Free Saeed

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72 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    Indeed, on going prayers, yesterday, today and each day for Saeed’s safety & release.

    The ISIS situation is shockingly evil. To me, who tends to frame everything in all the years of End Times Bible studies I’ve been in, it all seems very End Times like, as if the Abyss has opened to release Revelations-like evil forces.

    “When the Son of man returns, will He find faith on the earth?”

    Is martyrdom the fate of all believers of this generation? My pessimistic gut says ‘you haven’t seen anything yet’….

    My hope is in God, however life on this planet looks…

  2. “The Bible says to “love your enemy”…even the enemy who would slaughter you.”

    Not in the Old Testament it doesn’t, not in Revelation it doesn’t (Jesus comes with a sword and slaughters the enemy until the blood is bridle high) and not in eternity according to the traditional interpretation…God tortures his “enemies” in hell for eternity.

    Not trying to pick a fight, but when you make a statement like that…knowing the rest of the bible…it doesn’t come off as intellectually honest.

  3. Michael says:

    Jesus commands us to love our enemies…as He loved us when we were objects of wrath.
    He also promises justice at the end of all things…but the execution of external justice belongs to God alone.

  4. Neo says:

    I mean, the Canaanites must have been just as terrifies as Foley.

  5. Saul hacked the unarmed King Agag to pieces with a sword in the OT and it was called “righteous”.

    The OT is as ISIS as ISIS is.

  6. it might be helpful to review the reasons Iran has him in Prison. I’m a bit confused and clueless. help me out here?
    -mike

  7. Mike,
    “On January 27, 2013, Judge Pir-Abassi sentenced Abedini to eight years in prison. According to Fox News, Abedini was sentenced for having “undermined the Iranian government by creating a network of Christian house churches and … attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam.” The evidence against Abedini was based primarily on his activities in the early 2000s. Abedini was meant to serve his time in Evin Prison. The U.S. State Department condemned the sentence: “We condemn Iran’s continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini’s human rights and release him.””

    Wikipedia

  8. Alex,
    This is why it’s most helpful to center on Jesus, in the Gospels. Jesus is the game-changer, which is why many find him upsetting when He doesn’t support their hairbrained ideas about war & killing in the name of God.

    “The group “speaks for no religion,” the President declared. “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, or what they do every single day.”
    -President Obama

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/obama-expected-address-james-foley-footage-martha-vineyard-article-1.1910255#ixzz3Aypa6T8g

  9. so he was imprisoned for the ‘evangelical activities’ that he signed an agreement not to do anymore as a condition of his previous release…

    I get that he followed what he felt as the leading of the Lord to go back anyway, but should he now be trying to beg out of the consequences of giving his life for the gospel?

    if he didn’t really ‘count’ this cost before going over there… if he really didn’t want accept the possible ‘cost’ of leaving his children fatherless or his wife a widow for the sake of the gospel, why did he go in the first place?

    doesn’t paul tell us to endure hardness and be ‘willing’ to suffer the loss of all things, including our lives for the sake of the gospel when God calls?

    or am I the only one seeing the disconnect?

    -mike

  10. passin through says:

    He wasn’t a missionary or anything. He was a photojournalist.

    He was single.

  11. are you talking about the same pastor saaed?

  12. Xenia says:

    Mike was talking about Pastor Saeed, not the journalist Foley.

  13. Michael says:

    Are you suggesting that we should passively accept his martyrdom?
    What’s your point?

  14. I think Saeed knew the risks. That doesn’t mitigate a thing.

    The barbarism that these unevolved cultures practice was rightly called out by our President.

    What baffles me is why we don’t hear “the average Muslim”, our friends & neighbors, also loudly denounce the barbarism, unless it can be demonstrated that their religion supports it, like those within our religion who cite proof texts to justify gun ownership, capital punishment and other things which don’t line up with Jesus’ life, practice & teaching.

  15. brian says:

    China and Russia have to understand that folks like ISIS and other crazies need to be checked in this world of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and China and Russia are just as vulnerable as we are. One difference is if they tried to take on Putin they would regret it with a passion. He is x kgb and he could and would match them brutal act to brutal act. I dont consider that a viable response but sometimes. Also China carries alot of weight with some of these groups. The one real problem is ISIS is armed with our weapons and they can buy more, from us, with our money they stole. Our foreign policy is stupid.

  16. Are you suggesting that we should passively accept his martyrdom?
    What’s your point?
    ————-
    that’s a great question and something we should have all been asking a long time along.

    my answer would be yes and no.

    no… because we should always be praying that God would move and work for his release just like peter was released in acts 12 and paul was released on acts 16… or some obviously God-originated way (or just by God moving on the hearts of the judges or officials)
    but the human-rights/earthly-human manipulations of government officials and petitions are ultimately not going to do it nor will they fully give God credit for the release should it happen (Obama just will not go to bat for Christians. just not going to happen)

    ultimately…yes… because the Bible TELLS us to do so…
    -mike

    ye

  17. brian says:

    ““The group “speaks for no religion,” the President declared. “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, or what they do every single day.”
    -President Obama”

    Um never mind.

  18. Pray, yes.
    Diplomacy, yes.
    Military action?
    Oh hell no!

  19. Jim says:

    We should apologize for meddling in the region since 1945, and get out forever. We helped Saddam gas the Kurds, and now we’re helping the Kurds fight ISIS, who we helped arm. It’s a never ending cycle that we must have the resolve to end.

  20. Perhaps we should have been nicer at Abu Ghraib

  21. brian said, “Our foreign policy is stupid.”

    Truer words have never been spoken…we are run by a bunch of idiots. We make mistake after mistake and we make things worse, not better.

  22. Steve Wright says:

    I’ll try once. Under the assumption that some readers are not familiar with the facts.

    1) Saeed was in the country, legally, with Iran’s permission and visa.

    2) Saeed had not committed any crime when he was arrested, even under the draconian Iranian legal system. Even the wiki summary notes that (while leaving out far too much)

    3) Our government has been and continues to negotiate in good faith with the leaders of Iran on nuclear issues, despite their duplicity with Saeed, apparently taking Iran at their word while not forcing the issue of Saeed’s release as a condition to the negotiations.

    4) Saeed’s life has been at risk, his health is poor, and yet this American citizen remains mostly ignored by his (and our) country’s leaders (with a couple notable exceptions)

  23. brian says:

    Pastor Write that is good, I understand this is stupid and God most likely wont allow it but I would love to see this pastor come home. So much blood has been spilled, maybe God could allow it.

  24. SJ says:

    Word is that in both prisons he has lead many to salvation. How about that!

  25. steve,

    I understand your response but its simply not true.

    he left the country with his family in 2005 because Iran had charged him with spreading Christianity in a network of house churches against the Iranian Islamic law (we wouldn’t see that as against the law but apparently they did). The had him in jail then but agreed to release him ONLY in exchange for agreeing to leave the country and not do those activities in the country again.

    well, between 2009 and july 2012 when he was again scooped up doing what he promised not to do, he was on his 8th trip. I agree he should have been doing it anyway if that was what the Lord told him to do (or could it have been CC Boise egging him on with heroic talk) but he knowingly and willingly went back to do what he knew they would put him in prison for and might even lose his life doing (and by consequence lose his children a father and his wife a husband)

    yes he was in the country legally, no he is not ‘crimeless’ under Islamic Law in Iran.

    I don’t want him to die either or be in prison, but he accepted ‘The Call’ and the risks. short of the Lord springing him free, he should be willing to accept the consequences as a good soldier in Christ Jesus.
    -mike

  26. Mark says:

    Do we as a nation have a right to defend ourselves? Is it a divine right or a manmade right? If US citizens are being murdered- the murderers should be brought to justice. Jesus says we should love our enemies. He also says we should submit to the govt authorities. If the govt were to respond in kind by bombing the Islamo fascists into obliteration – should the Christian object?

  27. mike says:

    The epistle of James say the wrath of man works not the righteousness of god.
    In addition. Jesus said to turn the other cheek.
    If wee are going to be New testament Christians rather than old covenant Jews under all the other requirements that entails… we should be consistent in our practice (or begin questioning the interpretation… or even the words themselves)
    -mike

  28. ( |o )====::: says:

    “Jesus says we should love our enemies. He also says we should submit to the govt authorities.”

    You got the first part right, Jesus, Who we recognize as God, said that.

    You got the second part not right, if you’re attributing quotes & concepts, as Jesus never said that, it was Paul, a mere mortal human, who was trying to coach his contemporaries, albeit seeing through a glass darkly.

    So, no, it absolutely doesn’t follow that a follower of Jesus should support bombing others.

  29. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s…

  30. Mark says:

    Is not all of the Bible God Breathed? Thus, is not Paul providing counsel from God? I guess we have to ask if there is such a thing as a just war? If we were attacked, for instance, are we to “turn the otehr cheek” and let ourselves be killed? Is that God’s command to the Christian? Not saying I have the answer. Good topic for a thread, perhaps.

  31. ( |o )====::: says:

    “Is not all of the Bible God Breathed? Thus, is not Paul providing counsel from God?”

    Those are assumptions fundamentalists & evangelicals hold. I hold the view that there is value, in context. Paul is not the infinite personal God Who fulfilled prophecy, made claims of equality to God, claims of transcendence, claims of authority & power to answer prayer, and raise himself from the dead. Paul was a brother and for me that’s where it stops. Jesus was, is and remains God, and God never told His people do much more than go ahead and pay their taxes because Caeser’s image was on their currency. Jesus placed the highest value on love, reconciliation and if need be sacrifice to show we are children of “our Father”, His Father.

  32. Do you accept that Jesus of Revelation is the same as the Jesus of the Gospels?

  33. G,
    Are the words of Matthew somehow more valid than the words of Paul? Everything you think you know about Jesus didn’t come from Jesus at all – just the story telling of men like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John saying what they think Jesus said..

  34. ( |o )====::: says:

    “Do you accept that Jesus of Revelation is the same as the Jesus of the Gospels?

    I used to, now, having studied history and how we arrived at “the canon”, I’m less inclined to think that.

    Glad to see you back

  35. ( |o )===•::: says:

    “Are the words of Matthew somehow more valid than the words of Paul?

    For me, the accounts contained in the 4 gospels are authoritative, the words of Paul are valuable on the level of any other brother and sister in our faith in Jesus, from those Gospels.

  36. papiaslogia says:

    G – Do you agree that society needs police officers?

  37. G,
    “For me, the accounts contained in the 4 gospels are authoritative,”

    Aren’t the gospel writers, as you said of Paul, ” a mere mortal human, who was trying to coach his contemporaries, albeit seeing through a glass darkly.”

    Tell us why you think that the gospel writers were more in tune.

  38. I don’t want to get into the same old fray, but it does seem quite a leap. Why would the Gospels not have the same canon issues as the other books?

    Will not argue. Just want to understand.

  39. papi,
    Limited police, certainly not the militarized goons we see pepper spraying peaceful protesters.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/11/20/article-2063706-0EDE282A00000578-562_634x412.jpg

    “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
    -V

    Josh,
    It works for me, it’s definitely not worth arguing over. I can and do coexist with those who see things differently

    MLD,
    Not interested in “blog drama”. You and I coexist because we have agreed to stop interacting. Let’s just keep the peace.

  40. papi,
    To be “a good citizen” of Iran I would have to become a Muslim and obey all of the state laws. Though Persia has a rich heritage and awesome people the current government is completely incompatible with my world view so i am not nor ever would wish to be a citizen of that regime. If i found myself to be suddenly, without choice of my own, forced to live in that state, I would preach the views i have wordlessly, seeking to live by example, watching my back lest my honest beliefs caused my family horror & hardship.

    Pastor Saeed made a choice I would have never made, compelled by beliefs we do not share, and he is paying a price no civilized culture should demand of it’s citizens.

    The issue for me is a world view that is still evolving, that is stuck in a loop of barbarism

  41. papiaslogia says:

    G – Agreed that we need the police.

    That being said, If you accept the legitimacy of police using force in some instances, there can be no objection to the military using force in some instances, correct?

    My point is that we believers shouldn’t necessarily desire to see ISIS’s heads on platters(for example), but we need to defend those who cannot defend themselves who would do them evil.

  42. Steve Wright says:

    To be “a good citizen” of Iran I would have to become a Muslim
    —————————————-
    That is completely incorrect, and given it comes in a post that includes comments about Saeed’s imprisonment, should not stand without reply.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Iran

  43. “If you accept the legitimacy of police using force in some instances, there can be no objection to the military using force in some instances, correct?”

    Incorrect, for me, in my world view and as I understand Jesus.
    Military force is not an option for me, my family or anyone I can hope to influence.

  44. papiaslogia says:

    “To be “a good citizen” of Iran I would have to become a Muslim and obey all of the state laws.”

    Technically no.

    “The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran mandates that the official religion of Iran is Shia Islam and the Twelver Ja’fari school, though it also mandates that other Islamic schools are to be accorded full respect, and their followers are free to act in accordance with their own jurisprudence in performing their religious rites and recognizes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians as religious minorities. ..

    Citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran are officially divided into four categories: Muslims, Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians.” –

    Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Iran

  45. sorry, mr. Wright, please enlighten us

    I still insist that if I live in a culture that is overwhelmingly militant against my beliefs then I either leave or be willing to pay the ultimate price of living my life.

    my bottom line, I hope the diplomacy works and Saeed is freed

  46. papi,
    I’m a pragmatist. “Technically no” doesn’t work for me anymore than living in a ghetto for my own protection would work for me. It’s about the politics, just as it is anywhere else, which is why I choose to freely associate with those who respect my beliefs, no matter how (un)orthodox.

  47. “Incorrect, for me, in my world view and as I understand Jesus.
    Military force is not an option for me, my family or anyone I can hope to influence.”

    I wonder how WW2 Jews in concentration camps would react to that Jesus worldview?

    (Not addressing G – just tossing it out – When we get back to the Anabaptist they have the same ‘let ’em rot worldview)

  48. papiaslogia says:

    G – I’m puzzled by your comments about Saeed.

    I certainly hope that you are not blaming Saeed for being imprisoned, or that you believe “he had it coming to him”.

    On the subject of military force, what else can counter a force of evil except a greater force of good?

    Are you saying that if someone broke into your house and threatened your or a loved one’s life, you would do nothing to defend yourself?

  49. Steve Wright says:

    sorry, mr. Wright, please enlighten us
    —————————————–
    Is that snark the proper “Jesus response” ?

    I already posted the link to further your education, and most any of us here would have said “Whoops, I was in error. Thanks for the correction”

    You can insist and have opinions all you want, but when you are wrong on the facts, objectively, then you are wrong on the facts.

    Maybe you can take it up with his wife who has tirelessly made this known so that fewer and fewer Americans speak out of ignorance as you did here.

    And Saaed is willing, obviously, to pay whatever price comes his way. How is that relevant. Who has argued otherwise?

    But these sorts of discussions are akin to the insensitive Christian who says to one who just lost their spouse to cancer “Why are you so troubled. They are in a better place with Jesus now”

    Many of us want to see a brother returned to his wife and children, and not hear the Jesus jukes from the ignorants

    If you want to puff up your unbelief about the Bible by prefacing a diss on Paul by pretending only fundamentalists and evangelicals believe his words are from God (#32) when of course Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Lutherans and everyone else do as well…..or if you want to preface your unbelief about Jesus in the Revelation by saying “you studied history” (#35) (as if nobody else has…knowing that one could study an atheist or Muslim’s opinion on the Bible and it would be meaningless)…then that is fine. Nothing new to see.

    But maybe before posting words that the friends and family of Saeed can all read if they visit, in a thread calling for his freedom, you would feel at least a twinge of obligation to actually know what you are talking about.

  50. mr wright, let’s agree on something, we don’t like each other.

    how about you and I coexist, like me and MLD?

  51. mr wright, I’m entitled to my views and opinions, just as you are, and those who read can make up their minds for themselves, regardless of if there is a family member or anyone else.

    I’m sincerely hoping & praying that Saeed is freed immediately, that all diplomacy works, that no one is killed or hurt. My views on Jesus, Paul, The Revelation, though not your own are views others have and discuss.

    Getting back to what was going on, I was actually having a nice conversation with Papi & Josh and this arose from comments Mike had made and a quick exchange of views with Mark.

    I’m having a conversation with them.

  52. papi,
    I’m definitely NOT saying “he had it coming to him”.

    I’m saying that a man or woman weighs the risks of their passion for a cause, then decides if it’s worth it, like Dr. King did, like Nelson Mandala did, like Saeed did.

  53. mike says:

    I’m not saying he had it coming to him either…. but….

    I am saying it’s his fault (or is it God’s fault for ‘sending’ him there and not protecting him/’blinding the eyes of the authorities’ to his presence? )

    What say you deterministic Calvin followers who believe God is sovereign over all things, even the actions of sinful wicked men?

    Michael, you really can’t have it both ways and be consistent. Insert wink.
    -mike

  54. papiaslogia says:

    Mike – name calling won’t make you many friends here or in the real world. Something to consider.

    I believe that God is sovereign over all things. You betcha. How could someone claim to be a Christian and not believe in the Sovereignty of God?

    ““Learn then this basic truth, that the Creator is absolute Sovereign, executing His own will, performing His own pleasure, and considering naught but His own glory. “The Lord hath made all things FOR HIMSELF. (Prov 16:4). And had He not a perfect right to do so? Since God is God, who dare challenge His prerogative? To murmur against Him is rank rebellion. To question His ways is to impugn His wisdom. To criticize Him is sin of the deepest dye. Have we forgotten who He is?” “Because God governs inanimate matter… when we complain about the weather, we are, in reality, murmuring against God”

    – AW Pink – The Soveriegnty of God

  55. ( |o )====::: says:

    Mike,
    “…you deterministic Calvin followers…”

    Not all who post here are such.

    I tend to think that God self limits, so that we humans have a huge part in outcomes.

    …yes, another heretical idea, but why not start a Friday off with a smile ?

  56. mike says:

    G.

    Classic. Thanks brother
    -mike

  57. mike says:

    I agree with you g man
    -mike

  58. Mike,
    Careful, guilt by association 😉

    have a great day

  59. Jim says:

    Note the lack of deterministic Calvin followers coming to the rescue of our belief system.

    Believe what you want, bro…

  60. PP Vet says:

    SteveW, I have come to trust the accuracy and spirit of your comments. Would you be able to patiently address the differences between your comment #23 and M&B’s comment #26?

    It creates the impression that your #23 might be at best somewhat misleading.

    Thx

  61. Michael says:

    Consistency is very important to rationalists, not so much to theologians.
    Calvinism (and the Bible) teach that God is completely sovereign and man is completely responsible.
    As a Calvinist and a biblicist I affirm both.
    You are all free to disagree.
    It’s not a matter of great concern to me…

  62. Steve Wright says:

    PP Vet – if M&B is correct, then Saeed’s wife is a flat-out liar – and lied to me for over 40 minutes as she explained the details (including the details of the past arrest and release)

    So you can guess who I will choose to believe.

  63. Steve Wright says:

    (From Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh – written almost one year ago – and matching everything she said publicly when I heard and met her several months ago.)

    President Rouhani, you seem to have embarked on a mission to rebuild the global perception of your country. One way to achieve that is for the Islamic Republic to honor its agreements with other countries—and to honor the promises it makes to individuals. A promise made to my husband by Iranian officials was broken last year.

    Saeed holds dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship. For the past few years, he and I have been building an orphanage in Iran, construction that was approved by the government. In 2009, Saeed was assured by the Iranian intelligence ministry that he could come and go freely in the country, and that he would not be prosecuted for his earlier leadership in Christian churches. The intelligence officials stipulated that Saeed had to stop serving as a pastor for a network of Christian churches in Iran.

    My husband agreed to the terms and was encouraged by Iran to focus his energy on humanitarian efforts, such as the orphanage. But on Sept. 26, 2012—one year ago—he was arrested, thrown in prison, and later convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison for crimes against the national security of Iran.

    What had he done to threaten the government? According to the court, his leadership in Christian churches from 2000 to 2005 was a threat to the security of Iran. Saeed had upheld his promise not to act as a pastor and was instead simply completing work on the orphanage when he was taken into custody.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324492604579083612116720406?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424127887324492604579083612116720406.html

  64. Michael says:

    Thanks, Steve.
    The is an odd and discouraging thread.

  65. ( |o )====::: says:

    No good deed gies unpunished!

  66. Jimothan says:

    Okay, I stand corrected. I had no idea Saeed has dual citizenship, and I had no idea of his agreement with Iran upon his reentry. I apologize to Saeed. In passing, let me note that my ignorance is due to my personal lack of any credible attempt to discover the facts. I guess it’s a good thing you didn’t let my post go public. Have a good day.

  67. Jimothan says:

    And I guess it’s disingenuous to let that last one through. Nevertheless, have a good day.

  68. PP Vet says:

    Steve, thanks for the additional information, very nice.

  69. Steve Wright says:

    I didn’t know whether to post this facebook comment today from Naghmeh in this thread, or TGIF. It belongs in both.
    —————————————————
    Last month has been a hard month emotionally and spiritually. The last two weeks have been specially hard and at times have felt very dark and unbearable… God’s presence which had been so intimate and close to me had seemed so far off…I had moments of panic of where is God, why is all of this happening (Saeed’s imprisonment, Christian genocides in Iraq, all of the hurt and pain in the world AND in my life…) and questions of how long clouded my mind. I could no longer feel His presence and His assurance. I pressed on…I freed up my time as much as I could and saturated my days with scripture and time in prayer. and worship. Even when I didn’t feel like it. Even when I felt drained and emotionless and yet full of so many emotions…

    Today, I felt a breakthrough. A ray of light. The warmth of His Presence. It had been there all along. Holding me together. Wiping away all of my tears..whispering that all of this will work out for those who trust in Him…that God will be Glorified in all of this.

    I have never seen Jesus in a vision or a dream, but His presence in my life and His supernatural peace and joy that covers me is more real to me than if I had touched Him and His wounds (Acts 20:27). Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (Acts 20:29).

    Dear friends, today I felt led to share my struggles so that in your struggles and weariness you can be encouraged to press on to Jesus. He will not fail you. He honors and blesses you even though you have not seen Him and have not touched Him and you do not feel His presence, but you continue to press on. You continue to trust. You continue to cling to Him. He will reveal Himself to you in a more intimate and deeper way…press on…

    Love you all…thank you for standing with me and my family.

    Naghmeh

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