NONSENSE was the attitude of many Christian friends when the persecution of believers was discussed in my young days. One friend was adamant that if anything his faith brought him credibility and respect. On the other hand…”What about the unchecked, unforgivable hypocrisy and violence in the name of Christianity down the centuries I hear you ask? I will grant you that many terrible atrocities have occurred in the name of what amounts to a perversion of the faith. This twisted Christianity has nothing to do with the ‘God- man’ who died on a Roman cross and walked out of the tomb three days later.
Looking back on my own life I would tend overall to agree with my old friend, that is despite being sneered at and taunted a few years ago when I bought a shop and filling station and without hesitation closed it on Sunday. How dare I? After all we are now firmly in “enlightened” post Christian Scotland. I am clearly not a good citizen. Of course I do sense also that certain people have considered me to be a bit backward and scratched their heads as they observed a successful businesses being built up from nothing over a 20 year period. “How on earth is it possible to live in ignorance, only have half a brain and build up strong businesses?” My opposing view is that seemingly intelligent people have completely swallowed the much promoted lie that beyond doubt humanity simply evolved out of a primeval swamp. Despite minor laughable taunts, overall, my faith has if anything given me credibility even in the eyes of most non believers, having only experienced mild teasing. This of course cuts across the teaching of our leader and guide,‘If they persecuted me they will persecute you’ How fortunate I am to have lived in moderate times.
Attitudes sadly, are now changing as we see British politicians persecuted and jeered for their faith. How dare anyone express a biblical worldview in the public square? Worldwide people are being martyred for their faith. Do the liberal elite perhaps sense that as Turtullien back in 197 wrote: ‘The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity’. The media run away from Christian martyrs because they are a powerful witness to the validity of the Christian faith. This Jesus who his followers claim rose from the dead must be stamped out. Yet what are we seeing? More Christians worldwide than at any point in the past 2000 years!
Little wonder the psalmist 2500 years ago said this… ‘Thy Kingdom hath none end at all it doth from age to age endure’. The Roman emperor Diocletian boasted that he had wiped out Christianity from west to east. GOD HAD OTHER IDEAS.
The degrading of our Christian politicians in Britain as well as the teasing I endured amounts to nothing… or at least not much when you set it in this context: Today worldwide no less than 100 000 CHRISTIANS ARE MARTYRED… not per decade but EACH YEAR, according to Vatican research and other sources. Can you even begin to get your head round that? ELEVEN PER HOUR! As I, with some skepticism researched this figure, at least eleven believers were martyred. This amounts to more than the population of Stirlingshire killed for their faith since last June. The 30 believers recently taken out of a bus in Egypt and asked to denounce their faith or be shot only made news for no more than a couple of days. At the same time when 22 people died in Manchester there was uncontrolled grief and 24 hour coverage for at least two weeks. The world grieved as the story unfolded… Nothing wrong with that, but I am sure you will agree that modern day martyrs are airbrushed out of the picture. Just heard about the London fire today with so many killed and injured, how tragic for these people and their relatives. They of course deserve our prayers and support. THE PLIGHT OF THE MODERN DAY CHRISTIAN MARTYRS IS A GLOBAL OUTRAGE.
I am still flabbergasted…if you had asked me previously for a global estimate on Christian martyrdom, on consideration I would have maybe said 1000 a year and even been shocked enough by my own estimate! I know it is complex, but where is the voice of condemnation? Where is the high profile endorsement of organizations who help the persecuted church?
The cross is both powerful and true! The work of God the Holy Spirit is real! The resurrection our great hope! Why would these believers die for a lie?