Monday, September 10, 2012

Pastor Nadarkhani Freed!

The Rev. Youcef Nadarkhani, who refused to recant his Christian faith even when sentenced to death - a sentence upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court - has been freed from prison after 1062 days!

Deo gratias!

Let us continue to pray fervently for our persecuted brethren.


Pr. H. R. said...

See the comment from Aaron Wolfe over at Steadfast Lutherans on this topic. It appears that their are some unanswered questions regarding this fellow's church: like whether it is a Trinity-denying modalist sect. . .


Rev. Larry Beane said...

Dear Heath:

Part of the problem is the murkiness of what house churches in persecuted areas teach. And so there is a lot of speculation. The links on some of the comments are dead. All that I can come up with is a lot of speculation that Yousef is "linked" to this group or "tied to" that group. The lack of doctrinal clarity in places where the faith is new and/or underground calls to mind the situation of Apollos at Corinth (Acts 19).

Nobody really seems to know exactly what affiliation or doctrinal creed Yousef holds to.

He does seem to hold to the divinity of Christ - a doctrine that unitarians and Arians (old and new) would not abide. Moreover, Nestorianism continued to be taught in Persia - even to the present day. It would not be a stretch to imagine any Christianity in Iran would carry some of that influence. Is Nestorianism a heresy, a schism, a sect, a heterodox confession, or something else? Is there a "felicitous inconsistency" at work here?

Until some definitive proof of what Nadarkhani confesses is out there, I think the 8th commandment compels us to put the best construction on his situation - especially given his circumstances. I know there are a slew of websites out there that accuse Lutherans of being a cult. I've often been surprised to learn about my own beliefs from the grapevine. ;-)

Sometimes it is a very good thing Christians don't have a theocracy the way the Muslims do in Iran - God help us!

Now that Nadarkhani has been freed, maybe some of these questions regarding his theology can be answered apart from rumor and innuendo. However, I suspect he will not leave Iran, will continue preaching, and will be arrested again.

Whether he is a heretic, sectarian, murky on his doctrine, or a trinitarian who is being slandered - this is a clear case of a man being persecuted on account of a confession of Jesus Christ.