'Persecute Ed' Series Disclaimer

Posted by Jeffrey K Radt ("JRed") | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Monday, November 29, 2010

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Last week, I published a couple of "disclaimers" -- one for our usual "Symbolism Studies" and another for an upcoming "Apostasy?" series that will be a regular feature.

Today, I want to add one more to the mix after something I read in Richard Wurmbrand's Tortured For Christ book. I'm feeling convicted in the sense that I haven't done enough to use this platform that God entrusted to me like using it to bring attention to the plight of Christians in other parts of the world.

So, this new feature called "Persecute Ed" will seek to educate us "free" Christians about what's happening -- RIGHT NOW -- to those who share our love and passion for Jesus Christ. I'll try to call attention to specific cases of religious persecution and ask for your prayers and financial support if you feel led to help in that way.

Ok, here's what convicted me from Tortured For Christ. I apologize in advance for the length of this excerpt, but it's necessary in order to set the proper foundation before beginning this new series here at LUF.

Wurmbrand wrote the following...

The Underground Church is a poor and suffering church, but it has few lukewarm members.

The Western humanists/Communists simply do not believe all the bad reports about the cruelties, the misery, and the persecution in Communist countries. They spread their faith with tireless zeal everywhere, in the lounges of the upper classes, in the clubs of intellectuals, in colleges, in the slums, and in the churches. We Christians are often half-heartedly on the side of the whole truth. They are wholeheartedly on the side of the lie.

Theologians of the West discuss trifles in the meantime. It reminds me that, while troops of Mahomet II surrounded Constantinople in 1493 and it had to be decided whether the Balkans would be under Christian or Mohammedan dominion for centuries, a local church council in the besieged city discussed the following problems: What color were the eyes of the virgin Mary? What gender do the angels have? If a fly falls in sanctified water, is the fly sanctified or is the water defiled? This may be only a legend concerning those times, but peruse Church periodicals of today and you will find that questions just like these are discussed. The menace of the persecutors and the sufferings of the Underground Church are scarcely ever mentioned.

There are endless discussions about theological matters, about rituals, about nonessentials.

At a party in a lounge, someone asked: "If you were on a ship that sank and you could escape to an isolated island, having the chance to take with you only one book from the ship's library, which one would you choose?" One answered, "The Bible," another, "Shakespeare." But a writer had the correct answer: "I would choose a book that could teach me how to make a boat and to arrive on the shore. There I would be free to read whatever I wished."

To keep liberty for all denominations and all theologies, and to regain it where it has been lost due to widespread religious persecution, is more important than to insist upon one certain theological opinion.

"The truth shall make you free," said Jesus (John 8:32). But, the same freedom, only freedom, can give the truth. And, instead of quarreling about nonessentials, we should unite in this fight for freedom against the tyrannies in this world. The West sleeps and must be awakened to see the plight of captive nations.

It is like the Church in the first centuries. What seminaries did those who turned the world upside-down for Christ attend? Did they all know how to read? And from where did they receive Bibles? God spoke to them.

We of the Underground Church have no cathedrals. But is any cathedral more beautiful than the sky of heaven to which we looked when we gathered secretly in forests? The chirping of birds took the place of the organ. The fragrance of flowers was our incense. And the shabby suit of a martyr recently freed from prison was much more impressive than priestly robes. We had the moon and stars as candles. The angels were our acolytes who lit them.

I can never describe the beauty of this Church! Often, after a secret service, Christians were caught and sent to prison. There, Christians wear chains with the gladness with which a bride wears a precious jewel received from her beloved. The waters in prison are still. They receive His kiss and His embraces, and would not change places with kings. I have found truly joyful Christians only in the Bible, in the Underground Church, and in prison.

Faithfulness to God and the Great Commission compels us to reach beyond borders to people in restricted areas. Neither prison nor torture can frighten the Christians of the Underground Church. Just as in the Early Church, persecution only deepens their dedication. And never imagine a prison as in the West when you hear about a sentenced brother in a restricted nation. Prison there means starvation, torture, and brainwashing.

Who can separate us from the love of God in Christ? Nobody and nothing. Neither prison nor suffering. The sufferings that God sends us only strengthen us more and more in the faith in Him. My heart is so full that the grace of God overflows.

Atheists are men who do not acknowledge the invisible sources of their life. They have no sense for what is a mystery in the universe and in life. Christians can help them best by walking themselves not by sight, but by faith, leading a life of fellowship with the invisible God. They can help us best by leading the lives of consistent Christians, lives of sacrifice. They can help by protesting publicly as often as Christians are persecuted. But Christians, even if they fight against an enemy, understand and love him.

We are not guiltless of the fact that some live in rebellion. We are guilty at least by neglect of duty. For this we have to atone by loving them -- which is something entirely different from liking them -- and praying for them.

I am not so naive as to believe that love alone can solve these problems. I would not advise the authorities of a state to solve the problem of gangsterism only by love. There must be a police force, judges, and prisons for gangsters -- not just pastors. If gangsters do not repent, they must be jailed. I would never use the Christian phrase about "love" to counteract the appropriate political, economic, or cultural fight against Communists and other tyrants, who are nothing but gangsters on an international scale. Gangsters steal a purse; they steal whole countries.

But the pastor and the individual Christian have to do their best to bring to Christ rebellious nations -- whatever crimes they commit -- as well as their innocent victims. We have to pray for them with understanding.

In these countries, the drama, the bravery, and martyrdom of the Early Church are happening all over again -- now -- and the free Church sleeps. Our brethren there, alone and without help, are waging the greatest, most courageous battle of the twentieth century, equal to the heroism, courage, and dedication of the Early Church. And the free Church sleeps on, oblivious of their struggle and agony, just as Peter, James, and John slept in the moment of their Savior's agony.

Will you also sleep while your brethren in Christ suffer and fight for the gospel? Will you hear our message: "Remember us, help us"? "Don't abandon us!"

-- Richard Wurmbrand / Tortured For Christ

Boy, if that doesn't convict you then something's wrong.

A vast majority of us are so blessed to be able to not only live in a country where the Holy Bible is still "legal", but to also be able to go through life without having to worry about being violently persecuted for our cherished faith.

We access the Internet daily and engage in any number of endless "discussions" and "debates" about Christianity and think we're being "persecuted" when someone singles us out in the Comments Section and writes a scathing rebuttal to something we posted. Hardly!

Again, I just felt convicted to the point where I needed to get this off my chest this morning. Yes, our humble work here is for the Lord (not that He needs my help at all), and a new series like the "Apostasy?" one is sorely needed in this day and age, but the mere fact that we're even able to "debate" such things in a forum like this leaves me feeling a little guilty.

I mean, our brothers and sisters around the world are dying for His namesake. Them, their families, and the societies in which they live desperately need prayers and the Word of God (amongst other things) from Christians like us who are "free" and who God has put in a position to do something about it.

Look, I know we're living in the end times, and I know what the Scriptures have to say about the Laodicians, but I would like to encourage all of us to never settle for being "lukewarm" in our faith.

The truth is that, at the very least, our persecuted brethren should have our prayers if not our financial support. We still know how to pray for people in need, right?

I just keep thinking that if we are the Body, then why aren't we using our hands to reach out to them in their greatest hour of need?

I pray that you will consider partnering with groups like the Voice Of The Martyrs today.

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Comments Posted (4)

Dear Jeff,

We are all given and soon will be given even greater tests to see if we are actually in the faith.

Tortured for Christ is an intense book that I am still trying to get through.

I think we should remember that the world is like a fallen replica of what the LORD intended. YESHUA said if we were not willing to leave spouses, children, jobs etc, we were not worthy to follow HIM. There should be nothing that would keep us from HIM, but the time of the beast is upon us and we will have to choose like Esau between food or our birthright!

Ezekiel 14:14 A must read.
Peace,
Deirdre

"There Christians wear chains with the gladness with which a bride wears a precious jewel, received from her beloved"

I think that those are the most beautiful words, and that if we Christians, would get the true picture of this in our hearts, we would lose all fear of the future.

I'm so glad that you're doing this series. I think that it is so needed by the body of Christ, at this time.

We don't know what the future of our country will look like, but we know Him and that He's faithful,and that He has been there for countless Christians that have suffered before us,and if need be He will be there for us,too.
I wish that more churches and their Pastors would take it upon themselves to bring this message to the body of Christ.

God Bless

Yes, and amen to Deirdre and Gerie. Torture, the thought of it disturbs me deeply. Even what Jesus had to go through in the flesh for our sakes, well, I really have to go past it to His death, because I cannot accept that people do such hideous things to others, and enduring such a thing is unthinkable. I disturbs me intensely.
But, I read that beautiful book, "Tortured for Christ". It changed me. More than any sermon or book I have ever read. (except for the Bible) I can only hope to have such love for anyone who would persecute me, not to mention endlessly starve and torture me. Only being in that situation would truly show how much I had surrendered to my Saviour.
The martyrs around the world, well, they are truly that much closer to their Blessed Hope.
"My sheep hear My voice...."
God bless you all.
Carol

The Lord led me to the Voice of the Martyrs web site approximately a year ago, and I have been supporting them financially and with prayer since then. I even, for a period of time, uplifted various countries for prayer on my blog. It's a great organization, and most worthy of our assistance.

Kim