Posts Tagged ‘Persecution’

A Christian girl who was bruised and burnt dur...

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Two years ago over 50,000 Christians in Orissa state, India were forced from their homes. In the aftermath of this persecution, it appears as if Christian girls were being rounded up and sold into slavery. Just this week came the story that a few of them were rescued. Roughly 60 girls were taken from the same area and sold into slavery. I thought how easily we forget our persecuted brothers and sisters when some new tragedy comes along. Two years later and our brothers and sisters in Orissa are still suffering. We must not stop praying for those persecuted around the world. Those of us who have not had to face this sort of suffering should cherish the freedom we currently have. Beatings, imprisonment, rape and death are part of every day life for some of our fellow Christians. Today we can celebrate the 3 who were saved, but we must remember the others who were not.

Real Faith

Posted: November 20, 2008 in Christianity
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Christian are you willing to stand by your faith? Even here in America the attacks on Christianity are becoming more prevalent. In the wake of the passing of prop 8 in California, gay activists have decided to take action against Christians. They have been physically and verbally abusive to people protesting them, including the taking and smashing of a cross carried by an elderly woman. They have disrupted a church service in Michigan by coming into the building and yelling slurs and having lesbians kiss in front of the pastor. How many Christians are willing to take a stand for their faith? If Christians don’t start taking a stand, our rights and freedoms are quickly going to go away.

How far off is the day when a Christian can be imprisoned or have their child taken because of something written on a blog such as this. There is a situation happening in the UK right now where a woman is being investigated because of a blog post. Her name is Jean and you can check out her blog The Virtuous Woman. Here is a copy of the post that got her in trouble.

A four year old who knows she needs a saviour!

O wretched little girl she is, who will deliver her from her body of death.
First thing in the morning my 4 year old daughter normally says to me, “I am going to be a good girl today mummy”. When she says this she really means it, and I can see how she longs to finish even just one day in her life without doing anything wrong. However my daughter knows as well as I do that within at the least an hour of saying she is going to be good, that promise will be broken. Sometimes during the day or before bed, she always asks me if she has been good, and I always try to be as honest as I can with her, and I will tell her what she has done wrong if I can remember. If she has been better than usual I will praise her and tell her. I have never said to her she has been a perfect little girl who has done nothing wrong all day, If I say that to her then I am a liar and I will be doing her more harm than good. I do not believe in teaching children self esteem or that they should feel good about themselves, because they should not. My daughter is a normal 4 year old who loves to play with her dolls and dress up, but everyday she finds that she is doing things that are wrong like doing something to upset her baby brother or not doing what she is told by her mum. So we have a problem, and this is an everyday battle. The problem is sin. I never taught my daughter to sin. This is because she, and as well as the rest of the human race have inherited a sinful nature from Adam. From the moment we are conceived we are sinners, Pslam 57:5. We are born with a desire to sin. We are all born God hating and evil.
However this morning my daughter shocked and amazed me. As usual first thing when she woke up today she said, ” I am going to be a good girl today mummy” , and I nodded and said, “OK”. She was quiet for a while as if in deep thought then she said, ” But mummy, everyday I try and I want to be a good girl, but I can’t do it. I can’t be a good girl”. I didn’t know what to say to her at this point so I asked her why she could not do it. ” Because there is only one person who can ever help me to be good”, she said.
So not knowing where this was going and a little confused by what my daughter was saying, I asked her who it is who would help her to be a good girl, thinking maybe she was going to say me, she said- Jesus. Yes my four year old daughter told me that the only person who would ever help her to be a good girl was Jesus Christ, because she could not do it on her own. I have never told her this. I would have thought this is too deep for a four year old to understand. That she was a sinner, she could not control her sinful nature. She wanted to be good but she could not, instead she did things that where wrong no matter how she tried to be good. Her theology is far deeper than that of many preachers today. I mean she gets it. It is only by the finished work of Christ on the cross that we can be delivered from sin. The righteousness of God is imputed to us when we forsake our sins and believe, 2 Corinthians 5:21. It is Christ who works in us enabling us to do good when we are saved, otherwise all our good works are like filthy rugs before God. She sounded like Paul in Romans 7, “ O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? And she understood the answer, that it is only through Christ that we can be delivered and freed from the bondage of sin. I was so amazed by God’s power that I wanted to cry. I have never shared this with her, so how did she know? It can only be the work of the Holy Spirit. For a little girl to know that she can not be good on her own, that there is only one who can help her, that is Jesus is beyond my comprehension. When she said that all I said to her was that she was right. I did not say anything more as I was in shock and I did not want to ruin what the Lord was doing in her heart. I am not saying she got saved, she is only four. But one thing I know God is definitely working in my little girl’s life. It encouraged me to pray for her even more. She is a wretched little girl, who knows she is a wretched sinner who needs only a good saviour to help her. Glory belongs to God!

Well Richard Dawkins and the atheist crowd got wind of the blog, and the attacks came fast and furious. She has been accused of child abuse more times than I can count. She has stood strong in her faith, but the last I heard the local authorities have come to her house and are investigating. That a child could possibly be taken because of basic Christian beliefs is hard to fathom. America we are not far behind. The really sad thing is that many of the attacks have come from professing Christians. We need to pray for Jean and her family. I just want to say way to go Jean, stay strong and continue to walk in faith. True Christians will stand by you and speak out for you. And remember God is sovereign and always in control. American Christian are you willing to stand for your faith?

Persecuted Christians

Posted: October 28, 2008 in Christianity
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How often do we think about our persecuted brothers and sisters? We take for granted the freedom we have in the United States. So many people here get to hear the Gospel, but yet reject it. In countries where Christians are persecuted, many never hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Nine out of ten of the world’s least evangelized cities are in Afghanistan, where 77% of the people are unevangelized. The number one least evangelized city is El Aaiun, Sahara with 82% of its people having never heard the Gospel.

Persecution is common in many of these same places. In Orissa, 70,000 Christians have been displaced. Christians have been leaving Mosul, Iraq because of persecution. 7 have been killed there this month. The enemy will do anything to try and stop the spread of the Gospel. They can kill Christians and they can bind Christians, but they can’t bind the Word of God. We need to be lifting these people up in prayer. November 9th is international day of prayer for the persecuted church. Many of these people can reach people with the Gospel that we will never be able to reach. Pray for these people daily.

Here is a link to a video of the underground church in Vietnam.

Woof and Worship?

Posted: October 11, 2008 in Christianity
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Pilgrim Congregational Church in North Weymouth will be holding a weekly woof and worship service. This is a service where people can bring their dogs with them to church to worship. Yes, they are serious about this. The Rev. Rachel Bickford said she came up with the idea while reading in Psalm 148 ‘Let all wild animals, creeping things and flying birds give God praise.’ I am pretty sure holding a worship service for them is not what was intended by that verse. And we wonder why the Christian church has lost it’s influence. Our salt has lost it’s flavor and is no longer useful. There are people like Bill Maher who constantly mock Christianity. When people watch him and see junk like this, they say you know he is right. Most of what he says is worthless, but unfortunately there is some truth in what he says. We have let Christianity in America become a punch line to a joke. We need to be the ones calling out Christians who do things like woof and worship services.

“This was something I had prayed about and thought about,” Bickford said of opening services to dogs. “Dogs bring such hope in a world where we’re surrounded by such hopelessness. As I’ve gone through my ministry, I’ve noticed how dogs change people’s lives. Studies show they can lower blood pressure. . . . And I thought it would be just so much fun.” When did we stop preaching that Jesus is the hope for a world surrounded by hopelessness? I don’t know if Rev. Bickford knows or not, but Jesus changes lives forever. He does more than lower our blood pressure for an hour. This is just another example of a church more worried about getting people into their pews, than they are about helping get people to Heaven. (Does a dog count as a full person for attendance purposes?)

The Christian church in other countries looks at us as an example of what not to become. The church is growing greatly in places like China and Iran. The church in China is actually praying for persecution to continue for at least 5 more years. They have said that if it becomes acceptable to be a Christian, they fear greed will make it become more like the American church. People are praying for persecution so they don’t become like us. Maybe we should be praying for persecution, so that we become more like them. Maybe even something like a financial crisis would lead us back to where we should be. It is time for the American church to stop depending on wealth and prosperity and start depending on faith and truth.

Death Penalty For Apostasy

Posted: September 14, 2008 in Christianity
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On Sept. 11th, the Parliament of Iran approved the use of the death penalty for those determined to be apostate. Anyone turning from Islam and its teachings would lead to execution. This even includes blogs that it is determined promoted apostasy. Apostasy by definition is the abandoning of ones religious beliefs, political party, or cause. There are people in jail in Iran for converting to Christianity, who now could face the death penalty. In Matthew 24:9 Jesus in talking about signs of the end times says ” Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name.”. As we look at the world today, we can see that more and more nations are turning against Christ.

Where does the United States stand as a nation? While we are not to the point of persecution, we are slowly sliding in that direction. The day will come when Christian persecution comes to our country. The above verse says Christians will be hated by all nations, not just some.

Another sign of the coming of Christ is the apostasy of the Christian church. How many people would be left in our country if we adopted the death penalty for Christian apostasy?  In the two verses following Matthew 24:9, Jesus describes the apostasy that will take place. Because of the persecution some will turn against one another. And the love of many will grow cold because of lawlessness. It is easy to say you are a Christian when there are no consequences for belief. But when persecution sets in, we can truly see who is Christian and who is not. Those who have not truly committed to Christ will fall away when things get hard. A person only needs to look at the number of liberal churches in our country to realize that apostasy already abounds in our country. They change their doctrine with every new wind of cultural change. Instead of trying to change the culture to fit the bible, they change their interpretation of the bible to suit the culture around them. Many want to enter heaven by following the broad and easy path. Few want to follow the difficult path that leads to the narrow gate. The broad gate leads to destruction, and many liberal churches are leading people to destruction.

What will Jesus find when He comes back?  Read the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8. Jesus talks about praying always and not being discouraged. But He ends it with this question, “when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”. If Christ came back today, would He find that kind of faith in you? What kind of faith would He find in your church? Would He see that you have pressed through during tough times? Or would He see that you gave up and took the easy path?