Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

"Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them..." That admonition from Hebrews 13 (Holman Standard Bible) weighs heavy on my mind sometimes. I used to read the Commission magazine that used to be published by the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. I especially used to like just inside the front cover. They would have these paragraph sized news items of happenings from around the world. I would always be particularly moved by the stories of the suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters. It awakened in me a desire to know and learn more about those who suffer for the Name of Christ.

Beloved friends, if you are reading this, you have access to a computer, to the Internet, to technology that would make you the envy of many Christians overseas. In the comfort of our bedrooms, or offices, or Internet cafes we are safe to surf the net and read stories of things we can barely comprehend. I wrote elsewhere (and stand by what I wrote) that we American Christians think we are sacrificing for God if we show up at church once a week. We think we are suffering for Jesus if we have to hear that pastor mention money in a sermon.

One story I read (I am sorry, I forget the precise source), told of a church in Africa. This church meets at a particular tree every Sunday. You see, the tree is in the center of a vast plain and it is the only tree out there. So everyone knows where it is and which one it is. The story told of a mother who would dress her three children and put together food for the day. They would leave early in the morning walking four hours (that's right WALKING 4 hours) to get to the tree and get a good spot for the day's church services. She would carry one child and the food. The other wouold walk beside her. They would spend 6 hours or more in church. Between the singing, the praying, and the preaching, church would run until the late afternoon or early evening. Then ... 4 hours walk back home. Lunch and dinner are shared by the brothers and sisters around the tree. Then back home. All this to praise the Name of Jesus Christ.

What is not mentioned is that the whole thing is done in hostile territory. The walk to and from church is very dangerous. Look outs keep watch the whole time church is in session.

Friend, as you read these words Christians are being beaten, raped, burned, or killed. Their children are brutalized in front of their eyes. In Sudan, soldiers from the north raid Christian villages in the south for slaves. That is, Christians are captured and sold into slavery. Groups like Christian Solidarity International work to free those taken slave. This goes on every single day.

I often wonder how I would fare as a Christian if I lived in a place where my life was in constant danger because of my faith. I praise God I live in the United States. The next time you enter into your prayer closet, remember those in chains. Pray for those and their families. It is the least we can do. Sometimes, it is the most we can do too.

For more information about the persecuted Church ... you can get Voice of the Martyrs monthly magazine for free by asking. Go to http://www.persecution.com/

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home