As I watch the mass murder of Christians in the Middle East by ISIS I begin to wonder why no one is outraged about what’s happening.
In January 7, 2015 Islamic terrorist attacked the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo killing 12. The world, rightly so, was shocked and outraged by the attack. We quickly saw the social media inundated by “Je suis Charlie” and world leaders (except president Obama) flew to Paris to march in solidarity against the attacks.
Now, many more are slaughtered by ISIS just for their faith and the world and social media remain silent.
Franklin Graham has expressed disappointment that the world does not seem shocked and horrified by the killing of Christians in the Middle East and pointed out that “We should continue to be horrified and nauseated,” he continued. “We should make sure our government and the current administration recognizes Islam for the danger it is, and that they are doing all they can to work against it.”
On a Deeper Level…
But on a deeper level the suffering and killing of fellow believers, of brothers and sisters around the world should make is pause and consider what are we doing as Christians. Are we more concerned about the latest electronic gadget or TV show or about the fate of those around us, far and close?
And what about me? What would I do if faced with the same level of hatred and persecution? Right now we are feeling a little heat about the same-sex marriage and many of us have chosen to remain quite for far of being singled out.
But what about if the life of my kids and my wife was threatened for my faith, our faith? What would I do? I find comfort on Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:17-19:
“Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.” – Matthew 10:17–19 (ESV)
I have the utmost respect for all those modern day martyrs that are standing up for Christ. Yes, let make no mistake, they are not dying for their faith but for Christ’s sake. In Matthew 24:9 Jesus himself warned us about what we could expect to experience IF we are his true followers:
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.” – Matthew 24:9 (ESV)
Jesus goes even further and tells us that ”…many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.” (Matthew 24:10 ESV)
Are we deceiving ourselves?
We love to quote just those promises in the Bible that speak of great and positive things for us, cannot forget that Jesus told us that IF we truly followed him, live the real Christian life, we will be persecuted and even put to death for his sake.
“Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” John 15:20 (ESV)
Sadly, I think the modern church seems to have forgotten about our real situation and have made Christianity about us when in reality is all about Jesus.
While the calling for those brothers and sister right now is to die for Christ, until that moment we are faced with the same question “would you die for Christ”, will we live for him? “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21 (ESV)
As I wonder what would i do if faced with the same choices as those believers in the Middle East and other part of the world who are suffering and dying for Christ’s sake I am comforted by Paul’s words in Romans 8:37-39:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37–39 (ESV)