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Persecuting Jesus
Townhall.com ^ | November 2, 2012 | Ken Blackwell

Posted on 11/03/2012 5:41:19 AM PDT by Kaslin

This column was co-authored by Bob Morrison

The nineteenth century French painting, Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer--today hangs in the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. It has not lost its capacity to shock. In the Roman Circus, the small flock of Christians is huddled in the sand, kneeling around their aged pastor. We see weeping little children, whole families gathered. In the stands are tens of thousands of people, none of whose faces are visible, but they are colorfully dressed, awaiting a special entertainment. The scene is eerily lighted by flaming crosses. Looking more closely, however, we see those crosses bear Christians, covered in pitch and set aflame. Their suffering, at least, will be brief. Out of the depths beneath the Circus stride lions a single tiger. The lead lion advances menacingly toward the Believers.

Jean-Léon Gérôme, the painter, may have wanted Christians of his time to remember the sacrifices necessary to build the magnificent civilization he and his contemporaries then enjoyed. The sky in this painting is dark and threatening. It symbolizes an age in classic antiquity that was both technologically advanced—look at architecture!—and spiritually stunted.

For France in 1883, it was the Belle Epoque. That was when Paris was being rebuilt as the beautiful City of Light we know today. In that year, steamships traveled the world’s oceans and Europeans sought to bring the benefits of railroads, schools, medical clinics, and the Gospel to many lands around the world.

All of that “imperialism” is today viewed with unalloyed horror by the intelligentsia of the West. The cultured despisers of religion think that persuading Indians to give up suttee—the practice of burning living widows on their husbands’ funeral pyres is cultural imperialism. Teaching native peoples in Africa not to kill newborn twins and chase their mothers into the bush to be devoured by lions is seen as imposing an alien values system on others.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that so little attention is being paid to Christian persecution in the Third World today. Our modern world—so technologically innovative—is morally and spiritually closer to that Roman Circus than we might like to admit. World Magazine, an Evangelical publication, is almost the only national news outlet that takes Christian persecution seriously. In the current issue, journalist Jamie Dean has provided a broad view of Christian persecution in the Mideast. It leads us to ask: Why should Christians anywhere view the “Arab Spring” with approval? Why should American Christians, in particular, join with the Obama administration in hailing every step they think they see toward greater democracy? Democracy requires more than people voting. In Egypt, there has been a sharp increase in the murder of Coptic Christians.

This administration entered office pledging to deal more openly with Iranian mullahs. These are the same men who jailed Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, 32, for the “crime” of sharing his faith with others. Reporter Dean makes clear that the recent release of Pastor Nadarkhani may have had more to do with the mullahs trying to avoid more stringent Western economic sanctions than with any lessening of their cruelties toward Christians.

Christians are familiar with the Bible passage in the Book of Acts where Jesus speaks to Saul. “Why do you persecute me,” Jesus asks. Saul is on his way to Damascus. How very appropriate this passage is to our own day. For it is in Damascus that Christians are being newly endangered. And when that is the case, it is not just Jesus’s followers are being persecuted, it is Jesus Himself. We have His word on that.

As we approach this Sunday’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, it is good to remember that we are citizens, too. We should pray for our brethren suffering all over the bloody crescent. And we should recall that when Saul became Paul he did not give up his Roman citizenship. He used that citizenship to advance God’s purposes on earth. As Christian citizens of this great republic, we can certainly cry out against persecution at home and abroad. And we can make our voices heard. John F. Kennedy said it well: "Here on earth, God's work must truly be our own."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: blackwell; christianpersecution; christianvote; husseinobama

1 posted on 11/03/2012 5:41:22 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

The fact that the early Christians survived to grow to what it is today is literally a miracle...sign of God’s hand in the creation and growth.


2 posted on 11/03/2012 5:52:36 AM PDT by Wpin ("I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny...")
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3 posted on 11/03/2012 5:52:36 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

The fate of those who enjoyed the show and the fate of those who turned the lions loose on them is far, far worse, and lasts far, far longer.

Though that’s definitely horrific.

Spiritual Darkness covers the Earth.

(just adding info to the thread for the picture)


4 posted on 11/03/2012 6:00:35 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: Kaslin

Very good post! It goes straight to the heart of what is fast becoming a pagan culture in the USA. Perhaps many FReepers might be interested in this thread:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2954224/posts


5 posted on 11/03/2012 6:23:01 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: Kaslin

We need to start prayer vigils now-—that last till the polls open on Tues.


6 posted on 11/03/2012 6:59:49 AM PDT by RightLady (Take out the trash Nov 6th)
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To: Kaslin

We need to start prayer vigils now-—that last till the polls open on Tues.


7 posted on 11/03/2012 7:00:13 AM PDT by RightLady (Take out the trash Nov 6th)
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To: Kaslin

It may be the martyrs’ last prayer in this world, but their prayers will last into eternity.


8 posted on 11/03/2012 8:48:27 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: Romulus

The day will come when Christians in our land will face such a fate. How many will join the other side and watch as their bothers face death? The Christians will be depicted as Fanatics, terrorists, Nut cases, and un-progressive. If you think it can’t happen-—look how the Tea Party was cast as nothing but hillbillies, racists, and homophobes. A majority of Americans believe these lies—how easy could creationists, anti-Abortion, Bible believing Christians be cast out by the Liberal Media who would enjoy seeing these “fools” marched into the gas chambers or killing fields? Lean your history or be doomed to repeat it.


9 posted on 11/03/2012 10:33:27 AM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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