Sunday, August 26, 2012

Following Christ In The Midst of Persecution

In America, many Christians expend a great deal of energy and effort finding situations where they would feel justified in using force to defend themselves, their property or others. It is our right and it is our duty, one we will defend vigorously even though the vast majority of us will never face one of the hypothetical situations that we love to put out there.

Meanwhile many have watched with horror at the extreme persecution of our brothers and sisters around the world, especially in Africa. I saw this story posted on Facebook and found it encouraging.

Nigeria: Christians Will Not Retaliate Church Attacks - CAN

Akure — National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor yesterday said Christians will not retaliate despite killing of their members and attack on churches in some parts of the north.

Oritsejafor said at CAN's extra-ordinary council meeting of in Akure that the association will continue to pray for the peaceful co-existence of the country.

"We will not encourage our people to carry arms against anybody whatsoever the situation may be. For those that are behind Boko Haram, you come to us with AK47, bombs, charms and other dangerous weapons, but we come to you in the name of God.

"I want to assure Christians in Nigeria that Christ has always been with his people. He will never give victory to those persecuting Christians and the Church. Whoever is trying to exterminate Christians and Christianity from Nigeria is neither pleasing God nor his people", he said.

Why do Americans not trust God and rest in Christ in this way? Perhaps we don't really believe what He has said, that He will never leave us or forsake us, that we are blessed when we are persecuted, that we must overcome evil only with good. Why is it that those who face real persecution for the faith seem the least concerned with defending themselves?

The general attitude in America is that we need to send missionaries and clergy to Africa to teach them about the Gospel.

Sometimes it sounds to me like we need Africans to come to America to teach us instead.


Fred Shope said...

We in the West have no clue.

Debbie said...

The CAN leaders and the church in Nigeria are to be commended for their stand. Praise God for the example they are setting.

But can you give an example in which an American church has been attacked and then sought retaliation against its attackers? I don't think so. So actually, you are assuming a hypothetical here. ("If this happened in America, church leaders would be promoting violence.") That's a monstrously huge assumption.

Arthur Sido said...

Debbie I think you forcing an assumption into my post. It is without question that the general notion of personal defense through violence is widely accepted in American evangelicalism (thus my point about hypothetical situations).

dentists in indianapolis said...

We in the West have no clue.