafe travel conditions and poor communications, and imposes unjust and arbitrary restrictions. In all these ways, although in varying degrees, bad government hinders the effective preaching of the truth. At its worst, bad government either restricts or totally suppresses the universal right of all men to believe in God and to express their faith by public worship and proclamation. In one degree or another, we see these conditions in countries today.

Our conclusion therefore is that good government facilitates the preaching of the gospel, while bad government hinders it. For this reason, good government is the will of God.

Read full article at Herald of His Coming web page–Praying for our government.