Thursday, April 27, 2006

Talking to the Shah of I Ran

I was talking to the Shah of Iran yesterday.

You don't believe me? Which one? you ask. Okay so I have a slight problem. The modern Iranian monarchy began in 1501, and was abolished in 1979 under the leadership of a guy with a far more intimidating name than Shah - he was called Ayatollah. I realize that Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was the last Shah, and died in 1980, and is buried in Egypt.

But some guy named the Shah of Iran called me anyway.

He suggested that I do something quite difficult. He suggested that I invite some antagonistic people to come speak to our group, and describe the reasons for their aggressive actions. He suggested it would be healthy to do so.

Darn, I just want uncomfortable things to go away. Why does he have to go and suggest something self-depricating, and dangerous. I feel like I can only handle so many days of Crow for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Of course, he said it was for my good, and for the churches' good too. Well, I am not sure what I will do, but the fact that I struggle with the idea challenged my level of courage.

Dave said to me a month ago (yep, that's the same Dave who is the original "everybody ought to have a Dave" guy) "Phil, listen to me carefully, I need to tell you this. Don't let them wear you out."

Darn again. I think that Shah and Dave are saying the same thing: Face the fan.

I remember back in 1979, when the Shah had to flee Iran, people wore T-Shirts which had a picture of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and the shirt said, "I Ran." That's what I want to do, but the Shah who called me said I should not. Dave said that too.

How can he ask me to do this?! Who does he think he is? The Shah of Iran?


Agent B said...

The T-shirts I remember from 1979 said "Hey IRAN" with Mickey Mouse flipping the bird.

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Agent B,

I like your blog. I want to fly a white flag too, but I'm sure it only means surrender today.

g13 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
g13 said...

ugh. the sarcastic side of me wants to say that it would have been a little more helpful if these antagonists would have been willing to visit before the fan was turned on, but i'm not letting my sarcastic side sit on the throne since campus crusade taught me that is where Jesus is supposed to sit.

so all i'm really going to say is, if you let them come, make sure i'm in town. i'll take a bullet or two for ya.

and b, i can't believe you are that old. pretty soon the c.e.o. is going to start providing provisions through social security.

Eva said...

I think its a good idea for them to come and address the group. Because after they address us then we can "address" them. (I promise I won't call them a brood of vipers or white-washed tombs. :)

kidpositive said...

i'm not sure i understand exactly what this would accomplish. i mean, i think i can understand the idea of facing your accusers, but it seems to me that you've already tried that. multiple times. and they didn't listen. so, i don't quite understand how opening your home (that is, your church) to them is going to be any different. if they're not willing to listen in their own setting, what good would bringing them into your house do? furthermore, why would they even accept the invitation?

i'm not one to get literal, but this really seems like it'd be throwing your pearls to swine. from what you've told me, these people haven't had the decency to listen to you when you've attempted to defend yourself against their accusations. i guess i could understand a desire to try and 'win' them over, and maybe that's what this would be geared toward. but somehow i really feel that the other party must be willing to talk in order to make any progress.

unless you really feel God prompting you to do this, i would hesitate. it's going to require a tremendous amount of emotional and spiritual energy for you and your congregation, and right now i feel that exhausting yourselves in this manner (when you're already tired from the battle) is the last thing you guys need. that said, if you feel the prompting of God in this, then go with it and ignore what i'm saying.

God has given you a vision for Salem. don't get sidetracked trying to convince others that your vision is correct. go with your vision, and they will see. but if you try and convince them, they will most likely remain in their blindness.

Pastor Phil said...

I am not sure I would really want them to come and address us, except that it gives our people a turn to respond to them, and show our solidarity as a group. Some of them could use that as well as a little cathartic release.

My real reason for this post is to identify the weakness in myself which wants to run, when I should "stand, and having done all...," you know.

But yes, Gent you would be invited, and you too marimharpsischpeilythingydude.

Eva said...

Phil, I have never seen you as someone who would want to run. You live your life so truthfully that what is there to run from?

Agent B said...

Gentry - I'm not that old (yet). I was 8 and I remember trivial stuff like Mickey flipping off the Iranian guy.

Pastor Phil...please tell me you don't have a doctorate and a daytime show. I may be adding you to the Agent Network soon. Don't get excited. That doesn't mean anything.

Pastor Phil said...

The only doctorate I have comes through the school of hardknocks, and I'm far too nocturnal these days for a daytime show.

I'd be honored to be on the agent network. I love your blog.