The imprisonment of Pastor Saeed Abedini, and a video on biblical christianity and its consequences
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.
From Lori in Chino via Facebook:
“Amen and amen, I saw his wife give her testimony at CC Montebello. She gave glory to God as their prayer was to reach 1 million Muslims, they are doing that because of his imprisonment.”
As you could imagine I have received a couple personal messages opposing the update this blog post in regards to ‘Pastor’ Saeed Abedini, as well as a comment via my Facebook page. The commonality that they all say is Saeed’s wife now “regrets” that she revealed this non-repented increasing sin issue. The following is my response to those comments.
I would imagine that she ‘regrets” it now. But our hidden sins will find us out – thus saith the Lord. She was wise in stepping down, and any church would be wise to not further capitalize (or propagandize) off his testimony once back in the USA. He is now Biblically disqualified from being a pastor / elder. Until there is true repentance from those sins and marital restoration, he should not be allowed behind a pulpit. That will take a timely process of Biblical counseling and Biblical overseeing. Then there’s the political / national security side of this. It is not “good news” that our own country traded many terrorists in exchange for him and the others. It is not only unpatriotic, it is contrary to what our country once stood for. The church needs to move backwards, not emerge forward. Christ’s church is called to be ready to give our lives for the cause of Christ. Our nation needs to do the same (politically). Oh how America is now so weak. Oh how we need more Ronald Reagans that would send the military into Iran to forcefully extract our prisoners. Not a nation that will negotiate with terrorists, and then celebrate about it.
A letter from Naghmeh
Saeed landed in Boise yesterday and had a wonderful reunion with the children. They will be spending more and more time together in the coming days. I am so happy for this long waited reunion and for the joy that I see in my children and in Saeed. Nothing can make me happier than seeing those whom I love be happy and free from the pain that they had been under for the last 3.5 years.
I am so thankful for the thousands of people who have responded to my pleas… and helped work toward Saeed’s release. His imprisonment was unjust, and was an extremely difficult ordeal for him and all of us who sought for his release. I worked tirelessly night and day toward that end for three-and-a-half years. Nothing has made me happier than seeing Saeed freed from his chains and in American soil. Thank you for all of you who stood with us and made this happen.
I do deeply regret that I hid from the public the abuse that I have lived with for most of our marriage and I ask your forgiveness. I sincerely had hoped that this horrible situation Saeed has had to go through would bring about the spiritual change needed in both of us to bring healing to our marriage.
Tragically, the opposite has occurred. Three months ago Saeed told me things he demanded I must do to promote him in the eyes of the public that I simply could not do any longer. He threatened that if I did not the results would be the end of our marriage and the resulting pain this would bring to our children.
I long more than anyone for reconciliation for our family and to be united as a family. Since Saeed’s freedom I have wanted nothing more than to run to him and welcome him home It is something I dreamed about the last 3.5 years. But unfortunately things did not work out that way and our family has to work through reconciliation. I want our reconciliation to be strictly based on God’s Word. I want us to go through counseling, which must first deal with the abuse. Then we can deal with the changes my husband and I must both make moving forward in the process of healing our marriage.
In very difficult situations sometimes you have to establish boundaries while you work toward healing. I have taken temporary legal action to make sure our children will stay in Idaho until this situation has been resolved. I love my husband, but as some might understand, there are times when love must stop enabling something that has become a growing cancer. We cannot go on the way it has been. I hope and pray our marriage can be healed. I believe in a God who freed Saeed from the worst prisons can hear our plea and bring spiritual freedom.
I love you all. God will see us through. Thank you for your prayers and support. We need them more than ever.