Monday, August 01, 2005

Pastor offers forgiveness

I spoke to my American missionary/pastor friend today.  When I first called him he was actually in court, and sent me a text message saying so.  But he called me back later.  It turns out that the protestant church is building a building in the city of Deçan.  This friend of mine has probably been in Kosova longer than anyone else, speaks very, very good Albanian and has a really well-developed missiology.  In short, he’s someone I really look up to.  Within the community of Dan there as been some resistance to the building of a church.  This isn’t unexpected in a Muslim country.  However, my friend has gone to great lengths to dialogue with those in opposition to create a way through it.


Yesterday a man called him up and invited him to coffee.  The man was one of those who had signed a petition against the building and wanted to talk to my friend.  So they met together at a coffee shop.  My friend brought the plans, hoping to clear up doubts and suspicions.  As they talked the man accused my friend of trying to lure away children.  My friend countered, offering to require express parental permission for all children involved.  After about five minutes of discussion, the man jumped up and started beating my friend.


Fortunately, there was a table of policeman drinking coffee close by, who managed to pull the attacker off fairly quickly.  None the less, the injuries meant being transferred to the regional hospital for treatment.  Today, twenty-four hours later, he was in court.  When my friend appeared before the judge he said that he didn’t’ want to press charges, and said, “I forgive this man” publicly.


At any rate God is big, the Kingdom of God is moving forward here, and I’m proud of my friend.



Admirim said...

Are you proud of the fact that there are hundreds of Muslims praying in streets in the freezing cold while you evilgelists want to impose your churchs and your man-made theology to them?

Jeff said...

admirim, thanks for stopping by. Out of respect for you I'll try to respond in shqip, please forgive my poor grammar.

S'kuptoj. Ku janë qindra muslimaneve duke lutur dhe duke ngrirë ne rrugë? Nuk ka lidhje me të cilën unë kam shkruar.

Unë shkrova sa i përket dikush që ka falur dikënd tjeter, as për krenari, as për imponin të feje.

Ne nuk imponojmë ose detyrojmë asgjë ose askënd. Ne ofromjmë diçka që ishte midis shqiptarëve prej shkekulli i parë.

Faleminderit që i keni commentuar këtu. Lexonie me shume këtu per histori i të krishterim ndër shqiptarëve:

Admirim said...

I'll try to respond in English ;)

The article was about a new church, in a place where there are no Muslims. This is what I call "imposing".

And, about "go back to the religion of your grandfathers" theory, we're fed up with this. Please read this verse from Koran and reflect:

"When it is said to them: "Follow what Allah hath revealed:" They say: "Nay! we shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance?" (Qur'an, 2:170)

May God guide you! Peace!

Admirim said...


In my previous comment I made a mistake, I said there are no Muslims. Actually, there are no Christians in that place. I'm sorry :( Thanks!

Jeff said...

admirim, thank you for continuing the conversation. My original article was about a new church in Deçan, a city with many, many Muslims. I do not believe it is "imposing" to offer something that people are free to receive or reject. We try to offer what we have with open hands, not forcing or manipulating people to take something they do not want.

If you have personally had a different experience with evangelical Christians then I am truly sorry for that. No one should be forced to adopt a faith, or have one imposed upon them.

The text at the website I referenced was written by Dr. Femi Cakolli, pastor of the Bashkësi Ungjillore e Mesisë in Prishtina. He received his doctorate from the University of Prishtina in Albanian literature. As such, he is better qualified to speak on Albanian history than I am.

Peace be to you as well and thank you

Admirim said...

To support his claim, Femi Cakolli quoted St.Paul only (as a side note: I consider the teachings of St. Paul contrary to the original message of Jesus (peace be upon him).).


Anonymous said...

Hehe, you want to send us back to Shekulli i Pare...? I thought we moved on?!

6 thousands years of continuous violent (moral) crusades have failed to break the back of the Albanian. We can endure 6 thousand more years of the likes of you who arrogantly fool themselves into believing they can tamper with the one of the worlds richest civilisations.

There is no compulsion in Islam!

Else, Admirim said it all.

Jeff said...

Anony, thanks for your comment. I don't want to send anyone back to the first century. There is no compulsion in biblical Christianity either.

Horrible things have been done in the name of most of the world major religions, including Islam and Christianity. The deviations from a religion's core teachings prove nothing other than are deviant humans. It is an old argument, but a very weak one.

Thanks for commenting.