Evangelical Blindness on Lebanon

Please go and read this article Another Point of View: Evangelical Blindness on Lebanon – Christianity Today Magazine. Although I do not know Martin Accad (actually I think I may have briefly met him once when I was in Beruit the second time) I do know his Father, Rev Lucien Accad.

I was with the United Bible Societies for nearly 10 years and met and worked with Lucien many times. As was typical in Bible Society work he was always friendly, interested, supportive and enthusiastic despite the huge difference in our positions.

I can remember meetings in Cyprus when Lucien and others from Lebanon had terrible journeys from Beruit during the war – under fire for hours while sheltering at the side of the road, being taken out to the ferry in small boats because it was too dangerous for the ferry to enter the port.

Lucien and the rest of the team kept the Bible Society in Lebanon going throughout the war, distributing scriptures all over the country.

All of that is by way of saying that we should be listening carefully to people like Martin Accad, they have a long history of Christian commitment in Lebanon, they know the situation in ways that we never will. His writing may be very challenging but it is vital that we hear voices like this.

I am angry at self-centered Hezbollah, which has done the inadmissible
of taking a unilateral war decision without consulting the Lebanese
government of which it is part, never giving a second thought to the
hundreds (perhaps thousands) of Lebanese who will perish as a result of
its selfish decision. I am angry that citizens of a nation like Israel,
who have so suffered at the hands of others, would allow themselves
such an out-of-proportion reaction, oh-so-far from the "eye-for-an-eye
and tooth-for-a-tooth" principle that we might have forgiven them. I am
just as angry at—I have lost hope in—the international community that
is keeping silent and not even budging with an official condemnation of
this senseless instinct of extermination. By both sides, I would be
lynched for what I have just said, if they had the chance. But what
have I got to lose anymore?

Again if you have not read the full article then please do so: Another Point of View: Evangelical Blindness on Lebanon – Christianity Today Magazine.

There is a follow-up article by Martin Accad: ‘Who Is My Neighbor’ in the Lebanon-Israel Conflict – Christianity Today Magazine this in part is in response to We Risk Not Just Suffering, But Annihilation – Christianity Today Magazine by Dr. David Gushee both show grace to each other.

Yet despite that grace there is a lot we need to hear about Hezbollah and challenges to our response:

Are we, as Christians everywhere, willing to do the unthinkable and
lean over those whom our conventional leaders are calling "our
enemies"? Could it be that the Gospel actually calls us to put down our
guns and take up instead a passion for justice and care for human life?

Thanks to Pam, Turbulent Cleric and Richard for their insights on this issue (and particularly to Pam for the link to Martin’s articles).

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