Tag Archives: Stuart Robinson

Islam’s Enemy

 

Arabic newspaper, al Insan al Jadid called him Islam’s Public Enemy #1. Not to be outdone, an Islamist website reportedly declared him to be one of the most wanted infidels in the world. To reinforce the point they put a $60million bounty on his head!

In 2009 calls were made to strip him of his Egyptian citizenship. A court case was lodged in an attempt to compel the Egyptian Government to request Interpol to arrest and deliver him to Egyptian authorities. He is probably the most widely loved and hated person across the Middle East and wherever Arabic is spoken in North America, Australia and elsewhere. He is certainly the most watched, because of his daily TV satellite broadcasts into Islam’s heartlands.

Although World Magazine gave him their “Daniel of the Year” award in 2008 in acknowledging his bravery in the face of constant violent threats, he remains largely unknown in the West. In part to redress our ignorance he was to make his first public appearance in continental Europe to deliver a lecture in Vienna in 2010. Muslim threats of violence compelled the meeting to be cancelled. In 2012 he received more media attention in the West when it was falsely claimed he was associated with the film “Innocence of Muslims”. This film provoked violent reactions across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

When his satellite broadcasts ceased in July 2010 there was relief in some quarters. But in November 2011 transmission was recommenced on Al Fady Channel.

Why are Muslim leaders so upset with this man?

Why do they decline to debate with him?

Why do they want him dead?

He says that Truth should be freely available to all. Toward that end he challenges Muslims to discover the truth of Islam, to re-examine their long held assumptions and make their own decisions unfettered from external influence and control. He does this effectively through his lifelong study of Arabic language and Islam’s authoritative texts and commentaries and by comparing these with Truth as it is revealed especially through Jesus and the Bible.

When through internet communication enquirers feel safely freed from censorship control and fear imposed by Islamic authorities and uncontrollable mobs who may attack anyone questioning or criticising tenets of Islam, the results are staggering.

Television behemoth, al Jazeera, reportedly aired a segment about this troublesome preacher in which it was claimed that he was making an “unprecedented evangelical raid on the Muslim world.” Muslim cleric Ahmal al Qatari is reported as saying that 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity annually many being persuaded by this man.

Only after he turned 70 years of age was he permitted to retire from the Priesthood of the Coptic Orthodox Church to commence full time his unique outreach to Muslims.

Today he is almost 80. He says,”There is no fear in my dictionary. I am determined to see people freed from the grasp of the evil one and converted to the freedom of Jesus Christ.”zakaria

God continues using his ministry to multiply viewers and new believers in Jesus from the world of Islam.

His name is Zakaria Botross. You can learn about his amazing life and ministry in the book Defying Death written by myself with Peter Botross, published by City Harvest.

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Small Understandings

A few days ago a friend asked if I’d seen a movie based on the true life story of a pastor who had established a shelter for children in a violently conflicted area of Africa. I replied that I’d never heard of it.

So he disappeared into his home and returned quickly to hand me the movie. For several days I’ve been looking at it. Not the actual movie but the packaging in which it comes.

It’s compressed into a small silver key the total dimensions of which are 5x1x0.2cm. And it’s not the only movie in there. There are several of them in that little device. How amazing is technology that it can compress years of work of thousands of people who produce these films into such a small device!

When I became a Christian and first read the Bible, I remember discovering Matthew 10:30 which says that God knows the number of hairs on our head. I had my doubts.

Then I reached Matthew 12:36 in which Jesus says we are going to be held accountable for every word we speak. How could that ever be possible?. Surely Jesus was speaking metaphorically. He couldn’t mean this literally.

I certainly don’t think like that anymore.
Watch this video and you will see why.


If our inventiveness can produce this, imagine what God can do. After all he created the humans who produce this.

Of Him the Bible says that he knows everything (Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20). His understanding has no limit (Psalm 147:5).

 

By comparison, my very small finite understanding has grown just a little bit and it’s only taken seven decades.

 

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False Expectations

I am a preacher. For 57 years I’ve been a preacher. So I’m used to seeing peoples’ heads droop  as I drone on. But in more recent times the number of heads which drooped seemed more than usual. And it was happening even before I began to preach. I thought that someone may have warned the congregation what to expect. So much for my faulty expectations.
Light dawned as to what was really happening, when a couple of weeks ago, I had the exquisite pleasure of actually sitting in a congregation and listening to another preacher.
 He was usually a much better contemporary communicator than I could ever be, but he was dealt the same treatment as I had been. When he started to preach many heads went down. It wasn’t the time for corporate prayer. He had mentioned a Bible  reference. But these people didn’t have Bibles. They had smart phones with Bible Apps!
I have a smart phone. I’ve never actually bought any sort of cell phone in my life. Younger people offer me theirs when they upgrade to the latest “must have” device. I had mistakenly believed that a phone was a device used only to talk to others at a distance. Having been given one of these smart phones, I was now obliged to become smart myself by entering the App world and download a Bible so I could “get with it”.
 That operation was a bit beyond me, but with the help of two more experienced accomplices I finally had access to about 20 editions of the sacred book through my phone. I hoped God didn’t want to phone me, because I doubted there was  much room for him to get a word in after all those  Bibles were downloaded.
Confidently I arrived at church last week armed with my phone and all its Bibles. My hand  hovered nervously over the phone waiting for the preacher to give his first reference. Finally he mentioned the Book of Acts plus chapter and verse. Off I went into a frenzy of  phone  tapping. Twenty-five minutes later at last I found that reference, just before the benediction was announced.
At  the end of service, as I was floundering in a cloud of enfeebled frustration, my grandson Obed suddenly cheerily loomed large. He optimistically announced, “Granddad, I noticed you were trying to use your phone to find Bible references. If you’ll just do it again and again you’ll eventually learn how”
“Thanks for your encouragement Obed”, I gloomily replied.
In the last couple of weeks as I’ve struggled with this new technology I’ve missed much of what the preacher has said. But one thing has stuck. It was a true story told to him first hand by a business acquaintance.
This fellow was sitting with his wife in their church as the Pastor was making a strong case for giving to a particular good cause. As the pastor spoke, this businessman leaned closer to his wife to talk about what should be their gift toward what the pastor was presenting. They agreed it would be $100 000.
But as the pastor was concluding his presentation, he mentioned that the most he expected any would be able to give should   be $1000.
What was this couple to do? They wanted to participate, but they also wanted to honour their pastors expectations. They solved the dilemma by giving $10 000. By setting a limit through his own expectations, the Pastor had just “lost ” needlessly $90 000! His assessment on what others may have been able or willing to give, was as bad as mine when I thought that people were dropping off to sleep, when in fact they were reading electronically the Bible references and making notes as I spoke.
Lesson to learn? People are more committed than we preachers give credit for and God is able to move them more mightily than our mini expectations allow, if we get out of the way and allow him to do what only he to do.

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Leadership

A week ago, my son Kynan finally managed to persuade me to provide a little material so he could construct and put up a web site on my behalf. Then, after that was successfully launched, he informed me I now have to feed this monster.
I am struggling to enter the twentieth century. Should I live long enough I might even reach the degree of competency which could qualify me to be admitted to the twenty-first century. In the “good old days” some people considered me to be a “leader”. Now, at least in technological terms, I don’t even qualify to be classified as having reached nappy status. I am typical of my generation.
Two weeks ago my wife and I suddenly discovered that our television screen was reduced to showing us only four of the available free- to- air channels. We pressed every button on the remote control which was available. No improvement. Mind you, it wasn’t much of a loss because we never watch any of the commercial channels except when the Australian tennis championships are on. But I was miffed.   baby with computer
For two weeks I fumed at that wretched TV screen till my son- in- law Rob turned up. He’s our in- house fixer of anything electronic. He tried for a few minutes but without success. Fortunately his son Obed was also present, head buried in some mini electronic gadget as usual. So my grandson was summoned to assist.
 Bingo! Opening a panel in the set I didn’t even know existed, in two and a half seconds he had the problem solved. I wasn’t too upset because we’ve only had this TV set for two years, so we can’t be expected to know everything about it. But I did think, so much for my leadership of my generation. Already I am passed by my grandson and cast aside as a useless relic of a previous era.
But how might one identify a real leader as compared to those whizz kids that have mastered all the technology that continuously bedazzles us?  Here is a little acrostic that I have found helpful to remind me of what real leaders might look like.
Leaders:  Model the way forward
                Inspire vision
                Challenge processes
                Enable others to act
                Encourage the heart
A leader who fulfils this MICEE role will never be mistaken for a rat. Like the Pied Piper, these sorts of leaders attract many followers irrespective of technological competence or incompetence.

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Welcome

It’s exhilarating to think how easily through modern technology, with a few key strokes we can access millions of other people around the world. While I have been privileged to work in over 70 countries I may not have visited you personally. But by coming to this site you are visiting me. Amazing!

I’m sorry I may not yet know you personally and therefore we are still strangers. But by your visit we may start the journey toward friendship. Remember, strangers are only friends who have yet to meet.

Welcome to my site. May we both enjoy your visit.

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