International (MNN) — This week marks the 25th
anniversary of the ouster of Philippines' dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.
The revolution is uppermost in people's minds because of the
anti-government uprisings blanketing the Middle East. Evangelist Sammy Tippit notes the parallels in
history. "25 years ago in the Philippines, we saw in 1989 the collapse of
Communism in Eastern Europe. Now we're
seeing the Middle East, and you're saying, ‘Why is all of this happening?'"
Oppression drives the outrage, along with corruption,
political chaos, and economic trouble.
These issues raise the tension levels to the boiling point. Tippit explains that there are biblical
truths revealed in these large-scale social manifestations. "Man
was created of God, and if you suppress that, eventually at some point in time, it's going to erupt. And the second thing is:
Man was created to live in a manner of freedom, with the ability to make a
choice, to determine his own future, his own dreams and aspirations. And if you
suppress that, it's going to erupt ."
There's a big question mark, too, as revolt continues to
shake the leadership in several of the countries in the Middle East. "Any time there's a people movement for
freedom, I think that's a good thing. The church really needs to step up and pray for what's going to fill the
vacuum that is going to come into these countries."
Christians are often mistaken as unpatriotic, but the
opposite is true. Scripture tells them
not only to pray for their leaders, but also to be ready to answer questions
with the peace of the Gospel. Why? The upheaval often creates fear and prompts
people to question what they really believe. That's not unusual, says Tippit. "During times of change, people are
more open to the Gospel than at any other time. So we need to pray that
somehow the believers who are in those countries would have great
opportunities to share their faith."
As Libya unravels and other countries take a firmer stance
on unrest, Tippit says that there is a window of opportunity. "I think Christian organizations and Christian
churches who have outreaches into those areas need to gear up and see how they
can go in on a practical manner and meet the needs of the people, help them to
establish themselves, and act as a resource."
It works like this: "[If] we will show Christian kindness
and Christian love, we will eventually have a great opportunity to share the
Gospel of Jesus Christ." More STM resources
can be found here.