The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.

April 2003: PRAYERS

Dear Stephen,

Just a line to thank you for your article on the war against Iraq in the latest issue of "Christian Voice". I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments.  For the first time ever, I took part in anti-war protests this year, and I am not your typical "peacenik", although supporters of the war like to insult us by calling us everything from communists to supporters of Saddam Hussein! I never imagined I would have so much in common with the Labour left!

Now that the war is in progress, of course, my prayers are with our forces, and especially the families of those who have lost their lives. But I also care about the Iraqi victims and their families. I sense that in some parts of the media, the lives of Iraqis are valued less than the lives of Britons and Americans. I am deeply concerned about the way this war is being portrayed as some "cops and robbers" game, the "goodies vs. the baddies". In fact it is human beings maiming and killing each other!

The "Christian Voice" certainly needs to be heard on this issue, and we must not be intimidated by those who would accuse us of being unpatriotic,

Best wishes and may God bless you.

Geoff Chapman
(Director, Creation Resources Trust)

I woke up this morning and put on the TV, the first thing I saw was the "live" fight going on in "Umm Qsar" between some Iraqis and US Marines, the first thing that struck me was that I had been in a way de-humanised and numbed.  I/we have become so used to seeing "war films" that it took me a good 5 minutes before it actually dawned on me that this was real, these are real men I'm watching who are under fire with real, live ammunition and in a place where they could actually lose their lives in front of my eyes, and if that was to happen they would not actually be able to stand up and fight again in the next scene. Don't get me wrong I know this is a real war, but it was that initial incredulous feeling of it all that struck me 5 minutes after waking. As I sat watching what came to me was (and I don't want to get into the rights and wrongs of this war) how easy we actually have it here in the west. There are men in umm qsar how are ready and willing to fight the whole might of the American Marines/Forcerces, tanks and all, for (more than probably) what they believe in. We have seen picture of surrendered Iraqi' Soldiers and civilians who don't even have shoes on their feet many of them looking like they have not had a good meal in days, yet they either fought and gave up, got captured or simply surrendered. But they have a belief system that gives them the courage to go out and fight the whole weight and might of the coalition forces, most of them ready to die for those beliefs. As for us, we are so-called Christians and in the main we spend more time fighting amongst ourselves, than we do standing up for what we actually believe in. How many people are really willing to stand up and be counted or die for Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Here in the UK this week, we have been told that in our schools, "hot cross buns" are to be banned, just in case they offend anyone from another "religion", one school tried to ban the fairy tale of the "three little pigs" again just In case it was to offend someone. I heard this week from a neighbour that her 6 year old grandson came home from school saying he didn't like the lesson that day, because he didn't want to hear (I will paraphrase, as his statement was slightly graphic) all about homosexual practices. We have been told that the powers that be are considering "banning" Easter as a public holiday again In case we offend anyone from a different religion by "celebrating" the death/resurrection of Jesus Christ, (I was told that Christmas is also on the agenda to go for the same reasons - it has already been re-named now it's correct to say happy holidays not happy Christmas) - OK I know that Hot Cross Buns are not Christian, (representing the 4 phases of the moon and are Pagan) Easter is Pagan, and so is Christmas - but we as Christians make use of these holidays and things as tools to praise and thank God for His gifts of His Son Jesus Christ to us. My point is, how far would we go for Christ - many of those in Iraq are fighting a fight they believe is for Allah - it is as we know a mistaken belief - but they are willing to fight, they are willing to lay down their lives for something they believe with all of their bodies, minds, & souls - how would we fare - if the powers that be try to ban Church - what will we do, sit back in our armchairs and let it all flow over us - or - would we be willing to be imprisoned or die ... Somehow I doubt it ... So far I have not heard of or seen any form of objection being made to any of the proposed changes, this is not because of the war, it's simply because of our "satisfaction" most Christians are simply too comfortable to want to rock the boat.

I have no sympathy with the Muslim Religion - but I do admire the way its adherents are willing to stand up and be counted, and I feel ashamed of Christians who will not.