TV Interview by Hesham Tillawi
I am committed to speaking the message of Jesus whenever and wherever I am welcomed. It is the cry of my heart that the Church which professes to be built on the lordship of Jesus Christ come back to his teachings of love, compassion and forgiveness. When I discovered that some of Dr. Tillawi's other guests and contributors to his website are names which are now, or have been in the past, linked to extreme racism of various stripes I took pause and questioned if I should participate.
Then I remembered how Jesus acted and reacted to the people and issues of his time. He went where he was welcomed and taught about the kingdom of heaven which is at hand. A kingdom where the weak are strong, the poor are rich and the servant is the master. An upside down kingdom which is the antithesis of power, strength and domination of others and agression. In his kingdom his followers lead the way by being servants and loving their enemies and by standing steadfast in love in the face of oppressive power.
It is ironic but it seems the last place today anyone wants to hear of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control, and how that can be manifested in our world is America’s Churches. The Church, for the most part, is now the government and does the government’s bidding or remains silent while we go to war in the name of good vs. evil. The call to return to a sold out faith in Jesus and his words and example is only welcomed on left wing websites and programs like Current Issues who present views I do not hold.
Jesus commands us to go where we are welcome and to shake the dust from our shoes when his message is rejected. That is what I believe I have done.
The guest interviewed just before me was introduced in the following way:
"Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi (MD, MSc.) is an active participant in the building of a democratic Palestinian civil society and is one of the most prominent leaders of the Palestinian struggle." http://www.palestinemonitor.org/nueva_web/
Dr Mustafa Barghouthi (MD, Msc.) , an elected Palestinian peace activist, shows us that even in the worst violence there is a rational for peaceful actions. In fact, peace is the only hope for the oppressed.
The words and teachings of Jesus are included in the Koran and true Muslims are well acquainted with love, compassion and forgiveness. We all believe in a living God who made heaven and earth and a God who cares deeply for his children. This is a good place to start to heal the pain of war. Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi Said, “Respect…..there is no other way” when speaking of Palestine and Israel. He is calling for an "international peace Conference" to help the Palestinians. I was pleased to follow this hopeful, peaceful man.
Dr Tillawi was kind and respectful and the interview was a pleasant experience. I tried to convey the character of Christ in what I said. The internet audience for this program includes those who have been ravaged by war and who are seeking alternatives to violence. Clearly I do not support hate speech of any sort and condemn all forms of racism and violence and I made that very clear in the interview.
The plight of the Palestinians is seldom addressed in our media. The suicide bombers are revealed but the politics which helped to create this level of violence and desperation are not discussed. When it is, accusations of anti-Semitism are made. Conversely, most know of the political power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the newly formed Christians United for Israel (CUI).
Unfortunately, uniting with Israel in a military way will result in the killing of more Palestinians and other Arabs who have been displaced from their land and are currently living in the largest prison ever created and guarded by armed Israeli soldiers. This is a reality Christians must face if they accept the commonly held beliefs of end time events as interpreted in popular fiction novels. Jesus would never justify the killing of an Arab or a Jewish child (or any other). He came to set us all free to live together in peace not returning violence for violence. Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.
Please be reminded of these facts as you listen to the interview or if you explore the Current Issues website. I am an ambassador for Christ wherever I speak.
HERE IS THE LINK TO THE INTERVIEW
Here is a link to the Current Issues website