Sunday, March 19, 2006

Suffering for Christ

Has anyone else seen this article about an Afghan man who is being persecuted for his faith in Christ? He faces a possible death sentence for having converted from Islam to Christianity. And this in a country that the U. S. has supposedly freed from oppression.

I find particularly interesting the fact that the Afghan judge quoted in the article describes this man's conversion as "an attack on Islam." Exactly how does converting to Christianity constitute an "attack" on Islam?

In any case, this should be a reminder to those of us who are Christians that we are called not to force our beliefs on others, but to be prepared to suffer for the truth and to love our enemies, even though it may not be easy. Those of us who live in places where there is religious freedom (especially in the West) should also remember that many people in the world today suffer because they follow Jesus. Let's remember them, and especially this man, in our prayers.


thekid said...

Thanks for trying to circulate this article. I just finished reading "The Costly Call" which is a collection of personal accounts by people who converted from Islam to Christianity and the suffering they endured at the hands of loved ones and strangers as a result. Even more powerful though is reading how Christ was able to use them and reach the hearts of so many others through their willingness to suffer and follow in his footsteps by extending his love and forgiveness to their persecutors. Let us pray for this man, Abdul, and the many others like him whose names will never reach our ears this side of eternity, that they are able to endure and know the peace and joy of Christ until they meet him face to face.

Indeed, since "the Suffering Servant" is our Lord we should expect no less for ourselves (even in the West where the suffering may be of a different nature). If we truly want to see His Kingdom come in the lives of men and women here on the earth we will follow in his footsteps. Like Eugene Peterson expresses, Kingdom work cannot be accomplished in non-Kingdom ways. If we are willing to lose our lives (or whatever vision we are determined to achieve with our own lives) for His sake He will save us with true life abundant. Amen.

Gordon Hackman said...

Amen sister!