How long, O Lord?

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. (Rev. 6:9-11)

160726-world-france-church-attack-priest-hamel-1113_de224108b1bd825cd734467bda0ec035-nbcnews-ux-2880-1000
Father Jacque Hamel, slain while giving a morning mass at his church in France.

One Christian Slaughtered Every Five Minutes

Throughout the Middle East, this still is the under-reported story. Forget the “Merry Christmas” junk here. It’s nothing.

Let us raise our voices not for us (for once in our lives) but for others. 

THIS is the story.

Here are some cold facts:

The White House said it was preparing to accuse the Islamic State of genocide against religious minorities, recognizing various groups, such as the Yazidis, as victims. However, Christians are apparently not going to be included.

In September of this year, one Christian died every 5 minutes at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East. Not just “ISIS.”

There is a Christian genocide going on and it is not being recognized by Western leaders.

Possibly worse than not being recognized by Western leaders? American Christians ignore it. If anything, we will look to use it to cry over our OWN “poor plight” because no one says “Merry Christmas” any more. It just has to be about US… all the time.

Friends, we need to lift up brothers and sisters all over the world. We need to seek peace. We need to continually live out the Kingdom, seeking the power of the Spirit to proclaim the Word better. It’s not about seeking revenge or make sure we’re all taking gun safety classes! Let’s actually be aware of the Body of Christ around the world… pray… and seek the welfare of the place where we find ourselves today.

 

#IamaChristian

The shootings in Oregon have rumors swirling. Did the shooter target Christians? The media… oh, the oh so accurate media that always want to make sure they get it right… urges “caution.” (Meanwhile, at a county clerk’s desk in Kentucky…)

In our current cultural war mode, it may “play well” to see the hashtag campaign rage on. That’s about the extent of our commitment, though.

Meanwhile, a reminder for all of us is that Christians truly are being targeted in other parts of the world.

THIS REPORT details what happened just last month in Syria.

Friends, let’s not forget the brothers and sisters in Christ we have all over the world who really are targeted. The media won’t play it… but so what. Let US pray. Let US labor. Let US follow Christ.

Residents inspect damage from what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the town of Douma, eastern Ghouta in Damascus.

Help us care. Help us pray!

More persecution. How we need to lift up the Body of Christ in prayer!

Bishop Angaelos, the general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, underscored the Ethiopians’ testimony.

“Once again we see innocent Christians murdered purely for refusing to renounce their faith,” he said in a statement.

“As Christians, we remain committed to our initial instinct following the murder of our 21 Coptic brothers in Libya, that it is not only for our own good, but indeed our duty to ourselves, the world, and even those who see themselves as our enemies, to forgive and pray for the perpetrators of this and similar crimes,” he said. “We pray for these men and women, self-confessed religious people, that they may be reminded of the sacred and precious nature of every life created by God.”

Where is the outcry

I understand the world, the media, etc., just won’t give the coverage to what is happening all over the world to Christians. True suffering. 

But, it is there, and we need to see it. Lord, hear our prayers!

The Pope addressed it in his Easter message.

“Today we see our brothers persecuted, decapitated, crucified for their faith in you, under our eyes and often with our complicit silence,” the pope said after the traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession through Rome on Friday, which recreates Christ’s last hours before he was crucified.

Let us see the suffering. Let us pray.

How long, O Lord?

We need to go deeper in prayer for brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world. Persecution seems to be increasing, and it is certainly getting more bold.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. (Rev. 6:9-11)

Let our prayers matter!

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. (Rev. 8:1-5

The intolerant look for any excuse

NIAMEY, Niger — The Niger government says at least 45 churches have been set on fire in this predominantly Muslim West African nation in protests over French cartoons lampooning Islam’s prophet.

In a statement issued Monday, the government also declared three days of national mourning for the 10 people who died amid the violent protests that first began on Friday.

Authorities have said that the victims were inside churches and bars set ablaze by protesters angry about the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad in the French news weekly Charlie Hebdo. The publication was the subject of a terror attack that left 12 dead earlier this month.

Niger’s government in the statement promised that those responsible for the arson and deaths will be sought and punished.

It is heart breaking to see what is happening to people longing to live in peace. The temperature is HOT against those who love peace. And against Christians. Any excuse will now do.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 5:9-10)

The intolerance of the intolerant

The rise of persecution continues. Any excuse will do.

From the Assemblies of God New Service:

We have received reports from AG missionaries in Niger that, in spreading violence related to the attacks in Paris, Muslim extremists attacked and burned four AG churches and one parsonage in the town of Niamey and an AG church and pastor’s home were burned yesterday in the town of Zinder. Thankfully, no lives have yet been lost, but violence seems to be spreading.

Please pray for the safety of our missionaries as well as pastors and national believers in Niger.

– See more at: http://penews.org/Article/AG-Churches-Burned-in-Africa/#sthash.jZLbQyD2.dpuf

The intolerance of “tolerance”

Europe is becoming a “NO GOD” zone.

I am not advocating for our American version of “wearing your faith on your sleeve”… or bumper sticker… or T Shirt.

I have been advocating for simple awareness in our lives as believers that we truly need to function in a different way than before. We need to learn what it is to be the “minority report.” We need the prophetic voice of Christianity… the prophetic lifestyle of Christianity… once again.

It is interesting, as always, that while secularists lash out against “religious extremism” and deem themselves “tolerant,” this article points out it is the secularists driving this movement. Even moderate religious people can’t be tolerated in their world.

How much longer will believers dare to stand up and be counted? Soon Europe, even London, the much-vaunted bastion of multiculturalism, will become No God Zones, banning any public display of religiosity. ‘For your own good’, the authorities will tell their pious citizens, “you must carry out your ancient rituals in secret. We cannot vouch for your safety otherwise.” Believers will have to hide their precious religious symbols, and conceal their rites. Like the early Christians in the catacombs, they will lead lives in the shadow.

People were on the “I am Charlie” bandwagon, when the “newspaper” declared they didn’t want religious people mourning their loss. They didn’t want the bells of Notre Dame ringing as a sign of mourning.

We need to walk with Christ. We don’t walk with Christ because it is easy. We don’t walk with Christ because it is favorable. We walk with Christ because he bid us come and follow and we obeyed. We need that fundamental understanding in our lives again. It is about allegiance. This world should not understand our true allegiance to the Kingdom of God. It does not make sense to them. Our trouble is that as Western Christians we haven’t understood allegiance, either. We’ve lived under assumptions that simply don’t hold up any more.

Jesus walked with the realization of what was truly in the hearts of many people. We need that realization to sober us up from time to time.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)