Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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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.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

B.A.S.I.C.

The acrostic B.A.S.I.C. was developed, as far as I know, by the folks at Voice of the Martyrs. They are a watchdog group that tracks incidents of religious persecution around the world. The acrostic stands for Brothers And Sisters In Chains. In other venues, it may also stand for Brothers And Sisters In Christ. However, when VOM uses it, it means the former, not the latter.

As I was reading the blogs today, I saw that several had mentioned Christians who were suffering for their faith in Christ. One brother in a Middle Eastern country was sentenced to life in prison because he had gone to the bathroom in a public restroom near a mosque while wearing a cross necklace. Another was sentenced to three years in jail in China for murdering his brother, when his brother had been killed by the police in a beating given for being a Christian.

We can add to that the stories from last year of the Christian girls in Indonesia who were beheaded as they walked home from their Christian school. One picture that was recently shown on the Internet showed a girl whose face had been severely cut by a machete. She escaped alive but her three friends were hacked to death by a mob wielding machetes. Many, many more such stories could easily be found to continue writing about.

There is a cost to being a Christian. The idea of suffering for taking a stand for Jesus may seem foreign to our American way of thinking. We have freedom of religious worship guaranteed to us in our Constitution. We can witness to lost people about Jesus without fear of reprisals. We can find the latest Christian books and music at the local Christian store. We can attend conferences led by the top names in American Christianity almost weekly if we wanted. We can send our children to Christian schools and Christian universities. Through the Internet, we have access to the greatest (and the not so great) Christian writings from 2000 years of Church history. The idea of suffering for Jesus seems like something out of a by gone era.

But there are many in the world for whom such suffering is the reality of their Christian lives. When they took a stand for Jesus and professed him as their Savior and God it cost them. These young (in the faith) have been beaten, jailed, lost jobs, lost families, lost their homes, some have paid for being a Christian with their very lives.

As we look forward to a 2007 filled with promise and advancement, let us not forget our brothers and sisters in chains. Take time to learn about the persecution of Christians around the world. Become aware of what is happening. The Voice of the Martyrs website is a perfect place to begin. http://www.persecution.com/ Pray for your brothers and sisters around the world. Pray that their faith will stand up in the day of testing. Finally, let their example be a catalyst to deepening your faith. Let their faith help to challenge and grow our faith. Let their sufferings help make us better Christians. Amen?

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