When the State Starts Crumbling… A Theology of Staying

Martin Accad explores the theological reasons for staying in a country under collapse (like, Lebanon, or Romania, for that matter).
The principles:
First, a theology of staying is rooted in a fundamental trust in God
Secondly, a theology of staying is founded on a fundamental belief in the equal value of all human life
Thirdly, a theology of staying is rooted in a mature acceptance of the mysterious nature of evil
Fourthy, a theology of staying is realistic in recognizing the all-embracing nature of sin
And a conclusion:
Could it be that a more healthy and mature understanding of sin and evil will only be found on less certain and less beaten tracks? Or perhaps I am closest to understanding it when I look in the mirror. Where is my part in all of this? Am I just a spectator? A victim of bad people? My theology of staying tells me that I am an intrinsic part of the problem, and therefore that my only option is to stay and try and own up to my part of the responsibility. It stirs me relentlessly to search for a solution, along with all those that are willing to do so as well.

The Institute of Middle East Studies

Image Photograph by Wissam al-Saliby

By Martin Accad

Sometimes, Lebanon is charming! When you approach the Lebanese coast as your plane takes position for landing, the beautiful mountains gushing out so close to the glassy sea captivate your attention. When you drive up the windy mountain roads of the Qadisha valley, you are taken by surprise with striking natural beauty at every turn, as the valley below unfolds and reveals ancient churches and monasteries carved into the rock. Then as you take one more turn, the two-thousand-year-old cedar forest reserve appears before you like a mystic revelation in all its majesty, standing proudly as the only surviving vegetation at this altitude. As you keep driving up, you reach the top of the mountain range; and when suddenly the whole expansion of the Bekaa valley reveals itself beyond, the scenery nearly takes your breath away. Even at night, as I sit on…

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Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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