Thursday, June 01, 2006

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to... Indonesia!

Indonesia Page in Wikipedia

World Factbook: Indonesia

Tourism Indonesia

The Ultimate Indonesia Homepage

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Indonesia, as it is the custom in that country to remove shoes when entering homes.

Most of us heard the news about the earthquake in Indonesia. Another big natural disaster.

Indonesia is made up of many islands, some large and some small.

The people of Indonesia are mostly Malay in ethnicity. They are predomminantly Muslim, though Bali is mainly Hindu. The Islam of Indonesia is more liberal than that of the middle east. It has been influenced in part by some pre-Islamic traditions. However, more militant and conservative interpretations of Islam are spreading in Indonesia. The terrorist bombing in the Bali nightclub in 2003 was a shock to the world.

Christians in Indonesia are mostly among the Chinese minority, though there are Christians among the Malays and tribal peoples.

The economy of Indonesia has not always been all that stable and the Tsunami of 2004 set it back somewhat. However, the country has considerable natural resources, as well as tourism.

Indonesia is a country in which Christians suffer persecution. For more information about the suffering church worldwide please visit these sites:

Barnabas Fund

Open Doors International


The IBEX Scribe said...

That country has seen a lot of natural disasters over the last few years. It is very scary to think of militant Muslim groups making inroads. This does not leave one optimistic about the future of this fallen world. I'm glad we have the Bible to give us hope!

Redeemed said...

I think that all those natural disasters that we have seen over the past year and a half are none other than the works of the Lord. Unfortunately, it is an ungodly nation and we must pray for those few Christians that do suffer persecution at the hands of an ungodly and wicked government.

The IBEX Scribe said...

Would you say the same thing about Hurricaine Katrina flooding New Orleans, Sarah?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

You may be right, Sarah.

Redeemed said...

yes, I would. Can't explain too well now (at work) but remember this. Katrina took place right after the US ordered the Israelites to leave Gaza....don't remember the details too well. Will get back to you later tonight.

The IBEX Scribe said...

A lot of people in the US blame it on the sin loving Mardi Gras attitude of the city. A group from my church just went there and said that the most "sin-intensive" areas were not destroyed. San Francisco and Las Vegas still stand. The flood damage to the city could have been largely avoided had the local officials chosen to heed the advice given to them to strengthen the levees on the Mississippi River/Lake Ponchetrain (or however that's spelled) dam. They knew very well that the levees wouldn't hold in anything worse than a category 3 hurricaine. Given their location in the Gulf of Mexico and the number of hurricaines that hit every year, I think a major part of the catastrophic magnitude of the damage can be blamed on those who chose to build a city below sea level with less than adequate precautions against foreseeable natural disasters. I admit that my opinion on some of this is probably in part due to the fact that I think the mayor of the city is a racist idiot. This is not to say that God didn't send it as punishment for something (my thoughts on this later).

Your connection to Israeli pull-out from Gaza (I don't know why anyone would WANT to live there right now, honestly - it's completely unsafe) is one I have not heard before. I have no idea what was going on the world when it all happened. It was right after I moved and I had neither internet nor TV at the time and didn't even know New Orleans was flooded until several days after it happened. Many think (myself included) that the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 (American date reckoning) were because the US is one of the few countries that even somewhat consistently supports Israel. Terrorism or acts of God - seems a no-win situation from one perspective. I am definitely pro-Israeli myself and cannot stand UN policies toward Israel (why Gaza is an occupied territory, why Sinai is still part of Egypt, why the West Bank and Golan Heights are occupied territories - Israel managed to conquer all of these areas in war and the UN told them to give them back, more or less). It does make me wonder where the punishment is for the countries that consistently attempt to destroy Israel. Is the fact that they cannot escape fighting at least one war per decade their punishment or is God preparing something "special" for them? I'm more inclined to say both.

What is also common to hear in the US is that what happened in New Orleans is a punishment for the war in Iraq. What we see as the cause for punishment depends a lot on our perspective.

Like I said, I am not going to say that natural disasters (or even terrorist attacks, although I see that as a "hate crime" more than punishment, per se) are NOT punishments from God. I tend to view them as signs of the times more than anything else, however. The earth is groaning.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

One must be cautitous about declaring that an event is God's judgment. However, it is unwise to rule it out and I think pointing out reasons why an event might be a judgment is never a bad thing.

I think one must be careful about how one interprets the Israeli situation.

I tend to be Pro-Israel, but I am unhappy with the dogmatism of many Christian sympathizers of Israel.

The land belongs to Israel, but they will only have it in God's timing. The current Israeli regime is a man-made institution and not of God. Though we may sympathize with it, the Israeli state is Satan's counterfeit. I beleive that the Antichrist will eventually be the chief of state in Israel.

Every Blessing in Christ


The IBEX Scribe said...

You are quite right about the Israeli government being of man, Matthew. It's an odd thing, too. There is the religious right with a lot of political power (more than they should have, in my honest opinion) and then policies like state funded abortions for women in the military. It is a very secular country for the most part.

Redeemed said...

My thoughts on this are as you mentioned, Angie. Those are certainly signs of the end times and we are awaiting the imminent return of Jesus Christ. But I also do believe that the reason the US, and England, are a blessed nation like none other are because of their pro-Israel stand. I believe it is a dangerous position to stand against God’s chosen people, Israel.

Yet, I fully agree with you, Matthew. I am pro-Israel, certainly, but the Jews today are not the Jews we read of in the OT, since they have rejected and crucified their Saviour. For this, no other nation has suffered like Israel. And though they will suffer yet more, there will come a day when the Lord will redeem His nation, but only when they confess Christ.

The IBEX Scribe said...

Matthew, you say that one must be careful in declaring an event to be God's judgment. How does this differ from declaring an illness in someone's life (yea, verily, even unto death) to be a punishment for sin, even if the sin is known?

Kitty Cheng said...

Yes the World Team Mission family have many missionaries working in Indonesia (particularly Papua). May God bless this country, and bless them for taking their shoes off at the door :)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sarah, is it a legitimate use of taxpayers money for the USA to prop up the Israeli government? I have my doubts. God will fulfill His promises to Israel without our trying to help Satan's counterfeit kingdom.

Angie, good question. The answer is simple.

The Bible deals with believers foremost. It also deals with Israel as a nation. Therefore it has much to say about the principles of how the believer and Israel are judged.

The Bible has things to say about God's dealings with the Gentile nations, but not in the same detail. There are no clear principles revealed in the Word of God as to how God consitently deals with the Gentile nations. Hence, we cannot have the same certainty that God will judge the USA for its actions, in the same way that we can be certain God will judge a Christian for his actions.

Kitty, thanks for visiting.

Every Blessing in Christ


The IBEX Scribe said...

Okay, thanks for answering the question, Matthew. :)

Redeemed said...

"God will fulfill His promises to Israel without our trying to help Satan's counterfeit kingdom".

I absolutely agree.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I think a lot of Christians are a bit sentimental about anything to do with Israel and the Jews.

Redeemed said...

Well, I understand why. I'm not sentimental, just careful. You'd be surprised how many Christians (born again) dislike Israel.

Like you said, God will fulfil His promise to Israel, but before getting to that promise, Israel will suffer much persecution. But I would not dare touch them, except in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I do hope and pray that the US, Canada and England will not be of the nations that shall go up against Jerusalem.

Zec 12:9-10 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

These scriptures will all one day (and soon) be fulfilled.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Great thoughts, Sarah.

Redeemed said...

Thanks, Matthew. :)