“Few people realize that we are today living through the largest persecution of Christians in history, WORSE even than the famous attacks under ancient Roman emperors like Diocletian and Nero.
Estimates of the numbers of Christians under assault range from 100-200 million. According to one estimate, a Christian is martyred every five minutes. And most of this persecution is taking place at the hands of Muslims. Of the top fifty countries persecuting Christians, forty-two have either a Muslim majority or have sizeable Muslim populations.”
Lets pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world.
(1) “Remember those who are in prison, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” – Hebrews 13:3
Persecution of Christians is growing at an alarming rate around the world – here are three reports this week from Fox News:
In Saudi Arabia, Ethiopian Christians are being arrested simply for practicing their faith – report here.
Christians and human rights advocates are alarmed over an aggressive crackdown on house churches in China, where the faithful are forced to call their gatherings “patriotic” assemblies or sent to prison where they can face torture, according to a new report. Read more here.
Egyptian Christians are told to convert to Islam or face death – report here.
Lets continue to be praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.
(2) Yesterday, Dr. James White responded to Michael Brown’s Monday edition of The Line of Fire where he played audience clips and had callers on the subject of predestination and election, etc. Dr. White sought to focus in upon the same issues as the Protestant Reformation, spelling out not merely the necessity of grace, but its total sufficiency. Here’s the program.
(3) Speaking of Dr. James White, here is a very fast paced and informative lecture he gave just recently at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, on the subject of “Why Muslims reject the Gospel.”
When outlining the central truths of the Reformation (the five solas and the doctrines of grace), preventing them from even looking into the Scriptures on such vital matters.
I wrote the following as a response to someone articulating this issue earlier today:
Nothing is “shrugged off” or excused but we also must at least try to understand the historical times rather than simply looking back at them through anachronistic glasses (through a 21st century lens). That is not always easy to do, but to understand the people and events of history, we must also seek to understand the thinking that governed hearts and minds at the time.
We don’t have heresy trials in our day for the simple reason that today’s society does not view doctrinal heresy as a problem at all. Cults and false religion can exist without any fear of persecution. While I for one very much appreciate the freedom of religion in our day, the down side is the thinking that often goes with that, namely that it does not matter what a person believes, as long as they are “sincere.” However, this concept was not in anyone’s thinking in the 16th century. All society actually believed in heaven and hell and that individuals actually go to one of those two places, and that heresy was a terrible blight on society. People on both sides (Protestant and Roman Catholic) believed that heresy was a high crime against both God and the people, equivalent to treason. If we understand that, and also look at the facts rather than the hyped up inaccurate vitriol that is so often pervasive, while not in any way excusing the excesses, we can at least begin to have an understanding of the times in which these things occured and have some measure of sympathy. If we do not, then we will come to the false and sad conclusion that no one in the 16th century has anything worthwhile to teach us.