Saturday, August 29, 2009

Persecution ... Crisis ... ?

I must admit John pushes a hot button when he suggests there is “A PERSECUTION CRISIS”!

Here’s what John wrote: “There has never been a time in Church history when so many Christians are being persecuted and martyred for their allegiance to the Lord Jesus. Yet this subject is practically being ignored by the Church in the west. Unprecedented violence in many parts of the world against Christians is a major concern for the missionaries who are sent out and are being supported by the Church. If ever there was a time when the local Church should be continuously concerned and earnestly praying about the safety of those on the mission fields of the world it is today! Yet in most congregations on Sunday morning there is nothing said about the horrendous torture and killing of literally dozens of fellow believers every week somewhere on earth.”

I could not agree more with John. Daily, I am deluged daily with reports of Christians abused, harassed, tested, tormented, subjected to illegal and inhumane treatment, tortured and killed, without reference to the source of their support. These people are deprived of civil rights, loss of property, driven from communities, imprisoned, even killed. Daily reports come from India and Pakistan, China and numerous smaller nations, throughout the orient and Africa especially.

As a Christian, I believe in the free practice and propagation of all religions; I believe that is the spirit of Christ, and it represents my theology of man’s “free will”, choice if you will. As an American, I would much prefer that America should remain Christian in its basic orientation, but I respect the right of others to choose for themselves.

I suggest the CHURCH SHOULD BECOME FAR MORE PROACTIVE THAN IT IS. The average American Christian lives too much at the center of his-her own interests. Pastors are too self-engaged (sometimes overburdened) in building larger local institutions, at all levels. Too many Senior Citizens waste time networking online, passing on triviality, when they could be spending time advocating for the persecuted and crusading for missionary causes.

WE ALL NEED TO BE MORE SENSITIVE AND SUPPORTIVE of national Christians, missionaries, and those parachurch ministries advocating human rights causes of Christians. Assist News Service is one SUCH way of learning about such needs. One can readily learn about Groups like VOICE OF THE MARTYRS, founded by Richard Wurmbrand in 1967 or Gospel For Asia (GFA). There are informative China advocacy groups.

It is always possible for church members to research denominational missionary personnel and follow their work. There are many local churches involved in mission projects that would welcome assistance, support, even involvement in work camps, et al.

The least that an American Christian can do is to become acquainted with someone of another faith and share your own faith. They are all about us and every kind of involvement imaginable is out there for the interested person.

There are more persecuted Christians today than in all of history; the need for advocacy for the Martyrs is dramatic. Moreover, the American church faces the judgment of Scripture as I would paraphrase it: to us much has been given; of us, more is expected.

From Warner’s World, thanks John for the reminder,

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