Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bearing the Silence of God

A Turkish (evangelical) theologian writes powerfully about the Cross and the persecuted Church spread throughout the world.
More Christians are killed than are saved from execution at the last minute. More Christians stay locked in prison, beaten and tortured, than are able to walk free, guided by miraculous escape plans. More Christians suffer lifelong deprivation of their most basic civic and economic rights. More converts from Islam give up their faith than stay Christians, and those who remain in the church struggle with lifelong battles with shame, depression, and isolation, caused by the loss of ties to their families, communities, and nations.

Above all, for the average persecuted Christian, there are unanswered prayers and the absence of peace, strength, courage, and joy. Their humanness in a very earthly plot line finds no place in our modern-day obsession with heroic stories with victorious resolutions.

Fear of physical and emotional damage is manageable when one's ears and heart hear the loving and strengthening voice of God, and the assurance that the global church will be there to embrace you.

For persecuted Christians, suffering turns into affliction when they internalize the horrible feeling that they are alone. When the persecuted Christian begins to believe that most of the global church does not care and will not be there to share his pain, loneliness moves from the physical dimension to an inner anguish.
[snip]
This reality forces us to take another look at what Paul means in Romans 8:28 by "our good." If our good is a stable, safe, healthy, happy, and reasonably wealthy middle-class life, then logically one can conclude that God really does not work for the good of the largest portion of the global church today.
Read it!

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