This is in response to the many Christians I see on Facebook, asking others to sign online petitions for his release. I am not opposed to those that do so. However I do want to look at this from a different angle, putting things into a Biblical perspective.
Yes we do need to pray for the persecuted, and we need to support them in any way we can. We also need to pray for and love-on Saeed’s wife and family. However I believe the church within America ought to ‘press pause’ on this as we pray.
We also need to consider how the Lords Mighty hand might be working through this. Has it ever dawned on you that the Lords will might be for Saeed to be imprisoned for whatever reason? Our unhealthy Americanized pseudō churchianity cannot understand this. Or perhaps our sovereign Lords will is to use Saeed as he did the Apostles that were imprisoned?
We must resist the temptation to allow this to be turned into another opportunity to lift man up. Churches should refrain from parading and capitalizing off of his wife Naghmeh Abedini. We must not get caught up in the emotionalism and sensationalism of this.
It is my prayer that Christ would continue to be glorified through all this. I pray that many more would come to know Christ thru this, even if it means thru this pastors death. I pray for his family. I pray that the church would be edified. I pray the Lord gives Saeed the strength to endure this. And I pray for the other prisoners that are equally as important as Saeed.
Yes it would be wonderful if he (and the others) were released. But it would also be wonderful if the Lord continues to use his imprisonment, for His purpose, His will, and for His glory.
We see news stories of the increase of Christians here in America being arrested for open air preaching. Westernized churchianity has got it backwards. What ought to be news, is why more Christians aren’t being arrested.
Brethren, courage is not an option, it’s a commandment. Examine the following passage. Ask yourself “Am I in there?”
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
The following 7-minute video is what true Christianity is. I encourage you to watch this powerful sermon jam on “Christ in you, the Hope of Glory,’ by Major W. Ian Thomas.
UPDATE Nov 20th, 2015: The Christian news headlines read “Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Wife Halts Public Advocacy, Citing Marital Woes and Abuse.” According to Saeed’s wife Naghmeh Abedini, she was a victim of her husbands “physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse (through Saeed’s addiction to pornography).” And the abuse “has worsened during Saeed’s imprisonment.” More about this click here.
UPDATE Jan 16TH, 2016: Saeed Abedini and other prisoners were released from prison. Pray his wife’s safety and that Saeed will repent from his aforementioned sins, and that their marriage be restored.
Though we have not yet heard Saeed’s version of the allegations brought forth by his own bride. We must understand that they have not yet been publicly confirmed or denied by Saeed. I have worked hundreds of domestic violence investigations, and there is rarely a third party witness. Nevertheless, scripturally a pastor (or elder) is to be held at a higher standard, and their marriage must be above reproach. He is Biblically disqualified for the ministry. I suspect many pulpits will be inviting Saeed to speak, and the church (Christ’s bride) has a right to know this.
Through his release America sold herself to the Devil and betrayed Israel (again). And sadly Americas Christianity celebrates.
UPDATE Jan 17th, 2016: For an exegetical teaching on when to ‘scope-out’ and “mark” a Christian, click here.
UPDATE Jan 19th, 2016: The fallout from the recent exchange of Iranian prisoners for ours, and the lifting of-sanctions against Iran, click here.
UPDATE JAN 25TH, 2016: For my video entitled ‘How Christians should respond to persecution (whether it be Saeed Abedini, ourselves, or others), click here.
UPDATE Jan 27th, 2016: Saeed’s wife wrote a scathing letter to the media as to how Saeed tried to manipulate her and to erroneously “promote” Saeed. For more about that click here (as a back up this is copied and pasted in comments below).
UPDATE Jan 28th, 2016: The wife of Saeed Abedini (Naghmeh Panahi) has filed for a legal separation. Based on her own testimony, one would wonder if Saeed was a false convert (as I was for five years). If he was “persecuted” for his faith in Christ, persecution will change a person for the better. “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5). In the meantime I am praying for his Biblical repentance (and/or salvation). As well as for their marriage. For more about this click here.
UPDATE JAN 29TH, 2016: An article entitled ‘What does ‘Pastor’ Saeed believe?’ By George Alvarado.
UPDATE: June 30th, 2017: Calvary Chapel Yucca Valley files a law suit in regards to $200,000.00 that they raised for Saeed’s wife and children.
More in comments below.