Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Enemy uses Corrupt Courts... but so does God

While reading the latest "MSC Prayer Items," I was struck by the *two* court cases mentioned as items for prayer. (One is in Afghanistan! See my March 14 post about this country.) Add these court cases to that of Scott Grieve (see dedicated postings below), and we have three in one week!

Having lived in Canada now for seven years in a row, I had almost forgotten how much the Enemy likes to use corrupt courts to thwart the work of Christians. Court cases can result in:
-overwhelming stress (for the charged and their families)
-tying Christians up for years
-falsely defaming Christians
-sucking Christians of finances

But let us not forget that God uses court cases, too. He uses them:
-to test Christians, and make them reliant on Himself
-to bring other Christians (like us) to pray
-to show His power and remind us of His sovereignty
-to show unbelievers that He is God

Let us PRAY (right now, as you read this) for these people embroiled in court cases.
-Praise God for his overruling in George's case! (see below)
-Praise God for Abdul's tremendous stand for Christ! And pray for continued strength. (see below)
-Pray for Scott Grieve. One thing he is trusting the Lord for are finances, for the expensive lawyer fees. (Scott has been using his savings to serve the Lord full-time in Brazil.)
-An "unspoken" fourth person in a court case I am aware of who needs our prayers.

And here are the excerpts from the MSC prayer news...

SPECIAL AREAS [undisclosed location for security reasons]: George & Donna Bristow - 17 March
"We received word from our lawyer last week that George has been acquitted of the charges against him regarding teaching in a place not designated as a school (i.e. the church building!). This court case had been on hold for a couple of years. Praise the Lord with us! Please also continue to pray that we will be able to see the church building re-zoned as a place of worship. Right now, it is considered illegal the way it is. We started the process but there is one particular person in the city municipality that is giving [us] problems."

AFGHANISTAN: Barnabas Fund - 21 March (picture of Afghan prison, right, printed by Globe and Mail)
"Abdul Rahman (41) converted from Islam to Christianity at least 14 years ago. He is now on trial in Kabul charged with rejecting Islam. The prosecutor says that if he returns to Islam the charges will be dropped, but if he is found guilty he will be executed: 'We are Muslims and becoming a Christian is against our laws. He must get the death penalty.' The judge has also stated that Mr. Rahman faces the death penalty if he refuses to revert to Islam as Shari'a [Islamic law] proposes capital punishment for any Muslim who converts to another religion.

[Nigel here: and to think that the idea of allowing Shari'a law in some jurisdictions made it to the discussion table in Ontario!.]
"Abdul Rahman was denounced to the police last month by his family, with whom he was in dispute over the custody of his two daughters. He has refused to renounce his faith, despite the threat of execution. He is being held in Kabul Central Prison, one of 50 prisoners in a cell built for 15. Most prisoners have food brought to them by their families, but Mr. Rahman's family does not visit him.

"The trial of Abdul Rahman is the first of its kind since the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 2001. In 2004 five Afghan converts from Christianity were murdered either for apostasy from Islam or for spreading their faith. It is reported that other converts who have been formally charged by the authorities have renounced their faith in the face of the death penalty. This means that Abdul Rahman's case is the first time that Afghanistan's ambiguous constitution will be tested. It will set a precedent for the treatment of other converts from Islam to Christianity.

"The judge of the Primary Court has said he will rule on the case within two months. If found guilty, Abdul Rahman will be able to appeal to the Provincial Court and the Supreme Court. The execution order would have to be signed by President Hamid Karzai."

Proverbs 8.15-16: By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
ar TORONTO, CANADA | 2023+



27 Sat (1) 11am Commencement speaker at R. University, (2) ~3pm+ time w/ V/AR+
29 Mon (1) 9:30am VT prayer, (2) 3pm mtg DerCh - Mississauga
30 Tue (1) 10am ph call (AA), (2) 5:30pm video mtg (IsTan), (3) 8pm neighbourhood prayer mtg

1 Thu (1) 11:30am Zoom mtg (LM), (2) 4pm mtg (VS,KBr)
2 Fri (1) 10:30am ph call (PVDW; SL w/ boys; ~J working)
3 Sat SL w/ boys and MG
5 Mon (1) 9:30am VT prayer mtg, (2) 2pm Europe call, (3) 5pm mtg/walk (YM)
6 Tue (1) 11:30am lunch (GD) - St. Jacobs, (2) 4pm mtg (AF) - Cambridge, (3) 7:30pm worship night
9 Fri ~J's b'day
10 Sat North Bay trip
13 Tue 11am mtg (DAy) (~J school trip w/ ~Co | text BD)
14 Wed 9:30am time w/ BD
15 Thu 4:30pm video mtg (Paul T.)
16 Fri (1) 9am video med appt, (2) 15-km run (Prayer Journey "warm-up")
17 Sat Prayer Journey (my own: 50km GTA bike-ride; Jessie's: 5KM) and speaking at GTA after-party
23-25 Fri-Sat poss. SL
26 Mon 2pm Europe monthly call
29 ... July 7 Thu-Fri poss. holiday in Arkansas

... 7 Thu-Fri poss. holiday in Arkansas
~8-17 SA+ in Toronto; P/H Bell likely visiting too
15 Sat aft+ baptism (Saj; NaB may be coming)
17-21 Mon-Fri Kids Kapers camp
24 Mon 2:45pm med. appt
26 Wed (1) 11am video mtg (SM), (2) 3pm Zoom mtg (SMa,SB), (3) 7pm ~J speaking at Greenhouse/Zoe - UofT downtown
27 Thu 10am video MVT board mtg
31 Mon 3:05pm med. appt
July/Aug CCWM board mtg / AGM

2 Wed 11am video mtg (SM+)
6-12 Sun-Fri Cottage w/ O/DN+ and UB/AC - Windermere; plus Muskoka
19 Sat poss. ~J fam beach day - Brighton area
25-29 Fri-Tue MoveIn staff retreat - southern Ontario

Sep 21 Thu - MVT board mtg
Sep 23 Sat poss. date of GV memorial
Sep 24 Sun ~Ch's b'day
Sep ~26-28 Poss. time in Lushnjë, Albania
Sep 29 - Oct 6 MoveIn Europe Conference+ - Durrës, Albania
Oct 21 Sat poss./unlikely date of GV memorial
Oct 21-27 Dollar-a-Day week
Early Nov Poss. fundraising event - Niagara
Nov-Jan Poss. time in India - Goa; Philippines - Manila+; Indonesia - Jakarta/Bali; LA/San Diego