Guess who’s coming to dinner? (just as I leave town…)

Several Christian groups, including World Council of Churches, Religions for Peace and the Quaker group American Friends Service Committee are inviting the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to dinner on September 25th. He’s the guy who the New York Times has described as the “Israel-threatening, Holocaust-denying, nuke-building, child-hanging president of Iran”. I quite agree. He is a slimeball – a true skubula head (it’s Greek and it means what you think it means 😉 ).

And now other Christian groups are outraged because they feel American Christians have a “moral” responsibility to Israel and this guy is an outspoken enemy of Israel. (Don’t we have moral responsibilities to others as well?) A spokesperson from the Concerned Women for America, says, “As if beating, imprisoning and killing women, Christians and other Iranians is not enough, Iranian leaders’ thirst for death spills over its borders to kill and wound American military and innocent civilians in Iraq. Ahmadinejad has grabbed the baton of his genocidal predecessors to threaten the extinction of the Jewish people and their homeland Israel.  This is history repeating itself, proving again that evil exists and there is never a lack of ‘useful idiots’ to support the embodiment of evil.”

I am not sure who the “useful idiots” are here but I’m sure we all agree that nobody wants to give a green light to evil or slimeballs or evil slimeballs. 

However, it’s disheartening to see how Christians have splintered into such disparate factions. Personally, I think this is an important dinner and I wish I could be a fly on the wall that night. I have no illusions that Ahmadinejad will change any of his views. But what if he were to be given a cool sip of water- a small taste of the heart of Christ that evening? Maybe this act of hospitality is a bit of what it means to do more than just give lip service to Jesus’ words: love your enemies. And maybe it’s really more about our own hearts than his. Just a thought.

And He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies….

Anyway, I will be in London that evening for a layover on my way to Maputo, Mozambique! I will be tutored by those who know what it means to trust God for their daily bread and will be seeking to learn about my own poverty. More about that later. I will try to post while I am gone but that will depend on the reliability of my internet connection. If I can’t post much, I will “see” you in a couple of weeks.

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  • marta
    Reply

    Hope you’re safe on your way to Africa. Have fun and come back with lots of stories.

    I’m afraid I haven’t been following this political issue as closely as I’d like, but I hate it in general when people oppose diplomacy. Talking will not solve all problems, but it’s such a low-cost approach that it’s worth a try unless there are really good reasons not to (like the person is gearing up for an attack and you just don’t have the time. I’ll be praying for these people who try to deal with the Iranian president, though – it’s not a position I relish.

  • ellenharoutunian
    Reply

    I don’t know if this dinner was as much about diplomacy as much as mere hospitality. Kindness towards the evil force of Rome (or whatever is the current incarnation of it that we happen to face) has never been popular.
    But I agree with you – dinner with Mahmoud wouldn’t be easy!

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