As I got caught up on world events this morning, I did a search on “Jordan Protests” to see if anything big happened here in the country yesterday of which I was unaware. Many headlines came up on Google saying things like, “Protesters call for overthrow of King.” I knew this wasn’t the general sentiment of most Jordanians, but I visited a few of these sites to see what they had to say.
As I read the articles and thought about emails I have received over the past few days, two things became increasingly clear. First, if reporters don’t have anything significant to say, they come up with a sensational headline to make up for their lack of substance. Almost every article went on to say that while some marginal groups called for the fall of the regime, the protests related to the rise in fuel prices were mostly without incident. It’s true that many Jordanians are upset about rising prices as they’re already feeling the pinch on an economy in which prices are rising much faster than salaries. However, most people here respect the king, even if they are frustrated with their current living situation.
Secondly, while many are skeptical of what the news media communicates on many subjects, they’re willing to accept statements that support their prejudices. Here’s my case in point. We frequently get emails conveying worry for missionaries serving in difficult places. Most of these concerns come from headlines (many of which don’t accurately express the reality). However, I wonder how many emails our leadership in countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain get related to the protests that are happening there. A simple Google search will show that the protests in those countries have been going on much longer and have generally been much more violent. Nevertheless, most people don’t think we’re being irresponsible by sending missionaries to these places.
When the body of Christ responds in fear instead of faith, we are letting the devil win without a fight. We’re turning over the spoils without a war. Fear and prejudice are the primary reasons why the enemy of mankind has ruled the hearts and minds of this area for over 1400 years.
So, what should we do? Here are a few suggestions:
- When you hear about violence in this part of the world, remember that God has called us to the battle. Ephesus 6 describes the armor of God. Can I be so simplistic as to remind you that only warriors need armor? Fight…in the spirit.
- Renew your mind by asking “What does God say about this?” Did Jesus say, “Go into all the easy places?” “Go to all those people who will easy accept your message.” Forgive my sarcasm, but I think you get the point.
- Ask yourself these questions. What would you think of a fireman who runs from fire, a policeman who runs from trouble or a soldier who runs from a fight? Why would you expect one thing from noble people who protect our lives and property, while expecting less from those who are involved in God’s struggle for the eternal lives of men, women and children?
- Finally, remember that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.