I just recently finished reading Panosian. This book is full of history and testimony’s of God’s provision and protection. It is a record of mankind at his worst and God’s Providence in the midst of it.
Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace to You writes: Among all the gifts given by the Holy Spirit to believers, there is none more useful and variegated than the gift of teaching. Dr Panosian is a brilliant teacher with an extraordinary ability to make historical figures come alive. Now, we have the remarkable story of his life and the amazing Providence that prepared him for such a unique ministry, skillfully brought to life in writing by another gifted teacher, Pastor Chris Anderson.
Historical Background – Chapter eight, page 41.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1876 to 1909. To return to the Roman analogy, Hamid is the “Nero” of the Armenian tradgedy. It was Hamid who was in power in the 1890’s when the persecution of the Armenians escalated from isolated murders to a sweeping ambition.
Once the strongest regime in the world and a threat which very nearly spilled into Western Europe, the Ottoman Empire tottered on the verge of collapse by the time of Hamid’s rule, earning the infamous nickname “the Sick Man of Europe.” The economy was a wreck. Poverty was rampant. Government corruption was unchecked, starting with the maniacal sultan. Turkey’s many humiliations created two great hungers: (1) for the Turkish majority to flex its collective muscles, and (2) for someone to serve as a scapegoat for the failing empire. The Armenian minority was a convenient victim that served both purposes.
British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone dubbed Hamid “the Bloody Sultan” and “the Great Assassin”. In the late nineteenth century Hamid’s Turkey faced what would become known as “The Armenian Question” – a debate over how the country should handle its Christian subjects. Only the sultan had any real authority to address the question, and his answer was, utter annihilation.
The Lions Den – Chapter nine, pages 46 & 47
The massacres came to Antakya in the fall of 1910. One fateful day changed forever the lives of countless Armenians, including Ed Panosian’s grandparents, Sarkis and Emma Momjian, and their four children……..
Sarkis Momjian, like countless thousands of his countrymen, had been murdered in his own home (in front of his wife and children). His crime was twofold: being an Armenian instead of a Turk and trusting in Jesus instead of Allah………..
Emma Momjian was pregnant at the time of her husband’s murder. She herself was very nearly killed……….Panosian tells the story as it was passed on to him: “My grandmother, my mother’s mother, was very evidently pregnant; and one of the Turkish soldiers said to the other, Let’s rip her open and see if it is a boy. They did not. The other soldier replied, Have you no fear of Allah? – that would have been going too far. They had just murdered my grandfather, but that would have been going too far”……..
She (Emma) summoned a deep and previously unknown strength, even in her first moments as a widow and single mother. She quieted the children, first with words of kindness, then with a voice of command that startled even herself. She ordered them to prepare for the mob’s return.
Dr Panosian’s father; Nazar – an immigrant – Ellis Island 1913. Chapter fourteen, pages 75 &76.
Finally, Nazar neared the final inspector. He heard others being asked questions in his native Armenian tongue. “From where have you come? Where are you going? How will you make your living? Do you intend to learn English? Do you have any infectious diseases? Are you an imbecile? Were you ever in prison? Do you have $25 to support yourself until you find work?”
Nazar’s nimble mind was mentally answering the questions before they were even finished: “Turkey. Detroit. Cobbler. Yes. No. No. No. Yes. This is easy! Hurry!”
At last, there was one person in front of him. Like everyone else, the man was nervous. He was dressed in his very best, hoping to make a good impression. But his shirt was drenched with sweat like everyone else’s, and it stuck to his body. Despite the man’s obvious anxiety, Nazar had observed enough during the endless wait to know that “this” man had nothing to worry about. He was exactly the kind of person who would thrive in America. Surely he would get through with no problem.
The inspector, as hot and irritable as everyone else, concluded the interview by asking to see the man’s $25. The man hesitated, then explained that he had some unexpected expenses during his passage. He had most of it, and he could certainly get more when he met his American family. He was just a little short.
The inspector folded his arms and raised his voice: “The rule is the same for everybody. You want to get through, show me your $25.” He raised his eyes and lectured the crowd. “Have your papers ready, and “make sure” you have your $25!” The Armenian man blanched. Surely he hadn’t come this far only to be sent away for a few dollars. Tears filled his eyes, and he made a show of looking in his pockets and bags. Nazar knew people, and he could tell there was no more money to be found.
The Professor – Chapter twenty-one, page 133.
Ed Panosian started teaching at Bob Jones University in 1952, as a graduate assistant. His formal teaching ministry at the university continued for fifty-two years until he retired in 2004 at the age of seventy-three. No teacher in the history of BJU has taught more students – an estimated thirty thousand young people. Panosian has been used of the Lord as a writer, lecturer, and actor. But he is first and foremost a teacher.
Excerpts from the book Panosian, used with permission.