September 11, 2014

Persecuted Christians

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 11, 2014

For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. Galatians 1:13

Today there are religious terrorists like Paul (before he encountered Christ), whose aim is to destroy the church. They see Christians as the enemy. We are labeled infidels who deserve extinction. To our chagrin, even shame–fellow brothers and sisters around the world, because of their allegiance to Jesus, are being killed, raped and driven from their nations. Their holy presence is being extracted by unholy influences. Yes, the ultimate goal of darkness is to drive away light.

Persecuted Christians desperately need our prayers and support. How can we sit still while thousands of Jesus followers around the world are being silenced, captured or slain for their faith? Where is our compassion for these righteous refugees who are being exiled from their homeland with no land of their own? Religious freedom is the core of our country, therefore as a responsible and compassionate government, we must denounce these horrific acts of violence by religious zealots. Our eerie passivity only emboldens our enemies. We pray but we must act!

“Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring” (2 Thessalonians 1:4).

Furthermore, our own citizens are being denied religious freedom at home. Sometimes subtly and sometimes not so subtly, our Christian heritage and treasured traditions are being removed. Cannot common sense weigh in and say it’s ok to display a manager scene with baby Jesus at Christmas? Cannot the ten commandments that represent the bedrock beliefs of our civilization be publicly exhibited as a reminder of how we are to privately behave? Is the cross so offensive that its influence has to be stripped from our society? Persecution is not just over there–it’s also here.

Persecution should not be a surprise to those who love the Lord. Ungodliness is threatened by godliness. When we take a stand, we will be stood against. Let’s pray that from the fires of persecution God’s people become stronger and the church grows cleaner. Like a natural disaster disperses people and their influence, so we trust the Lord to leverage Christian persecution to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are blessed by God when we are persecuted for God!

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:12).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, empower me to pray for and support Christians under severe persecution.

Related Readings: Jeremiah 37:15; Psalm 119:86; 2 Corinthians 4:8-10; 2 Timothy 3:12; Hebrews 11:36-38; 1 Peter 3:14

Post/Tweet today: Ungodliness is threatened by godliness. When we take a stand, we will be stood against. #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 4 minute video on Christian persecution overseas- http://bit.ly/XbNrET

Our new book, The Way of Wisdom: A Journey Towards Spiritual Growth, coming          October!  Pre-order your copy today. Boyd’s one minute book video- http://bit.ly/1nhZ2bt

Boyd’s one minute video about the new book- http://bit.ly/1nhZ2bt


Comments

  1. Dr. Steven C. McNeel says:

    Dear Folks,

    Christians are not being persecuted governments in the United States. The issue is the separation of church and state, as required by our United States Constitution. Actually, other religions are being discriminated in the name of religious freedom, as Christian ideas and artifacts are being injected into the public arena by certain state government. It is the job of the federal government to stop this.

    Remember that not all American citizens are Christian. The reason for the “separation clause” in the Constitution is to keep one set of religious beliefs and practices from getting public support over another. I am a believing Lutheran, but I do not expect any government to promote my beliefs and practices–whether Lutheran or larger Christian–over others.

    Also, remember that we do not live in a theocracy–Christian or any other. We live in a participatory society and a democratic polity. You are allowed to voice your religious opinions openly in our society. However, if they are spoken, written, or displayed at public expense, that is unconstitutional, as they would place one religion above all others.

    Finally, remember that as we live in a democratic polity, governed by a Social Contract which we call the United States Constitution. In this situation, the Constitution trumps the Bible or any other holy scripture. I remain,

    your most Humble Servant,
    Dr. Steven McNeel

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Dr. McNeel~
      Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us with your comments regarding the Wisdom Hunter’s devotional, “Persecuted Christians”. We appreciate you sincere and thought provoking statements.
      One of the very precious benefits (or a better word might be “gifts) to living in this great country of ours is the ability to express our opinions and even differences from time to time. Thank you for the reminder that “You are allowed to voice your religious opinions openly in our society”.
      Dr. McNeel, personally, my fear is that in an effort not to offend or to be “politically correct” when it comes to standing by the Constitution, we are perhaps subtly neglecting our first and only loyalty to our Lord Jesus Christ and spreading the “Good News”?
      Humbly and respectfully I ask you, when we stand by and with the Constitution first and the Bible second, are we not serving man before God? I look to His Word for wisdom first.
      Again, I rejoice in the fact we have the freedom to even express our opinions in this country. Thank you so much for yours. We are thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter and look forward to hearing from you again in the future.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne

      “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
      Romans 13:1


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