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Hardship for Evangelicals in Jordan: Lessons for All Christians

The president of Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary on maintaining fruitful relationships with our neighbors.

The media in the East and West have recently been reporting the denunciation of evangelicals by the council of the Catholic and Orthodox bishops in Jordan. The bishops' denunciation was in support of the government's deportations of foreign missionaries, pastors, seminary students, and teachers. Some evangelical Jordanians have taken the position of not responding to the media and just waiting for things to settle down. Others believe increased Western awareness is important and helpful. However, a new analysis of the situation is essential to move forward. There are some lessons for Christians in the East and West. Though Christians are to expect tribulation and are called upon to pray and trust God for his protection, we can glean some wisdom to avoid unnecessary hardship.

1. The need to re-emphasize the love of God for the whole world. Many premillennial evangelicals would understandably appeal to the unconditional Abrahamic covenant when speaking about prophecies regarding Israel. However, many in the same group tend to de-emphasize the conditional Mosaic covenant, which calls on every generation of Israelites to obey its stipulations. While the Abrahamic covenant expresses the grace and faithfulness of God, the Mosaic covenant expresses the holiness and justice of God. In de-emphasizing the Mosaic covenant, some Christians extend support to present-day Israel unconditionally, and without regard to the quality of its obedience to God's standards. This communicates to the Arab person a view of God that is unholy and unjust.

Further, many premillennial evangelicals, in speaking of the end times, forget to emphasize God's heart for the whole world. God's goal by his grace is a world in which all nations would convene in Jerusalem ...

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