Stay Hydrated

September 14th, 2015 by MMiller

Rev. Dr. Melanie Miller

August 23, 2015

Listen to Sermon

Biblical Testimony: Ezekiel 36:22-26

22 Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. 23I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when through you I display my holiness before their eyes. 24I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. 25I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Contemporary Testimony: From the Gulen Movement website, History of the Hizmet Movement and Fethullah Gülen’s Philosophy Revisited

The Gülen movement (Hizmet in Turkish) is a worldwide civic initiative rooted in the spiritual and humanistic tradition of Islam and inspired by the ideas and activism of Mr. Fethullah Gülen.

Hizmet supporters organize around the view that humans have the potential to do better than reflected by the current state of world affairs. In sync with Sufi thought, Gülen posits greed, whether individual or collective, as the real foe of peace and harmony, not the differences in religion, ethnicity, or ideology. Greedy individuals and groups achieve their objectives by manipulating people’s fear, individually and socially. Ignorance and misinformation fuel paranoia, personal and collective.

For Hizmet, person-to-person communication is crucial to social tolerance. Dialog is not compromise, conversion, or integration. Rather, it is the coming together of people, committed to their respective religious paths (or who have no faith, but are living a life of good works), to better know and communicate with one another and, in due course, work together. This dynamic helps strip away false prejudices, dissipates fear and antagonism, and lays a foundation for trust, peaceful coexistence, and cooperative undertakings.

Hizmet doctors and business people are also known to set up hospitals and bring medical services to underserved countries, such as Nigeria and in central Africa and northern Iraq. Sometimes, these ventures occur in partnership with the Kimse Yok Mu (“Isn’t There Anyone?”) Solidarity and Aid Association. It currently is sponsoring clean water well projects in eighteen countries across the globe.