John R. Houk
© November 13, 2015
The Old Covenant is the blessings and curses of the Law of Moses. The penalty for the curse for breaking God’s directive was a justice that Christians and Westerners would be horrified to see executed in this day and age.
Classic Sin in the Camp Solution
4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai. 5 And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.
10 So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you.
20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the LordGod of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”
22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver under it. 23 And they took them from the midst of the tent, brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. 24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. (Joshua 7: 4-6; 10-12; 20-25 NKJV – All of Joshua 7)
The difficulty of sin seems to have caught up with falsely imprisoned Pastor Saeed Abedini who currently is incarcerated in an Iranian jail subject to abuse and persecution for being a Christian. The sin is not given in specifics but in generalities described as marital problems with Saeed’s wife Naghmeh. Mrs. Abedini has let the cat of the bag that Pastor Saeed has been dealing with porn addiction which has caused unspecified emotional and abuse issues in the marriage.
Since the cat is out of the bag Naghmeh has announced she is suspending her public efforts in trying to get her husband Saeed Abedini released from an Iranian jail. I suspect she doesn’t want to deal with humiliating media questions that journalists will now be more interested in personal info on the Abedini marriage more than on freeing Saeed.
The secular media is quite unforgiving when they smell a Christian public figure has personal issues that Christianity views as immoral. Such media trolls have a tendency write anything that places Christianity in a bad light. Why? When Christianity is denigrated publicly the theme is pushed that Christian morality is antiquated and time to be placed in the history books as not essential in a lifestyle of living.
If Christianity is outdated than the concept of a Creator God is then erroneous. Thus moral stands against baby-killing in womb is outdated. The practice of homosexuality labeled as an abomination by God Almighty is okay the Almighty does not exist. Ungodly sexual practices (e.g. adultery, pornography, bestiality, polygamy, prostitution, pre-marital sex, man-boy sex and on and on) can be equated with the norm as long as a greater quantity of people begins to view the practices as not socially denigrating to societal norms.
When a devoted Christian slips into errors that non-practicing Christians and non-Christians are easily susceptible to, then those that condemn Christian/Biblical morality partake into a feeling of self-justification in their own choices.
New Covenant Good News to the curse of the Law
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1: 5-10 NKJV)
Here’s some Good News for Christians. Don’t listen to people more interested in self-justification rather than in a Redeemer that justifies those who breaks God’s holiness with His own Blood because that which is unredeemed no not what they do. So what about those who have embraced Redemption and should know better?
More Good News: Redemption makes the old twisted nature into a new creation with the stamp of Jesus Christ certifying the newness of life. But, there is more Redemption yet to come. A Redemption accepting humanity has not yet received full Redemption. Neither our human biological flesh nor our human soul in which sensory knowledge still reigns supreme are Redeemed. The union of the new creation spirit-man with the Holy Spirit of God in Christ is the down payment promise that the whole man (and woman) will be Redeemed.
From Suffering to Glory
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. (Romans 8: 18-25 NKJV)
Assurance of the Resurrection
5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5: 1-5, 14-19 NKJV)
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[a] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 1: 13-14; 4: 22-24 NKJV)
When is that Promise to be realized? At the Second Coming of Christ when He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords to restore the whole of humanity and the whole earth to unfettered communion with God Almighty. Knowledge of God’s Will become as instinctive as human thought is in the present.
So what does that mean for Pastor Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini? It means nothing for the nosy particularly for nosy judgmental Christians who need to be just as concerned about the beam in their own eye rather than the speck of wood not clearly seen by the human eye in another. It means everything for the Abedini family of which repentance and restoration is always available to Believers in the Redemptive Blood of Jesus the Son of God and Savior. The process is between the Abedinis and God with the guidance of the man (or woman) of God in which has the spiritual responsibility of oversight by the Anointing of the Holy Spirit.
I am not a part of that process and those reading this probably not a part that process either.
I still pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini’s protection from Christian-hating Muslim Iranians and deliverance back home to the USA – the land of the free and home of the brave.
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Pastor Abedini’s Wife Cites Stress in Suspending Public Efforts for Husband’s Freedom
November 13, 2015
Naghmeh Abedini is pulling back her public fight to see her husband Pastor Saeed Abedini freed from an Iranian prison.
Christianity Today reports the emotional stress of the effort, along with “abuse” issues in her marriage before and since Saeed’s imprisonment, have taken a toll. CBN News contacted the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents the Abedini family, for a response.
“In recent days, Naghmeh — Pastor Saeed’s wife — has revealed that she is dealing with some very serious personal issues inside her family. She has asked for privacy and prayer. We are respecting her request. The ACLJ will not have any comment on the personal issues that she is addressing,” the ACLJ told CBN News.
The CT article is based mostly on two emails Abedini sent to supporters revealing the problems. In those emails she listed marital problems, including “physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse [through Saeed’s addiction to pornography].”
The ACLJ gave CBN News the following statement from Naghmeh Abedini:
“I regret having sent the emails. I was under great psychological and emotional distress. I am now taking time off to heal and to rest and to spend much needed time with my kids. I would appreciate for those who care about Saeed and our family to give us time for rest and healing and to respect our privacy.”
Meanwhile, The ACLJ told CBN News it remains committed to seeing Saeed’s freedom.
“What we are focused on is this: bringing home an American pastor who has been wrongly imprisoned in Iran because of his faith. We know that Pastor Saeed remains in grave danger in prison where he continues to be beaten and psychologically abused by Iranian guards and remains in need of medical care,” the ACLJ said.
“We continue to pray for Naghmeh, Pastor Saeed, and their family. We will continue our work — in this country and abroad — to secure the freedom of this U.S. citizen,” the ACLJ statement concluded.
Naghmeh also asked for prayer to continue for Saeed and their family. CT reported she pointed out that Saeed still shares his faith in Jesus while imprisoned — and that she calls her husband a “treasure.”
“But that does not mean he has not been battling with his own demons which I am believing that he can be freed of,” CT quoted from Naghmeh’s writings.
“I will continue to pray for my husband’s release and advocate for him as he suffers in an Iranian prison for his Christian faith. I would also ask others to join me in continuing to pray for his release,” Naghmeh said in her statement to CBN News.
Saeed Abedini has spent more than three years in an Iranian prison simply for his Christian faith. He is still being mistreated, beaten and denied medical care.
Despite Naghmeh’s revelations, several groups that have stood with the family said they will continue to speak out on her husband’s behalf.
“Regardless of any struggles that Pastor Saeed may be experiencing it doesn’t change the fact that the faith community needs to be a powerful and passionate voice calling for his immediate release and standing with our persecuted brothers and sisters,” said Rev. Patrick Mahoney, who leads the Christian Defense Coalition.
Mahoney has led several prayer vigils across the country and met with political leaders to try and secure Pastor Abedini’s release.
Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, has also been actively involved in Pastor’s Abedini’s case.
“It’s hard to imagine the pressures that souls like Nagmeh and Saeed Abedini endure,” Schenck said in a statement released by his office. He reminded people who’ve prayed for the Abedini family that “they are not super heroes, just regular people facing the same problems we all do, only under extreme circumstances.”
Mahoney and Schenck will hold a press conference later on Friday to show their continued support for Pastor Abedini.
“God calls us to stand on principle and justice not personalities,” Mahoney said.
Meanwhile, reaction to Naghmeh Abedini’s personal family trauma on social media has been mixed.
Robin G., writing on CBN News’ Facebook page, said, “Something about his just doesn’t feel right in my spirit.”
Jan H. wrote, “I’m sad that she didn’t keep this private. What is the point in exposing this to the whole world?”
Jenny J. said, “This is absolutely heart breaking. I am shocked.”
Nadege S. added, “It is easy to accuse a man who is locked up thousands of miles away in a dungeon.”
Meanwhile, another poster, Teresa C., warned people not to judge the Abedini’s writing: “We don’t know the whole story and it is not for us to know.”
The emotional and psychological trauma of enduring a hostage or kidnapping situation can be extremely difficult for families and loved ones involved.
“There’s a lot of studies that have shown that families incur post-traumatic stress at the same rate that hostages do,” Chris Voss, founder and CEO of The Black Swan Group, a company that solves business negotiations with hostage negotiation strategies said. “The reality is that this is the family’s darkest hour.”
Voss is a 24-year veteran of the FBI’s negotiation team and was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the agency.
Voss spoke with CBN News’ George Thomas about the pressures that prolonged, illegal imprisonment can put on families. Click below to watch the interview.
CBN Video: Fmr. Hostage Negotiator Discusses Abedini Imprisonment
“When someone is a hostage, the fear and trauma is overwhelming and unending they don’t know when it is going to end and it is a really horrifying experience for families,” Voss told CBN News from his office in California. “Families are held hostage as much as the hostages are.”
In a Washington Post, editorial Naghmeh Abedini wrote about the emotional toll the ordeal was taking on her family.
“The continued imprisonment of Saeed has taken a very emotional and tragic toll on our family,” Naghmeh said. “My kids have had to grow up without a father. Saeed has missed so many birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions.”
Abedini said since the US and Western countries signed a nuclear deal with Iran, her husband’s physical condition has gotten worse.
“Saeed was being beaten and interrogated by Iranian guards in prison,” Abedini wrote in the Washington Post. “During that encounter, guards interrogated Saeed and used a stun gun on him. Although there was no detailed information provided, Saeed was told he would face additional new charges, possibly extending his eight-year prison sentence.”
Voss says in such cases where a hostage victim endures great physical and psychological torture at the hands of their captors, families back home also feel the pain.
“What we have a tendency to do as human beings is that we imagine it in a very horrific fashion so the people that love him [Pastor Abedini] and the people that care about him are really putting themselves through hell trying to get him out, thinking about what he must be going through. It is truly the families [sic] darkest hour,” Voss said.
CBN News will continue to update
The Christian Way to deal with Sin in the Camp
John R. Houk
© November 13, 2015
Pastor Abedini’s Wife Cites Stress in Suspending Public Efforts for Husband’s Freedom
© Copyright 2015. The Christian Broadcasting Network.