Thursday, 8 March 2012

Kony 2012 - A Christian Response

The Kony 2012 campaign has been flooding the Internet for a couple of days now.  Even people I know who rarely take an interest in current affairs are facebooking, tweeting and +1'ing it.  For those of you who have no idea what the campaign is about, watch this video:

Joseph Kony is the leader of the 'Lord's Resistance Army' or LRC.  His aim is to overthrow the Ugandan government and establish a theocracy based upon the 10 commandments.  His methods, according to the above video, heavily include abducting children and forcing them to fight for his army.  He has attracted attention from the International Criminal Court, the US Government, Interpol, and millions of facebook and twitter users across the world.  His crimes against humanity are heinous and vile.

According to the Notable Names Database, Kony believes himself to be a good Christian.  Herein lies my concern.  With Kony publicly claiming to serve the Lord and be following His instruction, my fear is that normal, true Christian's will be vilified as the campaign picks up steam.  Personally, I believe that Kony is either insane, or using the name of God to fulfil his own desires for power.  I do not believe that he is receiving special instruction from God, or acting in a manner that Christ would approve of.

Kony say's he wishes to establish Uganda as a Christian nation, with laws based upon the 10 Commandments, as given to Moses by God in the book of Exodus, Chapter 20.  Yet his actions and what's reported about him tell a different story.  Looking at some of these commandments, we can define clear non-biblical actions either committed by Kony, or committed under duress by his child soldiers.

Honour Your Father and Your Mother
This commandment tells the people of Israel that they are to obey the command of their parents, and honour them.  Kony abducts young children, and as an initiation, many are ordered to murder their own parents.  This is hardly the action of a man who believes we should honour our parents!

You Shall Not Kill
Given the number of murders that Kony is directly responsible for, he has certainly acted in discordance with this commandment.

You Shall Not Commit Adultery
A standard Christian understanding of marriage is the union of one man and one woman.  Most Christians do not accept polygamy as correct.  Therefore, a man who is already married, and takes another 'wife', would logically be guilty of adultery.  Kony is rumoured to have as many as 60 wives, many of which are very young female captives.  Therefore, Kony is guilty of breaking this commandment.

You Shall Not Steal
I'm fairly sure this commandment would cover the stealing of young children from their homes!

I'm sure that Kony is breaking some of the other Commandments also.  As a Christian, we can be forgiven of all sins - the only unforgivable sin is to reject Jesus's sacrifice.  Therefore, a rapist/murderer/adulterer can be accepted into God's kingdom, if they truly repent of their sins.  Logically, if Kony is a true Christian, he would still be accepted into Heaven because he has accepted Christ.  However, Kony isn't looking for acceptance.  He's looking to rule Uganda and establish a nation built upon these rules.  These same rules that he is breaking.  Furthermore, whilst all Christians still sin, repentance means to turn away from, not to continue doing, sinful actions.  Kony shows no remorse for his actions, and claims that he carries them out under instruction from God.  This is not the God I know and love!

Some sites claim that Kony is acting upon instruction from 8 angels - one site even quotes an ex-child soldier:
"Everything they did was because of the malaikas (angels). For an example: there was a malaika from Sudan" (HRW).
Apart from the fact that all sane Christians I know do not claim to communicate with angels, The Bible is clear in it's description of angels.  They were created by God and occupy Heaven.  They are not from  Earth.  Therefore, they cannot be of any nationality!    Kony's claim to receive instruction from a Sudanese angel has to be false.

In summary, the crimes of Kony are disgusting and cruel.  I am glad that Jason Russell has been so moved by the plight of people in Uganda to create this video and start this campaign.  The way the Internet community has united in support of this campaign is both astonishing and wonderful.

I just want to stress that Kony's actions are not supported by Christians.  Hitler and Stalin were both staunch atheists, but to link all atheists to the actions of either of these two would be grossly incorrect.  As it would be to link Christians to the actions of Joseph Kony.

M :)

Psalm 42

Psalm 42

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?[b]
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”
When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.[c]
O my God,[d] my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Question: Prayer when Prayer won't happen

The past few weeks have been challenging for me.  I've had a home / parenting issue to deal with, as well as uncertainty as to where my life should be heading.  Everything good feels dull and everything hard feels too heavy for me to carry.  My medication seems to be having no effect other than to make me feel tired all the time, and I've lost enthusiasm for everything I once enjoyed.  I just feel a constant tension between wanting to hide away, and wanting someone to reach out and help me.  Sympathy or understanding feels stifling, yet I know it comes from hearts of grace, I feel angry at the giver, and I question their motives.  I just want to cocoon myself away with my daughter and my cat, and forget the rest of the world.

Someone I know is also going through a difficult time, and hearing about this has (selfishly) ignited all the emotions that I went through when a very similar time occurred in my own life.  Stuff I thought I had long since buried.

The result of this is I feel spiritually empty.  In fact, if I had to sum my feelings up in a song, it would be this one:

My logical brain is telling me, based upon my experiences as a Christian up till now, and what I've seen, heard and read, that God loves me deeply.  My mind right now is telling me that God hates me, and so does everyone else.

As I'm sure I'm not the only person ever to feel like this, this post is an open invitation to others to share their advice.  I can't pray.  I don't know why, but when I try, the words don't come.  A feeling of blankness fills my mind, and a feeling of loneliness feels my heart.

So if anyone actually reads this and can relate, please, leave a comment.  Tell me how you work through these times.

Take care