Today’s devotion may be alarming to some. Please do not read if you are squeamish.
Isaiah 53: 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
I’m going to a movie this afternoon, but it’s not one that I’m going to enjoy. It’s called “The Stoning of Soraya M.” It’s about a young Iranian woman who was falsely accused of ‘unworthy conduct’ in her village and who ended up being horribly stoned to death, just for being a woman.
I cannot believe that in this 21st century that women are being stoned to death in Iran. Gays and teenagers are also being killed in their communities by religious fanatics who wrongly believe that God wants these people stoned to death.
About eighteen months ago, I watched a horrifying video which was smuggled out of Iran of two young people being stoned to death. They were semi-entombed in a pit and covered in a white shroud. They were absolutely terrified and their families were desperately trying to protect them. When the mullah gave the word, stones the size of baseballs were harshly thrown against the bodies, faces, and heads of the unfortunate couple. Their agonized screams were drowned out by a fanatical chorus of “Allah akbhar!” (God is great!). The execution took fifteen minutes and when the camera secretly panned over the bodies all that could be seen was blood, guts, and brains.
How long can the United Nations allow this to happen? How long will Western governments dependent upon oil put up with these satanic injustices? How long will liberated women in the West ignore the plight of their sisters in Iran? And how long will Christian churches, whose Savior died a similar agonizing and repulsive death, who also spoke out against the stoning of women, how long will our churches refuse to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves?
Prayer: Lord God, this world is tarnished by religious monsters and zealous terrorists who commit atrocities in Your Holy Name. Stop allowing them to hide behind the trappings of faith and raise up Your Son’s Church to courageously and boldly speak out against these evils. In Christ’s Holy Name, we pray for the women, the gays, and teenagers of Iran who live in fear of false accusations and satanic executions. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.