UPDATED AT 6:15pm eastern Thurs — LATEST HEADLINES ADDED 10am Friday
A few initial thoughts on Mubarak’s speech:
- As I was listening to the speech, my immediate thought was of the Pharoah in the Book of Exodus refusing to let the Jews go. Today, Mubarak refuses to go. Today, Mubarak refuses to let the Egyptian people go.
- The Egyptian people deserve spiritual, economic and political freedom. They deserve so much better than what they have.
- That was not a speech of a man ready much less eager to step down from 31 years in power. Mubarark is resisting international pressure to leave on anyone else’s time table but his own.
- I want to see Mubarak go, but I don’t want to see a coup, or a takeover by a new authoritarian dictator, or by Radical Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
- The speech creates more uncertainty in Egypt, in Israel and throughout the epicenter. For most people, uncertainty creates anxiety.
- Followers of Jesus Christ need to stay focused on that Christ is the King of kings and Lord of laws. He alone is sovereign. He “removes kings and establishes kings,” as the Hebrew Prophet Daniel wrote in Daniel 2:21.
- I was just on a radio show and was asked, how can Christians in the U.S. pray for Egypt right now. My immediate answer: Please pray for the Church in Egypt to be bold, courageous, fearless witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, the Reformers are in the streets by the hundreds of thousands saying what they think is the answer to Egypt’s problems (depose Mubarak, end the emergency law, and bring about free and fair elections). The Radicals such as the Muslim Brotherhood is clear about their answer (“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”) Now it’s time for true followers of our Lord Jesus to preach the gospel throughout Egypt will urgency and courage. Christ is the Prince of Peace. He is the only true and lasting hope for the dear people of Egypt.
- Another question I was asked: “As you’ve watched this situation in Egypt unfold in recent weeks, do you see a possibility that if there is an orderly transition that the situation for Christians could actually improve?” My answer: “It’s a very interesting question. Yes, it could. I think of the time when the Soviet Empire collapsed on Christmas Day in 1991. That opened up Russia and the entire Eastern bloc to the gospel. Many people came to faith in Christ. Many new congregations were planted. Many new pastors were called and trained. So that’s one scenario, more freedom opening a door for the gospel. But then there’s the Iraninan model. The fact that Radicals have been in power there for 32 years has been what God has used to begin to change that country. A Radical regime in Iran has counterintuitively been the healthiest for the church. Not easy. Don’t get me wrong. There’s been terrible persecution. But God has used all this to shake Iranians from their belief that is Islam is the answer and jihad is the way. Millions of Iranians have turned away from Islam. At least one million Iranians, it is estimated, have come to faith in Christ. So God can use two entirely different environments, the opening up of freedom and democracy, or a crackdown and more repression, to bring souls to Himself. God is sovereign. And we need to pray that the people of Egypt hear the gospel and make a decision to receive Jesus Christaas their personal Lord and Savior no matter which way this plays out.”
- A few verses the Lord is bringing to my mind: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.” (Isaiah 61:1)
- “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” (John 8:36)
- “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
- The Joshua Fund seeks to mobilize Christians around the world to pray faithfully for the people of Egypt. We have funded projects to get the gospel out in Egypt in the recent past. We are funding a conference for Egyptian pastors that was scheduled for the week the revolution began. Lord willing, it will be rescheduled soon. We stand with our brothers and sisters there and with like-minded believers around the world in bringing the good news message of salvation and freedom through Jesus Christ to the Egyptian people who need it more than ever. Please join with us in prayer. God is doing great things in Egypt amidst all the evil that others are perpetrating. What’s more, God demonstrates His love towards the people of Egypt in the prophecies of Isaiah 19, which indicate that after so many trials and tribulations in that historic country, there will be a great national spiritual awakening, and many, many millions of Egyptians will turn away from the religious, political, and pseudo-spiritual ideas that have taken them down the wrong road and will come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Let us pray and work for that day.
HEADLINES TO TRACK:
- U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper: Muslim Brotherhood “Largely Secular,” “Has Eschewed Violence”
- NBC News reporter calls Clapper’s comment “terrifying” and completely wrong
- ABC News on Fri: Office Of The Director Of National Intelligence “Clarifies” Remarks On Muslim Brotherhood
- FBI Chief: Muslim Brotherhood Supports Terrorism
- Text of Mubarak’s speech
- ‘Nearly one million protesters descend on Cairo square’
- VIDEO: Fmr. U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Daniel Kurtzer warns against dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood: “The Moslem Brotherhood since its founding in 1928 has one single goal, 25 and that is to transform Egypt into an Islamic state, and once that’s achieved it’s goal is to transform the Middle East into a pan-Arabist Islamic state…. It is flexible in tactics. … for large periods in its history it has eschewed violence. The Brotherhood has tactical flexibility, but that doesnt change their goals one iota. That doesn’t mean necesaarily that they need to be kept out of the halls of power. It doesn’t mean they need to be hunted down. But that does mean there needs to be great caution in simplistic analysis in how the Muslim Brotherhood will act with respect to power. And the question of whether or not this movement will try to hijack a political movement for its own purposes will be kept squarely in mind. This is on the minds of the Egyptian military.One can be sure that the role of the Muslim Brotherhood will be circumscribed [by the military].”
- Tarek Heggy, moderate Arab writer and thinker: The Reality of the Muslim Brotherhood