1. ardeth hines
    September 13, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

    I was not there because I have heard this man preach before and didn’t think I could take it — again. But aren’t you good to bring it up for discussion? That’s gutsy, David.

    IMHO and BTW, it is a disservice to anyone’s message to demean/insult the leader of the country where one is a guest.

    While what Fr. Sookdeo said about the suffering/martyred church is apt, the last time I heard him preach — admittedly some years ago — he was so hateful about Muslims that it seemed to me irrational, especially considering our value in this country about not tarring every member of a group for the acts of a few. Not to mention that, at the time, I had a largish number of Muslim students who were terrified that they would be being deported as a result of 9/11 so I was of necessity protected from what I perceived to be a rant.

    It is true that I am pretty liberal, but not liberal enuf to enjoy having the country we served for so many years trashed; I just don’t blame us for everything and I think it displays amazing ignorance to do so.

    Let it be said that the suffering church around the world take a prominent place in my own prayers.

    I’m just sayin’ . . . . .


  2. Nancy Rooker
    September 13, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

    I appreciated hearing from Patrick. We must hear and read about the persecution of Christians in other parts of the world and grapple with the complexities of what we find. No, I do not want to stereotype anyone, but neither do I want to bury my head in the sand about very real and messy conflicts happening in countries that we, as Americans, tend to view somewhat idealistically through our own Western eyes. It is our obligation, as citizens and believers, to keep listening to various points of view and especially to first-hand witnesses of life in tumultuous places so that we might seek the truth, not just affirmations of our own individual moral leanings, and then pray and vote responsibly.


  3. Jessica
    September 13, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

    We were sorry to miss last week. Is there a recording available?


  4. Mary Ann
    September 14, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

    I would like to hear this sermon…. was it not recorded?


  5. David Hanke
    September 15, 2013 @ 6:42 am

    Ardeth and Nancy, thanks for your comments and for your honest wrestling with how we respond to challenging teaching.

    Jessica and Mary Ann, we are working on posting this sermon on our site. When we have the URL, we’ll put it here. The sermon will be outside of our normal podcast delivery vehicle.


  6. David Hanke
    September 15, 2013 @ 8:34 am

    The audio is now up. Please look for the player at the end of this blog post.


  7. Erica C.
    September 17, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

    I’m really proud of our community in navigating this. I’m proud to attend a thoughtful and prayerful church that navigates the real turbulance of the world humbly asking for wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit.

    I also really appreciate the way engaging the tough stuff is modeled. I have prayed for Syria and much more urgently over the last week. God guide and preserve our way, and may that way be IN you.


  8. David Hanke
    September 19, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

    These were the prayers of the people that were prayed in our service after the sermon. I think they do a great job of capturing Restoration’s heart and hope in the midst of this:

    Lord, we thank you for Patrick and pray that the words he shared with us may touch our hearts, prompt us to educate ourselves, and move us to action.

    Lord I lift up the work of the Barnabas Fund. We take for granted that we can worship you freely and in peace, too often forgetting our Christian brothers and sisters who cannot do this and who boldly proclaim your name in the face of persecution.

    Lord, we pray particularly for the people of Syria. We grieve with you over the lives lost and the continued violence. Guide the world’s leaders in prudent, just decision-making in helping to bring this situation to a swift, just and sustainable resolution. Protect the innocent lives of Syrians in country and who have fled the war.


  9. Mark Makary
    September 19, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

    MIDDLE EASTERNER HERE. STEP BACK!!! 🙂 David H, once again, I am blessed by your sensibility and discernment. Not always will the guest speaker represent the views of the congregation but your character, approachability and heart of peace allow you to challenge the congregation with these perspectives (even when you don’t know what the speaker will say) and I think we all appreciate you for it, when we agree and when we don’t agree with what is said. Thank you for being so approachable.

    A VOICE OF DISSENT: One common them among the people in my life who spend a lot of time with my biological brother, sister, myself and family is that they always come around and view the Middle East and the role of the U.S. to intervene in almost a completely opposite way after having spent time with us. These are loving but in depth conversation rooted in history, facts, quotes, culture, a history no person regardless of brilliance in the U.S. understands from a textbook. My family has lived there for hundreds of years. My parents fled. My father could not return to see his dying and then deceased father because the govt would get a hold of him and not let him leave again. When you live in this culture and live in this history, and when you live side by side with the Muslim Brotherhood, you see beyond a peaceful soundbite from a well dressed educated man who does charity work with the brotherhood. You see the lies. Why is it everyone in the middle east agrees on things like the “coupe” (which wasn’t a coupe) and Syria and on and on. Why is it Egyptians have been saying things like brotherhood is bad news when the folks in the highest levels of U.S. Govt are saying “they are peaceful” and acquaintances of mine who are very high level believe this also. It truly breaks my heart how naive we are. I saw the harsh offended reaction people had to Patrick on Sunday but I admit I also enjoy watching my brothers and sisters get a little taste of what the entire middle east feels. We have no right to interfere. They have no need or interest in our money. We are not entitled to anything. And Egyptians laugh at the money that is given in order for the U.S. to “preserve their interests.” The middle east would be a better place if American just took care of America inside it’s walls. How many terrorists have we helped install to date by always trying to take sides. We say we don’t take sides but we fund terrorism. Love, peace and happiness! – Mark


  10. S & T
    September 24, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

    It’s a sign of a mature church when you can give the platform to a guest speaker who you can guess in advance will ruffle some feathers and not see the world through the same prism as the congregation.

    I live in the Middle East. I have just listened to his message on line. Patrick chose his words carefully. Despite that I am sure his message seemed hard to some of you in Washington DC. The line he took would be consistent with how many people in this region, Christian, Muslim and secular, would interpret the politics of the West (Europe included).

    Feel free to disagree with him, but please keep your hearts open to the hurting hundreds of millions in this region who suffer from war, poverty, deprivation and the daily grind of hopelessness.

    I have been encouraged by your president’s willingness to cooperate in a bid to bring peace to Syria even though Putin has taken the lead role. His openness to dialogue with the new Iranian president. His reluctance to throw weapons of destruction and young men and women’s lives into yet more zones of conflict in the Gulf.

    You live and work in a key city in this needy world. May your discussions and understandable disagreements lead you to pray for peace and God’s hope to break into this part of the world. It’s happened before as the gospels testify.

    We need another visitation.


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