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Politically speaking, there's intense debate among Christians about whether or not the US military should have invaded and occupied Iraq. While I support our President's desire to see Iraq become a free and prosperous nation like America, I believe there is one critical component missing from his approach. The Iraqi people must first believe the gospel and be taught to govern themselves under the God of the Bible.
The principles that led to the establishment and prosperity of the American Republic were based on a Biblical Worldview. The same foundation is needed in Iraq. Many of our conservative leaders do not realize that the Bible has much more to say about life in this world than life in the next. This is because the contemporary church is so heavenly minded that it is little earthly good. America's founders understood that the Bible defines the various types and roles of governments. First and foremost there is the foundation of self-government under God. On this foundation, God has ordained the governments of the Family, the State, and the Church. If these governments are not operating according to God's prescription and balance, the result will be tyranny, oppression, and self-destruction.
Unless the Iraqi people are first transformed by the Gospel and begin to apply the Bible to all areas of life, I'm afraid the plan to make Iraq a nation "with liberty and justice for all" will be short lived. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with President Bush, we are in Iraq for the long haul. Is this part of God's sovereign plan? Absolutely. God is sovereign over all people and all nations. The Apostle Paul teaches this principle when he states,
...he giveth to all life and breath and all things, And hath made of one blood all mankind, to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath assigned the seasons which were ordained before, and the bounds of their habitation, That they should seek the Lord, if so be they might have groped after him, and found him, though doubtless he be not far from every one of us. (Acts 17:25-27 • 1599 Geneva Bible)
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At American Vision we believe that the Iraqi people need to hear the gospel and be discipled (Matthew 28:18-20). The Bible promises that we will be successful at discipling the nations. Someday, all nations will be converted, worship the Lord, and "shall break their swords into mattocks, and their spears into scythes: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn to fight anymore" (Mic. 4:1-3). If funding and resources allow, we are seriously considering the translation and distribution of Gary DeMar's God and Government series and other Biblical worldview material into the Arabic language for the people of Iraq. If you would like to be a part of this potential ministry, please write us at [email protected].
Of course, we also want to minister to the American soldiers who are currently in Iraq. As a national ministry, American Vision has had the opportunity to communicate with various US soldiers and get first-hand reports from Iraq. Not surprisingly, the stories we hear from these soldiers are very different from what you hear from the media. I've seen pictures of US soldiers (one of which is a financial supporter of AV) playing with Iraqi children. Just last month, a Chaplain wrote and told me about how he was invited to dinner by an Iraqi Colonel and enjoyed a meal of "lamb, mystery meat, tomatoes, cucumbers, pita bread, and salt." He continued, "After dinner everyone moved from the table and sat on low sofas sipping hot sweet tea served in little clear glass tumblers. The good life."
American Vision equipped this Chaplain and his Chapel with Biblical Worldview training material. He wrote this kind note to us after receiving the material,
This is U.S. Army Chaplain _______ calling from ______ Chapel in _____, Iraq. Thank you very much for your kind and generous gift of Biblical Worldview Training Materials. Perfect Selection. Wonderful stuff! Exactly what we are looking for. We very much appreciate your thinking of us and contributing to the ministry of our _______ Chapel Lending Library. We will send you a feedback report as more and more of our Soldiers are exposed to this great material. (Details removed for security reasons.)
This is what the ministry of American Vision is all about––transforming America into a "City on a Hill" that will shine the light of the Gospel around the world.