Can you hear it?
Let me explain.
An extraordinary phenomenon has taken place over the last few years in Iran – or, to give it its full title, the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the context of the strict application of Shariah Law and in a climate of severe persecution for anyone who converts to Christianity, a steady stream of people are risking life and limb in their declaration of allegiance to the way of Jesus. To become an apostate of Islam is extremely costly, and there are plenty of documented cases of rape, imprisonment and torture of those brave enough to follow their convictions. Yet the Church in Iran has become the fastest growing in the world.
So when an Iranian Christian couple managed to emigrate to the USA, it was their ticket to safety in the ‘land of the free’. Of course, they seized the opportunity. Unsurprisingly. Yet what was surprising, was that after living in the USA for a while, the wife said to her husband: “Please, take me back to Iran. There is a satanic lullaby in this nation. All the Christians are asleep, and I feel myself falling asleep.”
Here was a woman who had escaped the very real probability of sexual violence, loss of income and separation from loved ones through incarceration or worse, and yet she was saying that that risk was worth taking because of the greater danger to her very soul of the insidious and deathly lies she was (and we are) being steadily drip-fed in the Western world.
Think about that for a minute.
A satanic lullaby… can you hear it?
A church leader in London asked me to give this prickly sermon before lockdown, addressing some key cultural issues that most steer clear of. So I’ve just re-recorded it, if you fancy a listen.
Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich was asked whether it was more effective to change society through violent revolution or gradual reform. He replied: ‘Neither. If you want to change society, you must tell an alternative story.’
Here’s to telling the best alternative story in the world!