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There Are Times When You Have to Choose
1 Kings 18:19-46

The soccer World Cup is about to start in South Africa, and I have just had a letter about it from a friend in Lebanon. Lebanon doesn’t have a team playing in the World Cup, so people in that country choose a foreign team to support and then fly its flag from their cars. My friend is from the United States, but the United States hasn’t decided to be a world-class soccer nation either, but his wife is Korean by birth, so for them the decision was easy. They have bought a big Korean flag for their car. Now, as it happens I am also reading a book about the Middle East titled The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday. This book also tells of choices that people in Lebanon have to make, and in a sense these choices may also be easy—or rather, people may not feel they have much choice about which community to belong to and whose orders to take. Yet the consequences of the choices may be a matter of life and death. In some situations the decision about what religion to follow may not seem a costly one, particularly in a Western context where religion is a matter of people’s private lives...

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