Bad, Worse and Worst, (The Business of Persecution)


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.

NO BETTER THAN VERMIN


Genocide, a word few want to envision at least not in their own country.

Each time I hear about another nation in the throes of genocide, I grieve that leaders of the developed nations have still not yet found a solution to this barbaric slaughter. Many still act as if it doesn’t exist.

“The”Attack of Darfur,”  like “Hotel Rwanda” and Schindlers List stirred me to do more than just grieve and complain.  The three movie were well made,  powerful and devastatingly provocative.   I realize I must do something about genocide.

These types of movies draw me into the terror,  hopelessness and cruelty the victims of genocide  suffer.  Most of us rarely do anything about an injustice until it happens to us personally.  I could only imagine the shell-shock of the victims as they saw their nemisis coming their way.  One by one, day by day  the people of the towns and villages were ambushed and overpowered by the machete-wielding marauders..

I wonder what God thinks as this happens. Does His holy angels and His people care? I wonder why the UN and the United States and all the developed Nations hesitated to unite and stop all of the atrocities.  Did any nations care to protest or intervene?

I never sleep after seeing any movies of such devastating consequences and especially the cruel slaughter of human beings as if they were no better than vermin.  Why was Genocide still happening and when would people start paying attention and doing something to end it once and for all?

My husband Mark and I went to hear  Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, speak at Congregation Torat El, 301 Monmouth Road, Oakhurst on Sunday, September 18 at 7 p.m. The soft-spoken man addressed us with humility, but with such emotional persuasion regarding the most  devastating experience he could endure as a young boy in a concentration camp.  He lost his mother, father and three sisters at the hands of the Nazis. As he addressed the audience, in almost a whisper at times  I thought all his  humiliation and pain he suffered being all in vain. Antisemitism was growing again against Jews all over the world. I dreaded that such a thing could happen to elderly holocaust survivors. Hadn’t they suffered enough already?

So many feeling and questions and wondering where are the impassioned to stop the continuing massacres? Would justice ever established? Why weren’t the perpetrators punished for their crimes and when?

Raphael Lempkin was one such man who could not stay silent about the rampaging evil. He was a Polish lawyer who held a  European Law doctorate.  Raphael had a humble background, his father being a farmer, but his mother was a highly intellectual woman who a linguist, painter and philosophy student.  As a youngster, he mastered ten languages, including French, Spanish, Hebrew, Yiddish and Russian.

As a young man, Raphael was responsible for coining the term in 1943 genocide from two words, the Greek, Genos (family, tribe or race and the Latin cide, (killing). His impassioned advocacy for Genocide came from learning about the Armenians being massacred in Iraq in 1933. He later became very involved with his work regarding international law relating to group exterminations.

Thank God for passionate journalists and human rights advocates who refuse to be apathetic and stay silent about the atrocity of ethnic cleansing. Genocide will not end by itself. It will take a massive  and coordinated effort of many.

Surely we will not be alarmed enough to take action unless it occurs close to home. One powerful scene in “Attack on Darfur” was when one of the male journalists could not  just leave the people of the village they had just visited.  He knew he would not be able to live with himself if he didn’t make some effort to stop the impending slaughter. As the other journalists tried to stop him, he asked,

“What if it were your wife and children back there? What would you do?”

That is the question. What if it were our spouses, children or parents? We Americans live in safety, with police protection at our beck and call.

Another compassionate and brave women opposing Genocide is Natasa Kandic. The sociologist, turned Human Rights Advocate presented a devastating video both to  tribunal prosecutors and the world. She gave them a brazen glimpse into the barbaric world of the ethnic cleansing. I believe all of us should get a good dose of these types of footage so we are not numbed by our own comfort. I pray that compassionate folks around the world take a good look at Genocide and realize…it could happen to us. We must not allow our TV and computers to lull us into a false world of apathy and  nonchalance about suffering people across the globe.

God has created each and every unique person to enjoy dignity and the right to life.

Why don’t we think about it. Rise up as an enlightened people and begin stopping Genocide today.