A BNc exclusive by David Lemmons
MANADO, Indonesia (BNc) — During my eighth visit to Indonesia I find myself present in the country at a time when “Indonesia” and “Jakarta” have both been “Trending Topics” on Twitter and included in many headlines throughout the media. The Jakarta bombings have directed a great deal of attention to this land in which I am a visitor at present.
The bombings continue to be investigated. Most sources are advancing the opinion that it was done by “suicide bombers.” Most often we connect the phrase “suicide bomber” with the dominant religion of the nation of Indonesia, Islam.
I firmly believe that most Indonesians are terribly embarrassed by what some small group has done to put their nation and capital city into the news headlines. They are certainly not in support of these actions which have killed and injured innocent victims.
The very idea that we would almost automatically associate “suicide bombers” with a particular religion is a thought that could be worthy of some careful consideration.
On July 10, as I waited at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta Airport for a flight to Kendari, I began to read a book I had brought with me entitled, How to Argue Like Jesus, by Joe Carter and John Coleman. As I read I found an interesting statement on page 14. It was so striking to me that I underlined the statement and asked my traveling companion to take a look at it.
This statement became, in my opinion, *even more relevant* after the events that took place in Jakarta at two hotels on Friday morning. The statement is this:
Jesus never wrote a book, held office, or wielded a sword. He never gained sway with the mighty or influential. He never claimed a political victory. He never took up arms against the governing powers in Rome. Two thousand years after his death, billions of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, agnostics agree that he never preached a word of hate to gain influence with his followers. He did nothing for which these followers must now be ashamed.
I am thankful and extremely blessed to serve a Lord and Savior who never did anything for which his followers must now be ashamed. I am thankful to be a preacher of the gospel and have opportunity to present his saving message to a lost world. It is the message most desperately needed in Indonesia and every other nation under heaven.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us