Saturday, March 19, 2011

Persecution and Politics

Ok, so I feel the need to apologize (again!) for not blogging. It has been more than the week or two that I said I was going to take to get some thoughts in order, etc.

So lets get down to it! Over the last six months or so, I have noticed a growing trend within the persecution watchdog circles to employ the use of politicians and political systems in trying to stop persecution of Christians. Now you may be thinking, "What's wrong with that? We have governments to keep order and to stand up against injustice." Well, that is true, but are there any examples of Christians doing this in the Bible?

When the apostle Peter was unjustly held in prison in Acts, do we see the believers decrying the corrupt authorities and seeking relief through political means? No, and in fact, it says, "but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." (12:5) The modern church many times marginalizes the power of prayer. Oh we would never say that it wouldn't help or work on behalf of an imprisoned believer, but the way we run to men is very telling about where trust really lies. As a whole, do you think the church has ceased praying without ceasing for the persecuted believers?

"Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body." (Heb. 13:3) We are to remember in prayer those Christians who are in prison as if we were there as well. I don't know about you, but I'd want my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to petition the Highest Power (God) for me if I was in jail for my faith. As believers, we are one body and need to, not only feel the joy, but also the pain of Christ's body of believers.

In closing, I'd like to re-quote a passage from Brother Yun's book, The Heavenly Man,

"Whenever I hear a house church Christian has been imprisoned for Christ in China I don't advise people to pray for his or her release unless the Lord clearly reveals we should pray this way.

Before a chicken is hatched it is vital it is kept in the warm protection of the shell for 21 days. If you take the chick out of that environment one day too early, it will die. similarly, ducks need to remain confined in their shell for 28 days before they are hatched. If you take a duck out on the 27th day, it will die.

There is always a purpose behind why God allows his children to go to prison. Perhaps it's so they can witness to the other prisoners, perhaps God wants to develop more character in their lives. But if we use our own efforts to get them out of prison earlier than God intended, we can thwart his plans, and the believers may come out not as fully formed as God wanted them to be." (p. 313)

When we run to politicians seeking the release of a Christian without knowing it's God's will for that believer to be released, we run the risk of working against god's plan for the person. Who knows what God can do in and through a believer while in jail? As one who hasn't had to face imprisonment in my life yet, that may seem easy to say. However, anyone who knows Brother Yun's story knows that he speaks from experience. God can work miracles, even in a jail cell!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Long Time No Blog

Sorry that I haven't been posting much. I've been very busy as of late and have felt kind of low on inspiration for posting on here. Hopefully, within the next week or two, I will start up writing again and find out news worthy things to post about.

There are some ideas running through my head that I'm thinking about, but not sure if this is the time or place to blog them. Anyways... guess that's all I have to say for the moment. Enough with the excuses and apologies. :) 'Til next time, God bless!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 World Watch List

Wow, it's hard to believe that the year 2010 has ended and that we're already almost a week into 2011! Where has time gone?

I'm sure many of us can look back over the past year and have fond memories from things done with friends, family, or maybe a church group. For many believers around the world, however, they may look back and think on property damaged, scars (both physical and emotional), and loved ones lost to persecution.

A good way to keep up to date on persecution is by Open Door USA's World Watch List. The 2011 edition just came out and has the the top 50 countries that don't allow religious freedom for Christians. If you're like me, you might just be surprised at some the countries that made it onto the list. For one, Russia is back on it. However, many of the countries are Muslim like Pakistan, Iraq, and Iran.

I would encourage you to take a look at it and then spread the word. You can find a link for the 2011 World Watch on the front page of the Open Doors USA website.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two Believers Jailed in Vietnam

I don't have a lot of info on this, but I saw on the Spiritual Courage blog that two Christian evangelists were put into jail in Vietnam. The reason cited was for “undermining national unity." One evangelist was assigned six months in prison and the other one received a four year sentence.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Prison Ministry in Pakistan

Pakistan: Prison Ministry from Thirteen Three on Vimeo.


I'm amazed... but not really in a good way. The Persecution Blog reported that today, the Pakistani Christian Association in America and other organizations, held a protest outside the Pakistani Consulate. Why, you might ask? To demand the release of Asia Bibi and repeal of blasphemy law.

As many may know, Asia Bibi has been in the news quite a lot lately. She supposedly blasphemed the "prophet" Mohammed when she stated to some Muslim women harassing her about her faith, “Our Christ is the true prophet of God and yours is not true.”

Asia is in need of much prayer. My question, however, is should those who claim the name of Christ be protesting against the persecution? Do we see this exemplified in the Bible?

When looking at the Bible as a whole and the book of Acts in particular, I think we see the answer. It is a resounding no! When the apostle Peter was imprisoned (Acts 12), did the early believers stage protests decrying the evil government? No, they simply went to the Lord in prayer. When Paul was taken to Rome, did Christians riot and demand his immediate release and equal religious status? My guess is you probably know the answer to that question. No, they didn't.

Christians today have turned to the wrong means for gaining release or reprieve from hard situations and persecution (both for themselves and other believers). Many within the body of Christ don't wait for God to do something great, but instead, seek to change the circumstances by political (or other) means.

Who knows, but if the early Christians had held protests in the book of Acts, things may have turned out different for Peter. However, one thing is sure, they wouldn't have been able to see God work in a miraculous way on their behalf.

These are just some thoughts I have been pondering the last twenty-four hours or so. I grieve to think that instead of turning to the Lord, we have sought help from other places and as a result, lost out on seeing God work wonders.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Somali Christian Shot and Killed

In what appears to be an "honor killing", a seventeen year old Somali girl was killed on Nov. 25. Nurta Mohamed Farah, had fled her village after her parents tortured her for becoming a Christian. Two men shot Narta in the head and chest, killing her.

"Area sources said they strongly suspected that the two unidentified men in Galgadud Region who shot her in the chest and head with a pistol were relatives or acting on their behest," says Compass Direct.