© Original content written by James R. Carlson
We are told that there are new and open doors with Iran following the release of 10+ American hostages and the delivery of 1+ billion dollars to the nation of Iran. While I’m flattered that Americans are worth so much, I’m cautious to see just how long the doors stay open with Iran.
Will the religious dictatorship that rules the country of Iran permit the freedom of religion in Iran? The word, ‘Islam’ means ‘to submit.’ An Islamic nation like Iran requires the submission of all religious thought to the Islamic state. Are there new open doors for religious freedom in Iran?
God requires religious freedom for His people. God sent Moses before Pharaoh to say, “Let my People Go.” Pharaoh hardened his heart and stiffened his neck. As Pharaoh attacked God’s people, God broke him. God will not permit religious oppression to continue forever. It may take 400+ years but the patience God has is limited.
Religious freedom is the beginning of democracy. Any nation that wants a democratic republic like we have in the United States must secure their freedoms with religious freedom. The freedom to have differing views from the State is key to providing freedom to the People. Are the open doors in Iran for the People?
God provides political and governmental power to the State from the People. The Declaration of Independence says that the legitimate powers on the earth derive their power from the People. Dictators take this power away from the People and establish it for themselves. This is not what God desires.
We are also told that there are new open doors within Iran for financial investments. While this may support the people of Iran, it will also support the religious dictatorship of Iran. I know that the lifting of international sanctions will provide new opportunities for the Iranian economy but will it not also provide new opportunities for Hezbollah and Islamic terrorism around the world?
I met 3 Iranians while a student at the University of Texas at Austin. All 3 were very fine people. They were intelligent, had religious views different from my own and each other, and were genuinely nice people to know. I never felt threatened by them and enjoyed every conversation we had together even though we disagreed on some topics. I only wish the American people had the same opportunity with the Iranian people to share in a conversation together. Is this an open door we have with Iran today?
My prayer to God is for religious freedom. The freedom to disagree without going to jail. The religious terrorism that exists outside the State of Iran must first exist within the State of Iran. One cannot export what has not been domesticated. I can only hope that the People of Iran find these new and open doors to be a blessing for themselves and not just for the State.