Christians in the west have had it pretty easy for a while. Mostly, we feel we are persecuted when the government tries to infringe on our constitutional guarantees of liberty. Sometimes people threaten us or malign us for our beliefs. Atheists try to shout us down. Yet, we have little persecution, compared to history. Even Russia is now friendly to Christianity... as long as you stay out of the way of the government's totalitarian leanings.
However, in the rest of the world, such as in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and the Far East, Christianity is on the run. Sort of...
* Chaldean Christians in Iraq and Syria, the Chaldean church who have been part of the faith since the first century, are fleeing their cities with nowhere to go. Because they refuse to convert to Islam.
* Egyptian Christians have had their churches bombed, burned and their leaders stoned or shot by the Muslim Brotherhood. Because they refuse to deny Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
* Christians in India are very careful not to rile the police or government authorities who are primarily Hindu and who occasionally have pastors and church leaders beaten and arrested for evangelizing. Because they refuse to keep inside the walls of their churches, they keep preaching and teaching Jesus as the Risen Savior.
* Pakistani Christians have their churches and homes fire-bombed routinely. Because they will not deny Christ and become Muslim.
* African Christians have their children kidnapped, their women raped and their leaders shot at random intervals. Because they refuse to accept Muhammad as "Gods only prophet".
* In China, the government bull dozes churches without notice and arrests Bible believers as "dissidents". Because they refuse to stop evangelizing in the name of Jesus.
All of this by the zealous Anti-Christ forces of radical Islamists or other governments that feel threatened by Jesus. But, we in the west sit comfortably in our homes while Christians in other parts of the world are martyred, harassed, tortured and forced out of their homes.
In this generation, we have seen the faithful stand their ground against an onslaught of attack by real forces who will do anything to destroy "the Faith that was once and for all time delivered to the Saints". We have seen Godly missionaries, pastors, churches remain faithful to the Lord Jesus through unspeakable horrors. While we often debate what dogma is better and while we argue who is right about this point or another, we have witnessed millions of Christians stand for the name of Jesus and endure incredible hardship, or be killed, for His name.
As for me and my house, I pray we have the courage of Pastor Saieed.
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Thanks. I appreciate the comments and encouragement. My thought is for the church in general. I see persecution coming to the west. In Countries in Europe, the Muslim population is exploding. Real hate, real vicious indignation against Christianity, is a fruit that are hallmarks of about 1/3 of the Muslim populations in many of the cities of Europe.
France, England, Netherlands are experiencing startling increase in radicalized Islamic groups. Recently a Muslim man entered a church in a northern UK city during their Memorial day meeting and began ranting about how Christians must all convert to Islam or suffer the consequences. The Christians in that church were utterly shocked, dismayed and unprepared to respond. They cowered in fear, waiting and hoping a policeman would make him stop. They are not ready.
Others, in UK cities like Luton where the Muslim population is exceeding 30%, are responding with violence toward the Muslims. They are not ready.
I foresee that Christians here will be much the same or worse. I believe many will convert to Islam out of fear, hoping that it will all be okay, if they just placate the Muslims by "going along to get along". Few Christians are able to stand against the Atheist mafia or the gay mafia who attack your identity, your credibility and your intelligence - so they go along to get along. I don't see many Christians take a stand for Christ. They usually pull back from anyone who does, by saying "I'm not interested in being branded a as a crazy christian like that".
I meet a small handful who press in and take a stand for Christ against the persecutors now. I can't imagine many actually standing against real threats of death or torture. There are not many Pastor Saieeds out there today.
And, yes I know God will see me through it, one way or another. ;)
Others, in UK cities like Luton where the Muslim population is exceeding 30%, are responding with violence toward the Muslims. They are not ready. - Are you saying that the Christians are responding with violence toward the Muslims?
As far as those who say nothing to get along, I see that hugely these days. We back down more & more because we don't want to "offend" someone. We want them to see all this love. God is love. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Now love is all well & good but they also need to see our commitment & where we truly stand. They need to know we stand strongly on our beliefs in the Lord & His word.
I'm unable to determine that. I'm reading news reports and watching tv expose's. The people interviewed and spoken of in general would be loosely defined as christian or secular. I think that tells you a lot, just there. But, I do speak with Christians in general who will speak of indignation and that they feel a right or duty to respond with violence in certain circumstances. I think people are generally frustrated because their governments do not have a mechanism for discerning how to deal with people who are naturalized enemies. I don't think that is how a true Christian should or would respond, but it wouldn't be the first time people felt backed into a corner.
Yea, I'm gonna be honest, I'm not sure how I would respond. Having 5 kids & 3 grandkids, it's a mother's first instinct is to protect those babies. I also live in Texas & lived in Redneck NC. We kinda live with the motto "Shoot first, ask questions later." I think there may be certain situations where we can protect our homes & children. I don't know. I guess I'd have to know the whole situation to know what my reaction would be.
Amanda, I too feel the Lord will, if not preserve us, He will give us the strength to persevere during these times. We may have to give our very lives for Him but He will sustain us through it if we continue to put our trust in Him. If anything, we know as Christians that death holds nothing for us - only VICTORY. Death is the true prize of our race & if we have to go for the One who gave us this victory, then praise God. I, personally, don't want to hit the gold road this way but His will be done.
Amen. I'm not sure what we disagreed on however. Maybe it was the preservation part. I guess I took it as you was saying we would survive the persecution with our lives type of situation.
To go along with what you have said it is my opinion that every Christian ought to read "Foxes Book of Martyrs" at least once in their life.
We can see the tenure in society changing in the US at an alarming rate. Just browse the web and you will find agenda driven stories making front page news that either directly attack Christianity or promote that which is opposed to Christianity. Headlines openly mock Christians.
It is interesting to watch a particular flow take place. There are actual several and they are interconnected.
We have seen a shift from moral (for the most part wanting to do what is right) to immoral (knowing the difference between right and wrong and choosing wrong) to amoral (no longer able to tell the difference between right and wrong) to now antimoral (standing against that which is moral which includes Jesus and His people).
In various countries where Christianity was the norm (so to speak) we have seen a shift to non-Christian and now moving to anti-Christian.
As the winds of the storm begin to rise we find whole groups (denominations and non-denomination) make changes to align with this shift, but in so doing find themselves falling out of alignment with God.
A storm is coming. The signs are clear .... and we as Christians need to be ready, for when this storm finally hits, here in the US especially, many of the things people currently complain about as children of God will become irrelevant ... for survival and living another day for the Lord will be that day's struggle.
Just my thoughts,
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