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Monday, July 22, 2013

Blinded by Hypocrisy

"What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and Pharisees.
 They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person
 guides another, they will both fall into a ditch."
      (Matthew 15:16; 23:27)

For the past week, our nation has been emotionally and racially ripped apart as a result of George Zimmerman being acquitted by a jury in the death of Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman's claim of self-defense has been unanimously rejected by most of the black community causing nationwide rioting and raging tempers.
Ironically, ten thousand miles across the other side of the world in the heart of the middle east, the nation of Iran has also weighed in with their opinion on the controversial trial of the decade.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Seyed Abbas Araqchi said, "the murder of the teenage African American once again clearly demonstrated the unwritten, systematic racial discrimination against racial, religious and ethnic minorities in the US society."
 Araqchi went on to declare that the ruling, "seriously put under question the fairness of the judicial process in the United States."
As I sit here preparing to respond to the statements made by Iran's foreign minister, I hardly know where to begin! The mullahs of Iran are accusing our legal system of being unfair and racially bias and that we are guilty of ethnic and religious discrimination! They are demanding justice for Trayvon!
Are you kidding me, Mr. Araqchi? I think before you lecture us on our "sins" that you first need to clean up your own backyard!
 Your prisons are filled with thousands of journalists, bloggers, lawyers and political activists, unjustly imprisoned and silenced for disagreeing with the dictatorship of the Iranian regime. They are beaten, tortured, denied proper medical care and eventually executed. How fair is that judicial process, Mr. Araqchi?
 You accuse of us engaging in "discrimination against racial and religious minorities," yet your country has no tolerance for religious freedom. If a Muslim converts to Christianity, they are arrested and brutally tortured until he or she recants and returns to the Islamic faith. And you say, we are guilty of the sin of religious and racial discrimination?
 There is a very important Biblical principle that Jesus taught about being judgmental toward others, that before we condemn and criticize the actions of someone else, we first need to remove the speck from our own eyes. Then we will be able to clearly see the speck in their eyes. In other words, we need to first deal with our own sinful shortcomings before we lecture someone else about theirs.
 Jesus had some of the harshest words and rebukes
against the religious leaders of his time. He exposed them for religious hypocrisy and called them blind guides and false teachers that were perverting the law of God for their own sinful ambitions.
Hypocrisy is a deadly sin that can effect us all and cause us to be blind to the truth.
 Iran wants Justice for Trayvon. But wait a minute, Mr. Araqchi. What about Justice for thousands of imprisoned Iranians, living under fear and oppression?
 I want justice for Neda Soltan, Mr. Araqchi, the beautiful Iranian woman who was peacefully protesting an unjust presidential election and was mercilessly gunned down by the basiji!
I want justice for Sattar Beheshti, a young blogger arrested for disagreeing with the Iranian regime and tortured to death in Evin Prison!
I want justice for Saeed Abedini, an American- Iranian Pastor, suffering from internal bleeding and imprisoned for Christian Faith!
The list could go on and on, but I think you can understand my outrage and frustration!
 Hypocrisy is a deadly snare that can blind us from the reality of our own sinful condition.
 There is a remedy to this deceitful sin.
  We can do what is good and pleasing in God's sight. He is pleased when we "act justly, show kindness and walk humbly before our God."  (Micah 6:8)
  I, too believe in fairness and justice, Mr. Araqchi. I, too hate racism and discrimination.
  But before we can begin criticizing, we must first remove the "speck" from our own eyes.
  That is the only cure for blind hypocrisy, Mr.Araqchi.
   May God open our eyes to clearly see!