Jouranl Entry, (Thanksgiving Week)
Today was a very satisfying day. We had great worship at church and Pastor Sandra gave an uplifting sermon about the business of thankfulness. A few new visitors were in attendance and I anticipated sampling a wonderful array of hot foods at the end of our service. “friends and Family” Brunch was always a treat at our church.
The day draws to an end and as I sit and rest I decided to check my emails before going to bed. A pastor friend emailed me. It read:
Anita, yesterday I saw a photograph of a road in Nigeria filled with dead, bloody bodies, hacked to pieces. The caption read that a radical Muslim group attacked and slaughtered this village of Christians, because of their Christianity. Just a few days ago. To say that God would not allow His own to suffer, is the opposite of what Jesus told us would happen.Martyrdom is taking on a terrible toll in Christianity today. And speeding up its process.
The reality of this horror hit home as I wait for my bathtub to fill for a soothing, hot bath. I thanked God that I could lay in the enveloping warmth, but suddenly grief and disbelief overwhelmed me. I certainly did not want to be reminded of such a horror so far away and on a third world continent. I couldn’t stop thinking about Reverend Michelle’s letter.
Who were these persecuted victims? These were precious people who so eagerly accepted the Gospel at the expense of their very lives. At this very moment, someone, somewhere was running furiously for their very life.I could not help but weep realizing that so often, I lost sight of the persecuted.It was hard to think about it without becoming disturbed, angry and hopeless.
“Father, I want to stop this. I want to stop this evil” I so wanted to stop it all. I was sick of hearing about the most barbaric brutality by demonized monsters. I wept at the thought of going about my business each day, being helpless to do anything. I didn’t think enough about the sufferings of my spiritual brothers and sisters who were being persecuted for the Gospel!
I was glad to get that email. I was glad that I was being nudged to remember how much I have and how far I am at present from such danger. I need to have a wake-up call regularly, so I can continue learning about compassion and active service to victims of disasters and genocide.
I’m reminded to be thankful for having so much in this great country. I wondered about the superlatives: bad, worse, worst. Were the rising statistics of genocide victims God’s perfect will or permissive will? Did whole villages have to be destroyed and every single person murdered? I keep hearing pastors say, persecution is coming…even to America. Like persecution is a good thing?! I can’t imagine that genocide could ever be a good thing even if Jesus prophesied about it to his followers in his discourses.
I don’t think Mother Teresa would accept or laude the genocide pervading the world today. I’m sure it would have killed her. She was such a lover of humanity and healing the lost and broken.
So what is our duty regarding the business of persecution? Here we are praying for revival and the great harvest to come in. Pastor Peter Youngren has been to Indonesia and India and many other Muslim countries where millions are hearing the Gospel, accepting Jesus Christ and being healed! We don’t hear too much about the down side of growing Christianity. Genocide is bad…very bad…actually the worst case scenario I have ever heard of!
It impossible for me to just live my life impotently, (even as a journalist) .in the richness of America. I have to believe that being a true Christian is having the conviction and compassion to address and oppose the evils of genocide, however necessary persecution may be.
Many pious Christians remind us that God sent His very own son to be brutalized for our sins, to redeem us back to Father God. He was led to the cross as a lamb led to the slaughter. Truly the most heinous and unfair assassination in history. But does that call for God’s people to benign lives and turn our back and hearts at the plights of the persecuted brethren?
I pray that the photographs and news reports of our sisters and brother cause us to think. We must utilize every resource we have to tell the enemy, he can’t just do whatever he wants without opposition. We will pray, fast and minister to the victims of natural disasters and genocide. The living, active Bride of Christ, the elect, must not turn our hearts from compassion and rescue to the hunted and tortured brothers and sister in Islamic countries. It is our duty to cry out, protest and stand in defense of the defenseless, regardless of scripture’s admonition to be prepared to die for Christ.
My perspective about persecution changed after watching the movies, “Attack On Darfur”, “Hotel Rwanda” and “Schindler’s List”. I have never been a fan of the hunted not having a weapon to defend themselves or being able to escape without being hacked alive! The terrorists as well as the hunters are nothing but demonic cowards. That is also why I hate deer hunting.
We Christians are in the greatest war of all time. It is time to pick up and wield our spiritual armor against the giants in courageous and victorious manner. It is time to show the enemy he is trampled underfoot, defeated and he cannot cut down God’s people without serious consequences. It is time to deal our enemies the death blows. This is our time. We were groomed for such a time as this…And we will prevail.