What does our faith cost us?A brother spoke to a group in a democratic nation. He told the story of how a Chinese mother would not renounce her faith in Christ. Even when her children tearfully begged her to come home. Because this mother would not renounce her faith her children rejected her. The mother served many years in prison.The sad part of the story above is that when this brother was telling the story to a group of Christians. A couple approached him. They said the story was ridiculous. The mother should have renounced her faith in Christ to be with her children. They said God would have forgiven her. When the brother asked the couple about the scripture that Jesus said If you deny me before men I will deny you. The couple responded God would still understand and have forgiven the mother. The couple said if they were in the same situation they would renounce Christ for the sake of their children.Again what does our faith cost us in the West.Recently a group of young school girls were released by the Boko Haram in Nigeria. One young schoolgirl of 15 years of age is still imprisoned by this jihadist group. She refuses to renounce her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sources indicate that the young woman may possibly be horribly abused. And then possibly killed. All because she will not renounce her faith in Christ. By implication the young women who were released probably did renounce Jesus and convert to Islam.The imprisonment of this young woman and her faith in Christ is causing some Nigerian pastors to examine the depth of their own faith. What about our faith. What does our faith in Jesus cost us in America. Our brothers and sisters in restricted nations know the cost...Do we???Blaine
As a person who has lived in both west and east as a Christian, here is my personal observation (currently in West).I lost my parents when I accepted Christ. They used to torture me that they will commit suicide if I do not renounce my faith. I felt this torture was much worse than direct physical torture. I would have felt better if they kept me locked up! My parents and siblings have done a lot of good things in my life. I lost the privilege to do the funeral rights for my parents. But I could please either them or Jesus, God gave me grace to make the right choice even though it was humanly impossible. God also helped me to reconcile with my parents and siblings after few years of struggle. Still all the privileges were lost. Jesus asked us to calculate the cost, I took over a year to calculate the cost of my decision to follow him. Once I took the decision, there was no turning back. We often consider only physical torture as persecution. Which is not true, emotional torture is even greater. Many who become christian from non Christian background go through this. Some in East do not get hike or promotion in their job for their faith. All these are costs they have paid. I believe Bible is true, everyone who wants to live a Godly life will be persecuted. Even in West if people take a stand to live a Godly life, they will suffer. But sadly I do not see it happening. In West the Christians are neither Hot nor Cold, but lukewarm. There is great compromise with the world. For instance my neighbors invited us to an Ester Egg hunt few days back, we had to take a stand and tell them that Egg hunt is not the right way to mark Easter and it mocks the purpose of Easter. I am sure we will lose favor in their eyes and look stupid. But we took a stand. How many in West are willing to take such a sand starting with small things? If you are unwilling or tired to run with men how will you run with Horses?
When I gave my life to Christ I had to leave my family; I was living with my mom and brother. They were still using drugs and I had quit a long heroin addiction. They were very angry about my decision and I left my house with nothing but some clothes, no money, and I was homeless for some time. Since then I have been ridiculed for my faith and isolated much of the time; someone tried to get me fired for standing up for my beliefs. Yes, in the West you can also suffer for Christ.
My mother became a born again Christian when she was 33, I was seven. She had been married for ten years at that time. My father had been a controller and was an alcoholic, but was never violent. The moment she became a Christian all hell broke loose in our house. For fifteen years my father raged against Christ. He beat my mother mercilessly for years. In that time period she received countless black eyes. He broke her jaw one time. He severely beat her when she was pregnant with my little brother. He tore all her clothes up so she could not go to church. He once nailed our front door shut from the inside with six inch nails so she could not go to church, my sister and I lowered her out the front window, upon her return she was beaten. The Bible had to be hidden, for if found he would tear it up, he once " drowned," it then through it out the window. Because I loved Jesus he hated me. I never once heard my dad call me by my name my whole childhood, only idiot or worse. He would often put a knife in my hand and try to get me to stab him, when I would not do it he would accuse me of being gay. My father came to Jesus fifteen years after my mother. As Catholics from a Catholic community, being a born again Christian was unacceptable. You were ridiculed and ostracized or worse. The majority of Catholics who came to Jesus in my community suffered the loss of much of their family. Counting the cost is something that was all too real in my community. Any suggestion that Christians in the West know nothing of cost is simply ignorant. No matter where you live or what your background is, if Jesus genuinely walks into your life and you are transformed, then the potential is there for all hell to break loose around you and for you to suffer loss.................bro Frank
Very good thread. Like I said in West or East, if you take a stand for the Lord, you will suffer persecution. My observation is Christianity is West is more compromising than that in the East.
Sree....Like I said in West or East, if you take a stand for the Lord, you will suffer persecution.