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Just had this sent to me.  Thought it brought some new facts to light.  This Iranian pastor is not someone just like us, but rather a militant, anti-trinitarian follower of the "prophet" William M. Branham.  Didn't we have one of those here at one time?   I know this whole thing is being phrased as he's being executed for his "Christian" beliefs, but the official charges are rape and extortion.  If there is evidence to support that, I think Iran is free to punish that crime any way their courts allow.  But if the charges are invented (which may be likely) and there is no evidence, that should be the reason to oppose this action.  As long as we say "don't kill him for his religion" though, all they have to do is say "we're executing a rapist".  We need to appeal to their rules in their game.

Which brings the question.  Should we be more concerned over his execution or his eternal destination?

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I'd say his eternal destination.

AFAICS, it looks from most reports that Nadarkhani was sentenced to death for apostasy. The rape and corruption charges (it appears) were brought up after strong objections world-wide, including from Washington.

Regardless of whether you approve of his religious beliefs i think we all have to defend his right to believe and preach as his conscience dictates. Whether God approves or disapproves of Nadarkhani's teaching is not for you or me to decide. Freedom of conscience must be defended.

your last sentence: after several months of fascinated attendance at this site, I am still amazed that you can ask a question like this! And that Leslie can give a considered but less than emphatic reply! If this man were a trinitarian, you would surely have to welcome his accelerated entry to heaven!

I think we should be concerned about both.

The poor fellow is unorthodox in his faith. That is sad, especially when we consider his eternal destiny.

The other side of the issue is that he will get to that destiny sooner should he be executed.

That gives us greater cause for concern.

In the end, there's a sympathy that we should all possess for those outside the safety of Christ.

On the other hand, the issue of his freedom is of great importance as well. We should always uphold the freedom of conscience.

As much as I disagree with the atheists who are here, I hope we would be concerned if they were being executed for atheism. We should be concerned for all of the above reasons.

I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't care since he's not orthodox in his beliefs.  I was trying to point out that sometimes Christians get upset over persecution to a higher degree when they believe it is one of their own being persecuted.  Somehow I doubt that we'd see quite so many FaceBook petitions and such if the guy was a a Mormon or Jehovah Witness or even something more rare like a Hindu or or something.  It's like we ratchet it up when we hear "Christian Pastor" and don't take the same kind of focus when it isn't a Christian or isn't a pastor.  As Jax pointed out, the issue should be freedom to NOT be a Muslim.  To me, it isn't an issue of whether or not WE think he's orthodox enough or fits a Christian label as we define it.  The fact is that he's having a non-Muslim influence over there.  And they don't like it.

Peter John Ellway said:

your last sentence: after several months of fascinated attendance at this site, I am still amazed that you can ask a question like this! And that Leslie can give a considered but less than emphatic reply! If this man were a trinitarian, you would surely have to welcome his accelerated entry to heaven!

Being sentenced to death for apostacy is awful, regardless.  What makes it personal is when that person is also a Christian.  That's family.  Of course my heart is going to be even more engaged when a member of my family is on the chopping block!!

 

We are concerned over this man's execution for sure.  Turns out he may not be family after all, but he's still a person (the missing child isn't my child, but still a child; I care / the shooting isn't at our local high school, but it's still a high school; I care); we care.  I care (Already sent a letter of encouragement to him).

 

But there are even worse things that can happen to a person besides being executed.  And that's facing God's final judgement.  If he's not a believer, his situation is far, far worse, and that becomes the most important thing, now, praying that God will, in His mercy and grace, save this man from the eternal destruction.

Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

I had not heard anything other then this man was a Christian pastor. It struck me immediately much more than if he had been Hindu etc. It will also stir me quicker when you hear of U.S. teens getting into jams in foriegn countries vs. an adult of another country.

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