Watching today’s news, one would think that we live in “The Impeachment Zone” which would be similar with that famous old TV show, “The Twilight Zone” with Rod Serling scaring the daylights out of us, hoping that we would never enter. As we view the television, read the websites and listen to the radio, we think, thanks to the mainstream media, that we do live in “The Impeachment Zone”. My hope is that we can extricate ourselves out of that zone and enter the zone of the real world.
The real world is roiling and boiling. I just returned from five days in Hong Kong, spending over three days in the middle of Hong Kong Polytechnic University with thousands of Hong Kong students and young people. We experienced the strong arm of the People’s Republic of China disguised as Hong Kong riot police: rubber bullets, water cannons with two types of peppered water and tear gas. I wasn’t thinking about the impeachment of Trump; rather I was thinking about freedom, democracy, liberty and human rights before Hong Kong is taken over in 2047 by the draconian, religious freedom hating leaders of the PRC.
Iran is yearning and crying out for freedom and people are getting killed on the streets of Tehran. Yes, the public reason is ‘rising fuel costs’ but those of you who follow international geo-political events and the honest yearning for freedom and human rights know Iran protests are not about fuel costs: rather, Iran has been under the misogynistic, sadistic boot-heel of Shiite mullahs, muftis, Mahdi’s, imams and ayatollahs….and Iranians are crying out for freedom. What Iranian citizen in their right mind would not want the same freedom we Americans enjoy in the USA? Our Iranian sisters and brothers cry out for liberty. Do you think any Iranian citizen who is a freedom lover is thinking about Trump’s impeachment? No, they are thinking about having an American form of government and freedom in Iran or they are thinking, “How can I escape and get to a freedom-loving nation like America?”
Iraq is under siege from multiple fronts-hundreds killed by the government in the last several days. I’ve been to Iraq twenty times in the past five years since the Islamic State invasion into the Sinjar/Shingal Province in Western Iraq where thousands of Yazidi boys post-puberty (ISIS scoured armpits for any remnant of hair: no hair, young boys were taken to be trained as ISIS murderers; hair? you’re dead) and men were murdered, shot through the head and buried in massive shallow graces that are just now being unearthed. And, tragically, let us not forget the 6,000-plus young Yazidi girls/females/women/teenagers who were taken captive by the maniacal dogs of the so-called Muslim Islamic State and Caliph Bakr al-Baghdadi, raped and sexually violated thousands of times.
I have sat with dozens of these young girls, as young as eight years old, and heard their heart-breakings, soul-numbing stories of every indignity known and unknown to humankind. Christians beheaded and shot through the head just for loving Jesus? And let us not (not!) be distracted by the daily consumption of the impeachment process. As my Jewish rabbi colleagues and friends remind me, it’s all about Tikkun Olam-“repairing the world.” Forget impeachment; let’s be busy with repairing that part of the world God has given to you.
And, did you hear about Sudan, Lebanon, Bolivia and Venezuela? All involved in societal and political upheaval and revolutions-some successful; some not so successful; some still in progress. And then there is Yemen, Cuba, Colombia, Syria and fill in the blank. Where is your blank? We could leave all this global mess into the hands of government bureaucrats and politicians? But, wait, are they not the ones who are creating the foment, the tragedies, the murders, the confabulations?
To me, a CEO of a non-governmental organization that goes to the war zones of the world, I do not leave these cataclysmic, catastrophic situations to a government, a bureaucrat or a politician. I have been in and out of Washington since 1982 and not much, honestly, gets done there-nor in many other country capitals. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not a politician nor a bureaucrat-but he got the job done. Most successful measures of “Tikkun Olam” (repairing the world-did you forget already?) are completed and or started by governmental outsiders. Most meet derision, hatred and abuse; many are murdered and crushed. But none of that should deter us from doing good around the world.
The question remains: what will I do? What will I accomplish to make the world, not just my world, a better place for all human beings, male, female, young, old, disabled, faith-based, no faith; many colors; one blood. Yes, we do all bleed red-all six billion of us. I know what God has called me to do; but, for you reading this, what will you do? If not you, then who? And, if not now, then when?
Pastor Bill Devlin was born and raised in Schenectady, NY. He enlisted in the Navy in 1970. He was wounded by enemy fire off the coast of North Vietnam and is a recipient of the Purple Heart. He graduated with a nursing degree from Florida Atlantic University and a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He is the Missions Pastor of Infinity Bible Church and travels the globe bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to hard and dangerous places like Gaza, Iraq, Sudan, Syria and Cuba. The rest of his time is spent in Philadelphia with his wife of 35 years, Nancy. They have five children and five grandchildren. He is president of REDEEM and co-chair of Right to Worship NYC.
Pastor William Devlin is the Missions Pastor of Infinity Bible Church, CEO of REDEEM 501(c)3, and co-chair of Right to Worship NYC.
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